381. Boston Beer Co. / Sam Adams – Winter Lager

Samuel Adams Winter LagerWe were at TGIFriday’s for dinner and I wanted a beer.  The selection of craft beers wasn’t exactly great, so I thought I’d take my chances with the Sam Adams seasonal.

Location: Enjoyed a pint glass, at Fat Jack’s in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 5.6% ABV, 25 SRM, 14.3° Plato OG, 22 IBUs, 193 Calories

Ingredients: Malt: Two-row Harrington, Metcalf, and Copeland pale malts, Caramel 60, malted wheat, Weyermann Carafa Malt, and Munich 10; Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops; Adjuncts: Orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon; Samuel Adams lager yeast

Appearance & Aroma: It was rusty brown, slightly red in color and very clear.  There seemed to be quite a bit of carbonation in it, but almost no head or head retention.  There was a cinnamon and sweet caramel aroma to it.

Taste & Feel: The body was very light and the mouthfeel, crisp from all the carbonation in it.  The flavors up front were lightly sweet and caramelly.  In the middle, the cinnamon and spices kicked in along with slightly more caramel malt sweetness.  The finish was crisp, and the cinnamon flavors lingered a bit in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This went well with my southwestern chicken salad, as it was light and crisp like the meal, but the spices and light maltiness brought a different level of complexity to the meal.  I think this would also pair nicely with other lighter holiday foods, such as turkey and stuffing.

Overall Impression: As I suspected from Sam Adams, the beer was light and drinkable with a decent dose of flavor.  The lightness and crispness of this beer definitely pushed the cinnamon and other spices to the front, making them stand out a bit more than I expected.  There wasn’t the warming sensation on the end, as I usually hope for with winter spice beers like this one.  Overall, it wasn’t bad, but it’s also not one I’ll likely reach for in lieu of something else.

My Rating: ★★½☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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