Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Samuel Adams Winter Classics review

Samuel Adams Winter ClassicsSometimes the best things come in bunches. In this case, it came in a 12-pack. This article is a continuation of a review of the Sam Adam's Winter Classics. This 12-pack had six different brews, and 2 of each style. While I won't give a full review to each brew, I'll give a short summary of 5 of the 6 different brews that were included. The 6th brew, Samuel Adam's Cream Stout, was reviewed earlier and a link to that review can be found at the end of this post.

Sam Adam's Winter Classics

Samuel Adams Holiday PorterThe second beer in the sampler was the Samuel Adams Holiday Porter. This is a rich, malty brew with a fair amount of hoppiness to it. I love porters and this one is on my personal buy again list. As you can see from the pic, the beer pours dark with a nice rich foam that stuck around for quite a while. It had the aroma of light roast and chocolate malts. The hop aroma had a slightly floral character. This brew was made with some flaked oats and that gave it an extra smooth taste. I'm already a fan of dark beer and I enjoyed drinking both of these bottles from the 12-pack. I'll give it a 3.8 out of 5 rating. I almost need to go back and drink more of this beer again to give it a detailed review, but if you love porters like I do, you'll want to get some of this.

The next brew I sampled was a lambic. A lambic is a fruity beer and originally got it's origins in Belgium. It's a beer that was exposed to wild yeasts and had a unique flavor as a result. This particular beer, the Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic, was flavored with cranberries and had a hint of bananas, cloves and nutmeg in both the taste and aroma. I've tried other lambics, but this one left me wondering if I'll want to ever repeat this style again.

I love to drink cranberry juice and know that cranberries are somewhat tart and somewhat unsweet to begin with, so I at least knew what to expect. This beer started out with a great taste, but seconds after swallowing the beer I found it to have a "nasty" after taste come through that really ruined the whole experience. If it wasn't for the after taste of this beer I would have endorsed it more highly, but I could not even finish this beer. Even food did not help this one. Sorry Sam Adams, but you can't make all beers taste good. This one I'll give a rating of 2.3 out of 5. I won't be drinking this one again soon.

Samuel Adams Boston LagerThe next beer in the sampler was an old staple, the Sam Adam's Boston Lager. This brew was more of a classic style of American Lager and poured with a nice big head which complimented it's dark golden (near amber) color. Not sure why this was necessary to include with a Winter seasonal pack, but I suppose they wanted to put in at least one standard brew in the mix. Boston Lager is a good session beer that would go well with just about any food. I loved the aroma from the German Noble hops in this beer. It's a beer that Boston Beer Company is known for and I tip my hat to them for it. As a Rockies fan, it's hard to love anything with the word "Boston" in it due to their World Series meeting, but I admit I like it and would drink it again. I'll give it a 3.2 out of 5 on my ratings chart. It's a lower rating for a good beer, mostly because I tend to favor the maltier beers.

The fifth beer in the series is the Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale. This beer is clearly a classic winter spice beer. The brew has hints of orange, cinnamon and ginger in it. It's a nice brew to curl up to on a cold day with. I drink my beer at "basement room temperature", not cold enough to send shivers down your spine and not warm enough to want it chilled more, but at around 55 degrees. This is a fine sipping beer. I wouldn't want to drink a lot of it, but would welcome it at parties or special occasions when I want to drink something different. It didn't pour with much of a head to it but that didn't matter much. I drank 2 of these over the course of a week and enjoyed it with a nice light snack. I'll give it a 3.3 out of 5 rating just for it's uniqueness.

The last beer in the winter classic sampler was the Samuel Adams Winter Lager. This one reminded me a lot of the Old Fezziwig, but with a slightly less dark color. It too had the scent of cinnamon and ginger but with a richer, maltier taste. It poured with a much better head to it and was very smooth tasting. It's definitely a beer for cold winter days, not a light summery drink by any means. It's one that I'd enjoy again as I quickly finished this one off. Sam Adams proved once again that they know how to make good holiday brews. I'll give this a 3.4 out of 5 rating.

So that's my review of the Sam Adam's Winter Classics. I'd recommend all but the Cranberry beer unless lambics are your thing. Perhaps in their next mix of Winter brews they can substitute the cranberries with another sweeter fruit with a better finish to it, but otherwise, the 12-pack was well worth the purchase.

Read on: The sinfully delicious list of Colorado winter seasonals.

Related articles:
- Samuel Adams Cream Stout review. (6th brew in the Winter 12 Pack)
- Samuel Adams Honey Porter review.
- Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock review.
- Samuel Admas Imperial Stout review (Imperial Series).
- Samuel Adams Imperial White review (Imperial Series).

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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