Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Ale

Thanks to Nick Danzy for giving me this beer the other night. I haven't really had the opportunity/or the interest to try Samuel Adams, partly due to their dominance, but also because their shelf frequency and variety. Nevertheless, I will attempt to seek out those that seem peculiar. Tasted following a homemade Chinese dinner.

Appearance: Light golden color with a bit of chill haze. The head is white and fluffy initially. It settles into a thick entire film across the top of the beer. Carbonation looks to be high, where it expels itself anywhere there may be a notch or scratch in the side of the glass, producing a uniformed trail of bubbles. Lacing is poor, as it simple sinks with wet consistency back into the beer
Aroma: Wheat and under fermented, premalted grains. A mild biscuit backbone covers the forefront of the beers sweet bill. It then gives way into a bready and citrus base. Cinnamon and clove appear in the middle, while it finishes with the so called "grains of paradise." Some coriander is apparent.
Taste: Bready in the initial taste. Really lacks a basic malt profile, but still maintains a residual sweetness that is characteristically lemon and woodsy. Wheat undertones appear in the midtaste while again clove and the breadiness of "grains of paradise" reside in the end. The finish is drying a full of wood tannin. Reminds me of cardamon and with a peppery flavor. Dry and wheaty, yet some yeast pungency is present among the initial bready and wheat malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation takes a background in this beer, while it still helps to maintain the persistent crispness of the beer. Light to medium body with a bit of stickiness, but a more dominant tannined dryness in the finish, more than likely from the addition of spices.
Overall Impression: Not the usual wheat. Though I am very well un-acquainted with Samuel Adams, I couldn't be more impressed with the manner by which they go about producing interesting, out-of-the-ordinary beers like this one. It maintains a very subtle spiciness that may go unnoticed by the average beer drinker, but to the more advanced, it holds a unique and invigorating flavor.


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