Monday, December 6, 2010

Beereview: Sam Adam's Winter Classics Part 1 of 3

Helloooooo December!

December is my favorite month out of the year. Everyone is generally in a good mood. Work takes a chill strip (stick in your mouth, dissolve on your tongue, chill) a little bit. The decorations are everywhere. Tran-Siberian Orchestra comes to town (rock!). Liquor companies give away free stuff with their bottles of liquor. Don't forget... CHRISTMAS!

I absolutely love Christmas. I'm not a religious man myself, however I still strongly partake in the holiday. I used to "fall asleep" around 9 or 10 o'clock so Santa could have time to put the gifts out. My wonderful (and patient) parents would then deal with me jumping out of bed, sometimes as early as 1am and rip open gifts and proceed to play until late that night (at least I put the coffee on for them). This holiday binging was compounded by the fact that we would always leave to visit family the next day, so I'd have to pick whatever entertainment I could and bring it North with me. Then in high school I discovered Nyquil which would knock me out till around 6. Sadly, I got older... but nothing a few elephant tranquilizers wouldn't fix.

There's really nothing wrong about Christmas (except the impact on your wallet). Well, if you're a kid who's born on Christmas, then there's plenty wrong. To celebrate the count down to Christmas I'll be doing Beereviews the following weeks up to Christmas (and maybe drop a little surprise). I picked up a Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack, which come with 6 different varieties of beer. I'll review 2 a week for the next 3 weeks (including this one), which will hopefully tide you over till the big day. It's what little I can do. Woohoo! Beer me! Lets get started!!!

Boston Lager
I guess good ol' Sam can't sell a box without putting his flagship in it. We start off this Beereview holiday extravaganza with Sam Adam's Boston Lager. Probably the one beer the general public thinks about when they hear about "craft beer." Now I don't have their fancy glass with the laser etching and such, but I do have a pint glass. Clean and room temperature. Rock.

Popping the top (not screw top, thank you Sam) leads to a waft of hoppy aroma. Really nice and crisp, just like when you first get them from the homebrew store. The beer pours a beautiful golden amber, and has a nice off-white head. Good head retention as well. As I blog the head still remains at about a half inch thick. Looks just like they present in the commercial actually. Wouldn't that be a concept, if they actually used their own beer to make the advertisement. Again a strong waft of hops tickles your nose, and those hops do smell freshly bine (not vine) picked.

A strong swig tastes, wow, surprisingly hoppy. The lager is crisp and clean. Really not a lot of malt flavor. This beer brings hops out on a silver platter dancing and singing like the California Raisins (remember them?). The hops presented are strong enough that you might almost describe it as chewy. Smooth and refreshing. I don't know if I'd consider it a lawn-mower lager, but a pretty quality brew.

(I just handed the pint off to my wife so I can continue to the next pint. She said "Mmmm, this beer makes me hoppy!" Buh dum pishhh... You don't think I make all these corny jokes up myself do you? I have input")

NEXT!! Sam Adam's Winter Ale. As described on the neck label, this is an American version of a Belgian wheat ale, brewed with different spices to create it's unique taste. Pop that top. First sniff has a interesting smell, not necessarily of hops, but maybe a more malty beer, with a good hop balance. The beer pours a cloudy golden color, with only a little head retention. What head is present however is thin and white. Still aroma shows a sweeter smell, hops not very noticeable. Cheers! You definitely can taste the wheaty-ness of the beer. The wheat flavor isn't overpowering, and, call me crazy, but I think there might be some mint in there. It does leave an interesting tingle on your tongue. This is a decent beer. Really nothing unique about it, but a good brew of the style. Not so sure if I'd consider it a "winter" beer, but ok, I'll drink it year round.

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