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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Beers of Summer - Sam Adams Boston Lager

For Independence Day, I can think of no better beer to review than Sam Adams Boston Lager*. What says independence more than a beer with a brewer, patriot on the label?

To begin, let's clarify something: there is no such style as a "Boston lager," This is part of Sam Adams' genius. By minting their own style, Boston Lager has now become its own thing. Perhaps this is how Newcastle Brown started. In any case, I guess you could call it accurate: the beer in question is brewed in Boston (or was, originally) and it's a lager. Perhaps due to its enigmatic designation, it has grown to be one of the best-selling craft beers on the market, and deservedly so.

Tasting Notes
In the glass, Boston Lager looks quite a lot like a scotch. Not so much when you pour it out--then it's a rich amber with a vigorous bead. But if you, as I did, accidentally leave an inch in your glass until the head and fizz have passed and the beer has become still, you could easily mistake it for Cragganmore. (Or is it Oban I'm thinking of? Nevermind.)

The beer is crisp and dry to my palate. The hops--classic German noble varieties--are present but not forward, as in a pilsner. But, neither do they hang back as in a helles. The malting is clean and smooth, with just a hint of biscuit. Throughout a single sip, I find the beer dry--from the first notes, through the clean malt middle, and to the aromatic hoppy finish. It is the rare beer that pleases on a hot summer day as well as a cool autumn day (in fact, I think the style in which it has the most in common is Octoberfest), but Boston Lager does.

I rarely choose to buy a lager when any kind of ale is available, but Sam is an exception.

Statistics
Hops: Mittelfruh and Tettnang.
Malts: Two-row pale and caramel
Alcohol by Volume: 4.9%
Original Gravity: 13 degrees Plato
Bitterness Units: unkown.
Available: Everywhere.

Rating
A classic.
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*Yes, it is true that I write this on the 6th of July, but I intended to write it on the fourth.

4 comments:

Lynne said...

Agreed.
I use to drink Sam Adams all the time when I lived in Boston and surrounding areas but haven't had it out West. I think I will pick me up some soon.
Thanks

Jeff Alworth said...

I married into a Boston family, and am happy that at least one New England beer is available here. Now, if only I could get Harpoon IPA!

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Ah, but there are SO MANY other excellent IPAs in the Pacific NW to choose from.

Kari Chisholm said...

I don't understand. What's this got to do with the Portland City Council?

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