Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Samuel Adams Traditional Ginger Honey Ale

The 2nd beer I've tried from the Brewer Patriot Collection is the Traditional Ginger Honey Ale which is brewed with ginger puree, lemon peel and wildflower honey and coming in at 5.5% abv. Let's see how this fares.

My second brew from the Brewer Patriot Collection, this one pours into my tulip glass a somewhat hazy yellow orange with a half inch of bright white head on top. Aromas are quite intriguing with a pale grainy background. Big sweet honey comes across married with a hint of light citrus and a spicy ginger. It's quite herbal and floral, even slightly medicinal.

First sip brings a light, crisp maltiness with a big citric, lemon zest rush. Floral honey sweetness moves in along with an herbal, slightly spicy ginger flavor on the way down. Finishes with a lingering lemony graininess. It does come off a little medicinal again in the flavor, reminds me of a cough drop a bit.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with fast moving carbonation. Leaves a bit of a lingering herbal/spicy aftertaste. Another interesting brew, but this one just didn't really do it for me at all. Guess it just makes me more thankful for the beer selection we have today!

Overall I gave this brew a 3.25 out of 5.

Check out Samuel Adams on the internet at

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Samuel Adams James Madison Dark Wheat Ale

This brew comes in a special Brewer Patriot Collection 4 pack from Samuel Adams that retails around $9.99. The other brews featured are Traditional Ginger Honey Ale, George Washington Porter and 1790 Root Beer Brew. They are all based on historical, traditional recipies many of which the Founding Fathers used to brew. I think it's really cool that Samuel Adams decided to recreate these beers so that we could get a little taste of what beer in the past might have been like. I started out with the James Madison Dark Wheat Ale:

Had to pick up this 4 pack when I saw it and try these for myself. The James Madison Dark Wheat Ale pours into my glass a quite cloudy dark brown with a half inch of off white head. Aromas begin with toasted wheat and grains. Hints of brown sugar, cocoa and an overall roasty aroma with a touch of spiciness. Laid back and enjoyable.

First sip brings a sweet roasted cream of wheat with some brown sugar and cocoa in the mix. A bit of fruitiness comes through as well. Touch of toasted oak on the way down with a subtle smokiness. Finishes with a slightly dry, sour graininess.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of creaminess from the tightly bubbled carbonation that races across. An easy to drink brew and a tasty wheat ale. I can't say I'd actively seek this out but I'm glad to have tried it and could have a few in a sitting without a problem. Cheers to Sam Adams for recreating these four brews and giving beer lovers a little taste of the past!

Overall I gave this one a 3.85 out of 5.

Check out Samuel Adams on the web at

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lakefront Beer Line

Lakefront Brewery is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and produces a wide range of beers including, just to name a few, an amber, bock, cream ale, ESB(organic at that), pumpkin lager, the wonderful Holiday Spice. Today I'm sampling their take on a barleywine, one of my personal favorite styles. Came across this in a local Binny's, we usually get the full line of Lakefront stuff but this is the first time I've seen this one. Cute little 6.3oz single bottle for $2.49.

Beer Line produly declars it is certified organic ale on the bottle. No freshness dating that I can see, but it does state it's best when aged a year. Pours into my snifter with a nice copper orange hue and only a small ring of white bubbles around the top. Some suspended particles are there when I hold it up to the light. Aromas of sweet malt accentuated by caramel, fruit, raisins, toffee and yeast. Not too much in the way of hops here...a bit bland overall.

First sip brings a big blast of sweet maltiness with plenty of caramel and sweet bread notes. Slighty fruity with some raisin and a small hop drizzle on the way down. Not a bad English style barleywine overall with just a hint of alcohol in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick. A touch syrupy sweet as it rolls down across the tongue. Fairly easy to drink for a barleywine, but a bit too sweet. They should really bottle this is 12oz bottles and sell it in four packs, as I paid $2.49 for this single and I doubt I'd buy it again being that it's such a small bottle and somewhat of a tease. Barleywine or least give me 12oz! :-)

Overall I gave the Beer Line a score of 3.45 out of 5. Not my favorite barleywine by any means, but still glad I was able to sample it!

Learn more about Lakefront Brewery by heading on over to