Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sam Adams: Telling no lies about Cherry Wheat & George Washington

I'm still working my way through the John Adams HBO series, and the Sam Adams Summer Style case of brews I picked up earlier in the month. One of the supporting characters in the TV series is General (and later President) George Washington, who we've already discussed enjoyed American craft beer and even homebrewing.

We also already discussed the fact that Sam Adams did not support Washington, ironic that so many years later the Sam Adams Washington Porter be such a flop. In truth I never tried it, and would love to, but it rated pretty low over at beeradvocate.com. Perhaps Sam and George will never see eye to eye...

"Cut all the cherry trees down you want kid, just stay the heck away from my hops plants!"

If you know anything about Washington, you've probably heard the story about how he fessed up to killing, or in some versions of the story, cutting down his father's cheery tree when he was a young lad.

"George,'' said his father, "do you know who has killed my beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden? I would not have taken five guineas for it!''

This was a hard question to answer, and for a moment George was staggered by it, but quickly recovering himself he cried:

"I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.''

The anger died out of his father's face, and taking the boy tenderly in his arms, he said:

"My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me than a thousand trees! Yes - though they were blossomed with silver and had leaves of the purest gold!''

Apparently that tale is pure fiction, but it's a good segway to discuss Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

He shoots, he scores! Two points!

Beer: Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat

"I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie!
This beer is just 'OK' when served from a bottle!"

Some words from Sam Adams:

Ale brewed with Cherries, crisp and fruity with a hint of honey.
Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat® follows the centuries old American tradition of brewing beer with native ingredients, in this case Michigan cherries as well as a touch of honey. The sweet fruitiness of the cherries is balanced against the crisp, cereal note from the malted wheat and the subtle citrus flavor from the Noble hops. The end result is a sweet, refreshing beer that is light on the palate but long on complexity.

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Style Description from our friends at BeerAdvocate.com: A generic form of flavored beer, some breweries actually use real fruit or veggies, though most use an extract, syrup or processed flavor to give the effect of a particular fruit or vegetable. Usually ales, but with not much ale character to them and commonly unbalanced. Malt flavor is typically hidden with a low hop bitterness to allow the fruit or vegetable to dominate.

(This beer comes in at 5.2 % abv)

How was it served? From a bottle
Glass: Pint glass
Location of tasting: On the back deck
Reviewer: Bryon

On to the Review

1. Appearance -
Amber/gold in color, slight haze, not overly beautiful. A little dull, big fluffy head, but only moderate retention, low carbonation and some lacing.

For some reason, the lighting in my kitchen makes every beer look like an IPA or an EPA on my camera...

2. Smell - Sweet, it smells of cherries, go figure. (A note on smell - I have a very limited sense of smell, that comes and goes, so my opinions on beer smells should be taken with a grain of salt... That being said, my nose must have been working that day!)

3. Taste - A mild taste, not over bearing like a cherry coke, if anything an unimpressive understated flavor. As the beer warms, the cherry undertones become more detectable, eventually the flavor "adds up" if you will. It has a tart after taste, a refreshing good Summer beer I suppose, but it's not my bag.

4. Mouthfeel - Light, boring beer. Goes down easy enough, but I'd much rather have something else.

5. Drinkability - This brew confuses me much like the summer ale did. I really enjoyed it when I had it on tap at the 99s a few months ago, but I was not overly impressed by the beer out of the bottle. Not horrible, but utterly forgettable on this particular tasting. Proably a great refreshing beverage for a hot day, a good alternative for that cold can of Bud hiding out at the back of the fridge or that bottle of Corona while mowing the lawn, but I'll pass for something else.

Drinkability Scale from 1- 10: 6.5 (It as much better on tap with a burger a few months ago, I don't get it...)

Nothing goes better with the Aleluminati than a cold beer and a review work sheet, I'm a geek...

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