Day #11 – Samuel Adams White Ale

January 12, 2011

Got Netflix?  It occurred to me that I may want to start providing some additional resources; a little outside reading…or in this case, viewing.  There is a pretty informative documentary on Netflix right now that I have enjoyed watching.  Everyone loves a documentary right?   Well since you can’t answer me as you are reading this, I’m going to imagine a resounding YES! coming from you.  The documentary is called Beer Wars and is a view from “the little guy” in the beer industry.  There is an enormous inequity between the craft beer scene today and that of Big Beer.  If you’ve got an hour to spare and care to learn a bit more about the beer industry as it stands today, check it out.  It’s actually pretty entertaining!  In fact, I think I’ll watch it after I finish this beer.

I wanted to warn you to prepare yourself for an influx of Samuel Adams reviews.  I use the bottles for my homebrewing and I have 2 batches to bottle this weekend, so I picked up a 12-pack that has several different styles included.  More reviews!!

Samuel Adams White Ale

The style of this beer is considered to be a Belgian White, also called a Witbier.  This style is related to the beer I reviewed yesterday, but this is a wheat ale from Belgium.  Most of these beers are actually brewed with herbs and spices; often times coriander and orange citrus.  The big difference is the addition of Belgian yeast, which has an entirely different yeast profile.  Keep in mind when brewers started brewing oh so long ago, they used what ingredients were available to them.  This also included the wild yeast that was in the air and unique to the region.  This developed several unique styles, and the use of regional ingredients/yeast are still employed today to keep with traditional correct flavors.

A witbier should be served in a Tumbler or a Weizen glass.  I have selected a glass made specifically for this beer.

This beer pours a clear, light orange color with a very tall head response.  If you recall from my previous post, the clarity means the beer has been filtered.  Most witbiers that come from Belgium usually have a cloudy appearance, so this is a bit off style.  No worries though; we’re just reviewing on what we see.  Also if you have noticed in my pictures, I always strive to have a fairly decent sized head.  Don’t forget, this is a good thing as it releases aroma notes as well as some latent flavors.  Shoot for about a two-finger sized head and you’ll be golden.

The aroma is fresh and spicy.  Coriander is definitely present in this, as well as a big grain/wheaty feel and orange peel.  The aroma is right on style and is quite inviting.

The flavor is dry, as often wheat beers tend to be, with a grainy body and lots of fruit.  Orange sticks out in the flavor as well as the finish, and you are left with lingering tones of wheat and citrus.  The spice notes also are present more towards the start of the drink, and give the beer some complexity and make it interesting.

The beer rings in at 5.4% and is Sam Adams’ Spring seasonal.  It can be found practically anywhere that sells craft beer.



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