The Longshot’s are In

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One of the annual rites of GABF is the announcement of the Sam Adams Longshot winners. This year the chosen (2) homebrewers and (1) Sam Adams employee who will see their beers brewed on a super larger scale are:

David Cousino of Avon, OH, Saison – “Cousino began homebrewing 25 years ago in college and after a long break started brewing in earnest four years ago. He is a pharmacist and now the attention to detail in his profession shows in his homebrews. Koch says Cousino’s Saison has a soft malt character, delicate floral notes and a hint of pepper.”

Duane Wilson of Horseheads, NY, American Wild Ale – “Wilson and his co-brewer Mike Edwards have been brewing together for eight years and strive to improve on the styles they create. Wilson’s mixed-fermentation American wild ale is fruit forward with apricots and kumquats and finishes with a dry tartness.”

Graham Johnson of Marblehead, MA, Imperial Stout – “Johnson is the Samuel Adams employee home brew winner. The company opened up the competition to its employees because they are so passionate about beer and many of them brew at home. Johnson’s Imperial Stout uses whole coffee beans and chocolate and has decadent flavors of cocoa, espresso and hints of brandy and raisin. The taste finishes with touch of sweetness.”

It will be quite the task for a Wild Ale to be added to a mixed pack.

Now the waiting begins, the six-pack won’t arrive until spring of next year.

Taste Showdown Nitro IPA vs Nitro Wit from Sam Adams

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Sam Adams and their Nitro Project has finally started to show up in L.A. (though BevMo seems to hide it strategically through their Burbank store).

I purchased four packs of both the IPA and a White Ale to see which would win taste-wise and which best showcased the Nitrogenation process.

I started with the Creamy & Smooth White Ale.  The sound of the can popping is like starting up an engine.  The head is big and creamy.  There is near milkshake quality to this.  Almost like a horchata shake.  Pie spice nutmeg-gy ness.  It seems to me that the essential subtle shades of Wit Bier (AKA White Ale) are overwhelmed by the creamy nitro.  As it warms, the navel orange notes really start to pick up which adds a missing dimension.

Next on to the Bright & Citrusy,  the hops certainly do combat the nitro more.  There is a pungent, piney hop kick to this beer that seeps through the foamy head.  Lots of wood notes to this hop blend.  As it stays cold the nitro half stays in effect.  I sampled the beer straight from the ‘fridge and also after sitting at room temp and found it to initially be more citrus focused before settling into the woods.

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Overall, I would take the White Ale since it held a little more nuance.  The IPA fought through the Nitro and unleveled that playing field too much.  Now I might have to try the third offering, the coffee stout/

Time to Vote

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Have you ever wanted to determine the outcome of what gets brewed and what doesn’t?  Well, Sam Adams is letting the world choose from 16 different beers.  Place your vote for your top 4 and then come later this summer the top four will be voted on at festivals and at the Sam Adams brewery. Two will win and be back in rotation in a variety pack come next year.

You have until the 25th to raise your voice.

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The Next Longshot

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Each year at the Great American Beer Festival, the new winners of the Sam Adams Longshot competition are unveiled. Below are the three beers that we will see and taste in 2015.

Greg Rasmussen’s Robust Porter: “This traditional robust porter is full of complex malt flavors. The variety of malts in this beer contribute flavors of cocoa, coffee, toffee, and slight vanilla to create a wonderful roasted yet balanced beer. This gorgeous mahogany porter has a roasty and chocolate aroma. The beer is complemented by slight citrus and earthy notes from the US and UK hops.”

Matthew Knott’s Classic Rauchbier: “This deep copper colored Rauchbier has all of the flavors you would expect in this traditional style: smoky, slightly savory with a malty sweetness and roastiness. The smoky flavors are balanced by a light toffee malt character and slight citrus from the hops. The brew finishes with a lingering smokiness, sweetness and subtle hop character.

John Marra’s Dunkelweiss: This beer is brewed with a traditional Bavarian yeast that contributes to the variety of aromas and flavors. The aroma is characterized with notes of tropical fruits and clove. The malted wheat contributes a bright clean cereal note, which complements the spicy flavors of clove, nutmeg, banana and a slight sweetness.”

The Dunkelweiss is the one of the three that I am most looking forward to but kudos for selecting a Rauchbier.

