Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tasting Notes: 2008 Longshot Beers

Brewery: Boston Beer Company
Date Poured: March 2008

Some notes from last month on the Sam Adams 2009 Longshot beers. More on the Longshot homebrew contest can be found here.

(The Longshot box usually contains 2 bottles of each winning beer. However, one of the winners this year was a Double IPA and Boston Beer was unable to secure the hops during this year's shortage. So one of the winning beers was postponed and 3 bottles of each of the following beer was included.)

First up is a weizenbock brewed by Rodney Kibzey of Chicago.

It's a murky opaque mahogany with a dense and creamy brown head that leaves sheeting lace behind. Sweet strong aroma of ripe banana and cloves, rich maltiness and just a hint of lemon in the nose.

Tastes of rich malt, banana estery flavors, lemony and spicy, especially clove and pepper. Rounded body and not nearly as full and sticky as I expected. Fairly clean finish for a weizenbock but a light sticky malt finish and aftertaste lets you know the beer was there.

Really, really good beer. It's got to be right up there behind Aventinus as the second best weizenbock I've tasted and there's certainly no shame in finishing second to that beer.

The next beer is called a Grape Pale Ale by the winning brewer Lily Hess. As the name implies, it's a pale ale brewed with grapes.

Pours a pale orangey copper with a frothy ivory head. Smell is quite sweet and grapey with the faint aroma of pale malt.

I was expecting this ale to be sweet in my mouth but it's actually quite dry with just a touch of sweetness in the finish. It's crisp and light, subtle and bright.

I wasn't expecting much from the grape ale as I don't like fruit in my beer as a rule. However it was surprisingly tasty and refreshing. I won't put it on par with the excellent weizenbock but it was no slouch either.

Boston Beer Company

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