The Sam Adams Imperial Series was (for me) an unexpected delight which I discovered in the company’s brewery in Boston. It is a series of BIG beers, in both alcohol by volume and flavor. The Double Bock is exactly what it sounds like. A malty, rich bock….doubled.
Appearance: Copper in color, slight haze, about a finger of cream colored foam which characteristically disappeared quickly, leaving little lacing.
Aroma: Rich, rich malt is promised in the aroma. Typical tang of a high gravity lager.
Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy body to this beer. Not uncommon for the style, but very satisfying.
Flavor: The richness that is common to high gravity malts is the first wonderful flavor I noticed on this brew. Slight toffee (very slight). No hop character is detectable, which is not to say that they didn’t use hops, but rather that the malt character is just overpowering…wonderfully and beautifully overpowering.
Overall: At 9.5% abv, this is not a chugging brew. But you’ll want to when you get a taste of the Samuel Adams Double Bock. While many of Sam Adams everyday brews are clearly everyday, their imperial series is something that is clearly extraordinary. You would do well to get a couple of this series, and don’t neglect the Double Bock when shopping.
I doubly recommend that you drink some fantastic brews while watching Ken Burns’ Prohibition. Thank whatever powers you revere that we are no longer in that benighted period of our history.