Review – Longshot 2013

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Three reviews in One!   from the Sam Adams / Boston Beer Co.  Here are my thoughts from the latest Longshot…..
Beerflower Wheat
Pours a medium orange color. Has a spicy and herbal taste. Somewhat reminiscent of Dr. Pepper. The hibiscus is tame here which is good because it can take over a beer. Not bad but two of three of this year’s longshots remind me more of soda than beer.
Strawberry Lager
Pop the cap and a blast of strawberry hits the air. It has a big strawberry taste that is pretty close to jolly rancher / candy flavor. It pours a medium yellow color and has a nice fizz to it. Just to sweeet to me and not much else there.
Magnificent 7 IPA
Probably the most disappointing of the group.  Pours a golden orange color.  Aroma is fine, just doesn’t knock my socks off.  Too much caramel here for my taste.  The hop bitterness is good but this group of 7 don’t coalesce on my palate.
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Review – New Albion Ale

Sam Adams has gone back in the way back machine and re-created with the help and permission of the original New Albion and the groundbreaking brewer Jack McAuliffe, a fresh batch of beer not seen for many years. With the old label design and everything!

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Here is what the PR people say about this ale, “Jack McAuliffe’s pioneering spirit paved the way for the American craft beer revolution. We’re rereleasing his original Pale Ale, with its distinct American hop character for the first time in 30 years in honor of Jack and his contributions to craft brewing. Cheers!”

Here is my review:

This is more lager-esque than pale ale. But it has a nice citric sweetness going on and a nice bit of hop bitterness on top a light malt base. If you can picture yourself pre craft beer, this would be a huge step away from the industrial water lagers.  But it is a huge step from here to Sierra Nevada pale ale.  But that is what makes this beer important.  It really puts things in perspective.  Maybe next someone will re-create a beer from the old Cartwright brewery.

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Xmas 2012 Sam Adams / Merry Mischief

One of the joys of winter warmers are the spices. Ginger, cinnamon and the like that just have a wonderful aroma and add backbone to a beer. Here is one such beer from Sam Adams….

“This rich dark gingerbread stout entices with the aromas of the holidays, hinting at the merriment and spices within. The flavor of gingerbread comes alive beginning with the smooth sweetness and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat. But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief.”

Utopias

Continuing with Sam Adams day, here is the information on this year’s Utopias which is the 10th anniversary edition.

“The 2012 batch of Samuel Adams Utopias has its entire lineage in it, some of the beer has been aged in a variety of wood barrels for 19 years. This long aging process and variety of spirit barrels enhances the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes, and its high alcohol content creates a heated aroma of ginger and cinnamon. As a result, this big brew invokes the flavors of a rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while feeling surprisingly light on the palate. The brew has sweet flavors of honey, toffee, caramel, cocoa and vanilla, balanced by distinct notes of molasses, raisins, plums and berries.”

You can see a video detailing more information right HERE

Longshot 2013


Of the many regrets of GABF 2012 was missing the Sam Adams brunch which featured the new crop of LongShot winners. There is only one of me and I had put off a visit to New Belgium for too long. So here is a late but informative look at the new batch of LongShotter’s.

About the winners:
James Schirmer’s Beerflower Wheat is an ideal balance of smooth, sweet malt flavors with an exotic kick of citrus and herbal notes. Brewed with hot summer weather and fun gatherings in mind, this American wheat beer pours a dark amber color, and imparts a light floral and sweet aroma with the delicate flavors of hibiscus. Beerflower Wheat is a medium bodied brew that finishes crisp and refreshing on the palate.

Zack Adams ’ Magnificent Seven is a showcase of seven American hop varieties that impart a big piney and lingering resinous flavor. A true Imperial American IPA, this brew pours a rich bronze color. The slightly sweet malt character is pleasantly balanced by a pronounced hop bitterness with grapefruit, pine and earthy notes from the American hops. This medium-bodied IPA also delivers caramel, citrus, lemon and piney aromas.

Dave Anderson ’s Strawberry Lager is a bright and fresh wheat beer, with a strong strawberry character balanced with toffee and citrus notes – the brewer’s vision of the perfect summertime beer to enjoy after a round of golf on a hot day. Brewed with fresh strawberries, this beer pours a bright golden color and imparts a malty sweetness with hints of lemon and earthiness. Strawberry Lager finishes with a wonderful intensive strawberry flavor without being overwhelming and leaves a lingering creamy sweetness on the palate. Dave has worked as a member of the Samuel Adams Packaging Operations team since 2007.