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Beer Review #120 Heavy Seas Summer Ale

I have only reviewed one previous beer from Clipper City Brewing Company out of Baltimore, MD, and I enjoyed it a great deal. I live about an hour away from the brewery and I have had many of their beers that have not been reviewed on this site yet. One of my favorites is Loose Cannon which I think is an outstanding beer. Clipper City has a bit on an identity problem in my book since they label everything “Heavy Seas” but the fine print shows Clipper City. Even the major beer review sites are not sure what to call them.

From my understanding, Heavy Seas was originally supposed to be a line of their beers that were “big beers.” They were high in ABV, malt, and IBUs, but it seems that all of their beer are now labeled Heavy Seas. This includes their Summer Ale which is not particularity strong in any category. It comes in at a tiny 4.3% ABV.

This summer offering pours a nice golden color and is perfectly clear. There is a nice two finger white head to go along with the rest of the beer. The nose is pretty complex for such a simple looking beer. I didn’t get any hop notes, but there was a lot going on in the malt department. There was first a honey-like sweetness which is then followed by a grainy odor. Everything was very clean and pleasant smelling.

On the first taste I really liked how drinkable this beer was. It wasn’t strong in any particular area, but the whole beer was well balanced and perfectly suited for the summertime. As the nose hinted, there is a good light sweetness to the malt. A slight hop balance kicks in and cuts the sweetness. Once the two main components fade away you are left with a nice biscuit aftertaste. As I said before, this beer is wonderfully drinkable. I have enjoyed more than a few on this 90+ days here on the east coast. (more…)


Sam Adams Boston Ale Beer Review

09-28-04Sam Adams is one of the first craft brewers to really make a big success out of well made beers. Heck they are so successful that they even run TV ads, something that most, if not all other, craft brewers stay away from or don’t have the money to spend on. Sam does make some great brews with their largest success being the Boston Lager.

When I saw the Boston Ale in the six pack store last week I was a bit surprised, but I figured I would give it a shot and see how it was. It is part of their Brewmaster’s Collection and I have had good and not so good samples of that “line” of their beers. Anyway, the beer pours a light amber and appears to be slightly darker than the Boston Lager. By now you guessed that there are going to be a lot of comparisons to the Boston Lager right now and you would be correct in guessing that. There is a slightly off white head with large and small bubbles. The beer is perfectly clear.

09-28-02The smell on the nose is a bit more complex than what I was expecting. There is the malty sweetness, a bit of a rye smell (no idea where that came from), and some biscuit. I didn’t really pick up any hops or esters in it. I would expect some slight esters becasue of the ale yeast verses the lager yeast. Both can be done with or without esters however.

On my first taste I felt that the beer floated on the tongue and then crashed on the back of my pallet. There is some biscuit taste with some toasty flavors in there as well. The malt sweetness is mostly caramel and there is a bit of hop bitterness on the back. The malt and hop balance it tilted towards the malt side, but in a good way.

Boston Ale is a fully bodied beer that is extremely drinkable. I find that a lot of Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company) beers represent a style of beer that might to toned down just a bit, but are very drinkable and a decent example of the style they represent. For a newcomer to craft beer, their beers might open a door to a new style that they have not tried before. Boston Ale was just wonderful. I’ve actually gone back out and purchased two more six packs becasue I (and the wife) enjoy it so much. One of our later six packs must of been a bit older becasue it was a bit duller in taste and had some metallic undertones. I still really enjoyed to fresh version of this beer and I think most people would also enjoy it. (more…)