Review: Sam Adams Longshot

on 25/04/11 at 11:01 am

Beer

The Sam Adams Longshot variety six-pack has become my favorite annual release from the Boston Beer Co., because you never know what you’re going to get. The three Longshot beers (there are two of each) are made from recipes submitted to Sam Adams’ homebrewing contests, which usually result in nice surprises.

The best beer in this year’s Longshot pack is Blackened Hops. An American black ale (or black IPA) to rival Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, this is one robust beer — at once intensely malty and intensely hoppy. It pours pitch black with a big frothy head that looks like it belongs on a root beer float. The nose and taste are full of roasted coffee notes and citrusy hops. ABV: 7 percent.

Friar Hop Ale is a unique twist on the Belgian IPA style. Copper colored with two fingers of head, Friar Hop is well carbonated, with lots of bubbles rising to the surface. The aroma is bananas, clove, and Belgian yeast — all typical of the style — but the taste is deeper and maltier, perhaps with more caramel character, than, say, a Houblon Chouffee or Piraat. With strong grapefruit notes, this is also quite a bitter beer. ABV: 9 percent.

There is, however, one dud in this year’s Longshot pack. And it is a strange beer indeed. Called Honey B’s Lavender Wheat, it has almost no aroma, yet it tastes like a light beer that’s had an air freshener soaking in it. Which makes sense, because the beer was brewed with dried lavender petals. ABV: 5.5 percent.

Hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

SOURCE: 99 Bottles

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