I am really enjoying the Imperial Series from Samuel Adams. While some of their mainstay beers don’t quite do it for me, their forays into big time flavors and styles have been quite good. I sometimes get put off by huge alcohol contents because of their flavor, so I was a little wary of their Wee Heavy, but decided to pick it up and see if it could warm me up during the winter. It’s been sitting in my fridge for a while since I didn’t really know when I had the time to enjoy a 10% ABV beer, but the time came, so here it is.
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy,
Strong Scottish Ale, 10.0 % ABV
Aroma: Intense sweet malt aromas, hints of honey and roasted malt with whiskey scents.
Appearance: Dark brown, nice tan head of foam, pours thick, decent lacing.
Flavor: You can definitely taste the alcohol in this, but there is a nice caramel malt profile, very slight hop bitterness on the finish, some aspects of roasted grains.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, nice carbonation, alcohol astringency.
Overall: This is a very nice example of a strong scotch ale. Very nice malt complexity in both flavor and aromas. Not a session beer by any means but a good beer of intense flavor and high alcohol content.
Most people think of Massachusetts beer and instantly think of Sam Adams. I know I do. However, there are many other breweries there worthy of respect. I have actually never heard of Clown Shoes in my life. I was in the beer store the other day and just grabbed a bunch of random bottles and one of them happened to be this beer. I was intrigued by the fact that it was a black ale as I thought it would be a good winterish beer. So I present to you, the Lubrication Black Ale from Clown Shoes.
Aroma: Chocolate and coffee, hint of licorice when I first poured it, when you inhale after letting it sit a second you get deep roasty and earthy aromas. This beer smells GOOD.
Appearance: Pours thick and black, great head of foam forms, nice lacing.
Flavor: Coffee up front, malt (hint of dark chocolate) sweetness and then lingering roasted bittnerness on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, coats the mouth in a smooth/velvety way.
Overall: This is a solid black ale. As a Black IPA, it’s fantastic. The deep aroma and flavors are really nice up front and the hop bitterness balances well with the dark chocolate and coffee malts. A new winter favorite of mine, man is it good.
Before I dive into this post, let me just say a few things. Beer geeks/fan/snobs can be real jerks and are among the most pretentious people in the world. I include myself in that group, so I will admit to being snobby on occasion. I have my preferences, they influence the beer I taste and the beers that I review here. However, what I will not admit to ever doing is buying into the fad of viewing breweries as “overrated” simply because of their size. A bit of a feud has erupted in the beer community over what craft breweries are “overrated” and whether Samuel Adams is an overrated beer company. You can read a response by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head here, and you can read Jim Koch’s take here. My last post of Samuel Adams lager may have made it sound like I was one of the crowd that thought Samuel Adams is an overrated brewery. Let me just state for the record that I have tremendous respect for the Boston Beer Company and my views on their beer are not related to their size, just my preferences. Sure, I think Boston Beer has played it safer in terms of beer for a while, but they are delving back into different series and types of beer, and that’s great because a lot of them are really good. So before I review this beer, let me just say that although I may sound snobby, my views on Samuel Adams or any beer I drink are based only on style and my preferences, not on size, or what anyone on Beer Advocate thinks.
That said, here’s a review of another Boston Beer Brewmaster’s Collection staple, the Black Lager. I’ll say up front that I really enjoy this type of beer because of its malt character and I think it’s a perfect style for winter drinking.
Aroma: Some coffee malt scents with some sweet chocolate lingering.
Appearance: Nice head, thick pour, dark brown/black.
Flavor: Great balance of semi-sweet malt and subtle toasty coffee bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, very nice carbonation.
Overall: A pretty good dark lager. I was hoping for more aromatics but it has a nice balanced flavor and good mouthfeel. A very nice example of the style, quality beer here, great for cold weather.