Extreme Beer Tasting

Samuel Adams: Winter Lager

I’m a fan of the original Samuel Adams beer. It’s got a dark, rich flavor. This seasonal beer is difficult to describe. [sip] It’s got some extra flavor to it, but it’s hard to pinpoint what the flavor is. [sip] I don’t really like it. Written on the paper wrapped around the neck of the bottle, it says: “For centuries, brewers have crafted special beers to celebrate winter. In this tradition, we brew our Samuel Adams Winter Lager to share with friends. This rich and hearty lager is one of the finer pleasures of a winter evening. Cheers!” Then it’s signed ‘Jim Koch’, who I presume to be the president or CEO of The Boston Beer Company. Or, hopefully, maybe he’s the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Samuel Adams person. Who knows.

What was Samuel Adams famous for? It says here that he was not only a brewer but a patriot as well. I remember seeing his statue in Boston around government center. After a friend read the plaque at the base, “Samuel Adams blah blah blah”, I remember asking, “Samuel Adams? The beer guy?” At 19, I was an idiot. But even now, I can’t recall what he’s in the history books for. Paul Revere told us that the British were on their way, John Hancock is that guy with really big handwriting, Washington can’t lie and Franklin got electrocuted. Even now, I bet if you went to a history book and looked up “Adams, Samuel” in the index, you’d find “See: Beer”.

Hey, I think they should make a beer for all our forefathers. George Washington Ale, Thomas Jefferson Hefewiezen, Andrew Jackson Porter... You can get shit-faced and be patriotic at the same time.

Getting back to the beer at hand…The box is a icy-pale blue color making you feel all chilly like those mint gum commercials. It makes you wonder if, after you take the first sip, you’ll exhale and see icy cool breath hovering in the air. All the snowflakes on the box and label aid in this expectation.

Unlike the Pete’s Winter Ale, which sports a crass cartoon character in the midst of jumping off a ski lift and performing a split in mid-air, the friendly man (Samuel Adams?) in olde tyme clothing on this label is raising his tankard in cheer and provokes a feeling of goode will. It makes you want to sit in plush leather chairs around a crackling fire in a book-lined parlor with your colleagues, remarking on what a good dinner you just had. Pete’s Winter Ale makes you want to get wasted, party and then pass out in a pile of your own vomit.

On the bottom of the box, which seems to be the new place to hide interesting information [pinky to mouth], there are five pictures of the five different beers that Samuel Adams brews (excluding the Winter Lager). There’s the classic ‘Boston Lager’, the relatively new ‘Sam Adams Light’ (using his nickname to make this light beer appear friendlier) and three seasonal beers: White Ale, Summer Ale and Octoberfest.

If you would like to visit the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, call 1-888-661-2337 for tour times and information. And don’t forget to “savor the flavor responsibly”.

EBT Rating: * * * * - - - - - -

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