Beer Profile: Sam Adams Imperial Double Bock

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Reviewed by Ken Carman

Note to the reader: personally I’m not a big fan of lagers, though I have judged them in competition and found… as predicted… I judge best when I’m not a fan of a style. It goes to “preconceived preferences,” I guess.

A distinct Barleywine-like aroma, along with carmelization, is up front; very sweet that carries on into taste. It has a somewhat cloying sense to the upper palate that is very Barleywine-ish, along with just a tad of that lager yeast sense. There’s so much going on here the lager yeast is quite subtle. Is there a bit of maris otter in here? No hop sense, perhaps over powered by the malt. Yet the body seems actually a tad light if it were a called Barleywine. Probably the nature of the malt.

The sweetness is almost over bearing. If it has a defect I would include this and “too cloying.”

It pours with a nice, bubbly head… nice and clear. A definite Amber.

If you’re looking for a true Bock; a lager, just driven into Imperial… be aware that this is more of a Barleywine than any of that. Did this need to be fermented more? Was the abv more important to the brewer than the style? If not, what he or she brewed missed their mark.

9.5 abv

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