Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sampling the Sam Adams Brewmaster's Collection

Two days ago I bought a twelve pack of the Samuel Adams "Brewmaster's Collection", in which you get a couple of bottles of the flagship Boston Lager, along with two each of five specialty brews (this collection is obviously a seasonal one, consisting entirely of dark, full-bodied brews thought especially suitable for cold weather consumption). Today I tried one of each of the five heavyweights, with these results:

Honey Porter: Typical rich porter flavor, with, as advertised, a hint of honey. This had spent several hours in the fridge, and might have been better served just slightly chilled.

Black Lager: Rich but bland; might also have benefited from less refrigeration.

Scotch Ale: According to the label, this is made with peat-roasted barley like that used to make Scotch Whisky. The smoky flavor comes through, but the hops are a bit strident.

Irish Red: Great hop/barley balance; a well-crafted ale.

Brown Ale: Fascinating counterplay of caramel and citrus. My favorite of the lot.