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Beer Review #285 Sam Adams Imperial Stout

04-16-03Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company) released their Imperial Series of beers when I was in college. I tried a few on draft at the time and liked most of them. I’m still not sold on the Double Bock but that’s a review for a different time. I finally got around to buying all four of them again for another round of tasting. In the past I have reviewed their Imperial White, and today I’m going to knock out their Imperial Stout.

Sam Adams Imperial Stout pours a black (real shocked /sarcasm) with a thin, tan head that quickly fades. This beer comes in at 9.2% so head retention is not to be expected. The nose is deeply roasty with a “dark sweetness.” You can tell it is a big, thick beer from the smell. There is a little heat along with a good helping of anise rising out of this one. Finally I got just a hint of some aged hop bitterness at the end.

On the first taste you get a good smash of caramel and toffee. It then moves to a bitter roasty flavor, like a really strong coffee that has been cooled down. The anise is in there as well along with just a bit of heat. I didn’t notice any hops when tasting that one as the roasty flavors took away any ability to taste hops.

This beer is chewy, thick, and wonderful. It is a really nice Imperial Stout. The balance is great and the flavor components match and compliment each other. This would be a great benchmark for what an Imperial Stout (non-hoppy of course) should be. This is a perfect sipper in my house. (more…)

Beer Review #188 Samuel Adams Imperial White

The Samuel Adams Imperial Series made a big splash when it came out a few years ago, but since then, I haven’t heard much about it. They recently redesigned the packaging and my local go-to beer store finally started carrying the new stuff. Boston Beer Company makes four beers in the series, all of which will be reviewed on this site in time (they are sitting in the fridge). Of the four beers in the series, I thought that the Imperial White would be the most interesting, since it seems to me to be a total conflict of the style.

This beer comes in at a solid 10% ABV and pours much like olive oil; thick and smooth. It hits the glass a nice burnt orange color and has a fair about of haze to it. There is a generous white head that didn’t seem to be significantly cut down by the high alcohol. Some heat immediately comes to the nose followed by some slight caramel sweetness. I also noticed a good helping of oranges with a slight citrus note. Finally there was some coriander, but not as much as I was expecting from this one.

Citrus and orange dominate the front of the beer with the coriander bringing up the rear. The middle was a bit empty. There is plenty of heat all the way through the ale. While this one looked thick on the pour, it doesn’t sit as heavy in the mouth thanks to plenty of carbonation. The overall taste really wasn’t bad, but the unrelenting heat was just too much for me to enjoy this beer fully. I understand this is an imperial beer, but that doesn’t mean that alcohol should be a dominate flavor. If you haven’t tried this one yet and you want to try something different, you might want to look at this beer. (more…)

Goodbye PBW

09-03-16-011Sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy Philly Beer Week this year as I did last year. My spring break fell during the start and midterms happened when I got back. It kind of sucked, but that’s ok. It looks like it was a smashing success this year. There were over 600 events held all over the area. Philly really is a great beer city, there are so many ale houses and mircobreweries it is kind of scary.

Fox was able to capture some great footage and interviews from the event. You can see all of the videos here. I think one of my favorites is when Jim Koch stops in to promote Sam Adam’s new beers (the Imperial Series). The reason I like it is becasue the guy gets so excited when he is talking about the stuff. It’s not an act either, but if he is give him an Oscar. He really enjoys what he is doing and has helped bring about a fundamential industry change. Philly Beer Week will be eluding me for the next few years as I move around doing what I have to, to get a job and provide for the future wife.