Sam Adams White Ale
This is the last stop in our journey through the Sam Adams Seasonals lineup. For the most part we love the Sam Adams Seasonals – they’re really good, sessionable beers that are generally more balanced than the heavy hitting Boston Lager that Sam Adams is hoppedly famous for.
The Sam Adams seasonal lineup goes like this, starting in the spring: Sam Adams White Ale, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sam Adams Octoberfest and Sam Adams Winter Lager. All Sam Adams beers are brewed by the Boston Beer Company, which makes lots of good craft beers – seemingly a new beer every few months now – that cover a broad range of styles, alcohol contents and price points.
For our review we used a British pint glass and got a starting beer temperature of 44 F. The White Ale weighs in with a 5.2% ABV and our traditional brown 12 oz bottle yielded a generous initial pour where we got a large 2 inch creamy white head that dissipated slowly and left virtually no head lacing. There was a lively amount of carbonation in the gold colored, hazy body of our delicious looking brew.
For the aromas we got honey, wheat, floral, orange, coriander, spices, light grapefruit and a light ginger. There’s enough spices in it that they muddle together a bit and make it hard to pull out the individual notes.
For the tastes we got wheat, floral, grapefruit, orange, clove, coriander, pepper, spices and a light ginger. Our initial flavor notes were a moderate sweet and very light bitter that evolve in the finish to a light sweet, light bitter and light tart. You’d expect a little bit more hop presence, but even at the end it’s a subdued bitterness that is very light by Sam Adams standards (I’ve heard Sam Adams has a wall of tongues at their headquarters that have fallen directly out of people’s mouths from bitter hop shock caused by some of their other brews).
The finish length is short to average, the mouthfeel is dry and the tongue hit is in the back. There was no body lacing to speak of as we gulped it down. On the malt to hop scale it comes in one click to the right of balanced on the hoppy side – slightly hoppy, but not in the danger zone.
For our bottom line notes we got a yes to drinkable, repeatable, balance and buy again. We got a no for harmony, memorable and wow factor.
Overall it’s good for the season – it would probably be better for slightly cooler temperatures – think a New England spring season more so than a Louisiana spring season. But as a seasonal it hits the mark. Beer temperature-wise, cold is good – probably around 45 to 50 F. We wouldn’t let it get up to or past 60 F, as it does hop up a little bit more as it warms. We don’t think that will be much of a problem though as it’s a good, drinkable, sessionable beer that you could easily have a few of, especially at a restaurant with a good meal. Our hat’s off to Sam Adams for their excellence of execution in their seasonal lineup.
2010 Update: The Sam Adams Noble Pils has now replaced the Sam Adams White Ale as the spring seasonal beer. The White Ale is now a part of their Brewmaster’s Collection.
Sam Adams White Ale Rating: 5 out of 10 (?)
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