Pacific Northwest - In the realm of inspired by beers, there are thousands. From the India Pale Ale to the Trappist Ale, all it took was one beer (or many different ones) before inspiration hit, before you are consuming what you hold in your hand. However, in the realm of Imperial ‘anything’, there only a few recognized styles.
For some, the Imperial India Pale Ale, will always been the defacto "extreme" beer, but there are also Imperial Stouts, Imperial Porters, and yes even Imperial Brown Ales. Samuel Adams (aka Boston Beer), elected to rather than just brew one Imperial type of brew, went with three, in the form of an Imperial Russian Stout, and Imperial Doppelbock and this one, the Imperial White.
Inspired not by a former Imperial Belgian (or Belgian-style) White Ale, but instead a Belgian-style Wit.
"Witbier, white beer, (French: la bière blanche), or simply witte is a barley/wheat, top-fermented beer brewed mainly in Belgium, although there are also examples in the Netherlands and elsewhere. It gets its name due to suspended yeast and wheat proteins which cause the beer to look hazy, or white, when cold. It is a descendant from those medieval beers which were not brewed with hops, but instead flavoured and preserved with a blend of spices and other plants referred to as "gruit". It therefore still uses gruit, although nowadays the gruit consists mainly of coriander, orange, bitter orange, and hops. The taste is therefore only slightly hoppy, and is very refreshing in summer. The beers have a somewhat sour taste due to the presence of lactic acid. The suspended yeast in the beer causes some continuing fermentation in the bottle." -source, Wikipedia.com
Pouring this beer from the 12 ounce bottle, produces a strong but off-white foamy head that recedes quickly leaving little lace, above the dark orange & opaque body.
While swirling this we start pondering what might work well with this beer, before taking in the bready aroma mixed with orange citrus before finishing with banana esters.
Sipping this beer we pick up a bready character, brought on by the yeast, which mixes with various indeterminate spices. We gather an overall theme of of dark raisin throughout. An overall alcohol burn plays into this, but is expected given the potency of this beer. As the beer coarses its way across the tongue a medium to strong weight is felt with residual cloying.
Should Try. This beer in our opinion works during the colder nights, as we get closer to Fall & Winter. The fact that there aren’t many breweries that make an Imperial Wit, it does make it challenging to declare it the demonstrative beer. Still it does make me ponder a spiced cigar or an order of pork chops with some cinnamon applesauce and a side salad of fetta and vinaigrette.
A new perspective on the classic witbier style.
Samuel Adams® Imperial White represents a new perspective on the classic witbier style. Witbiers are normally light and refreshing with a fruity finish. We wanted to see how these characteristics would stand up when we amped up the recipe and we were totally blown away by the flavors that were created in this beer.
This is not just a more intense version of Samuel Adams® White Ale. Samuel Adams Imperial White is a new recipe that stands on it own. In fact, it is more of a wine substitute than just another refreshing witbier. This is a beer that should be sipped and savored and you will be amazed at the flavors you’ll discover as the beer warms and opens up.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.