It seems I've been drinking a lot of Sam Adams beers lately. Not that, that's a bad thing. I'm a fan of Sam Adams not only because I think they make some good beer, but also because its a good company. One of the many things they do is support home brewers, but they do this in a very fun unique way. Every year they hold a completion called Longshot where home brewers from around the country submit their home made beers. Through this competition two finalists are chosen, and they get to have their beers made and distributed by Sam Adams (with their picture on the front of the label). Pretty neat huh? Well this year's mixed 6 pack has been released, except instead of two different styles we get three. The reason for this is that one of last year's winners was a DIPA and due to the hop shortage chose to not make the beer since there would have been changes to his recipe. Therefore it was released this year along with a Cranberry Wit and a Traditional Bock.
Double IPA: This one was made by Mike McDole. This one weighs in at 9.0% and has 7 different types of hops. The story goes that this is a clone of Russian Rivers Pliny the Elder. It pours an orange color with a thick white head. Citrus and grapefruit, some malt, round out this bright floral nose. The mouthfeel is creamy but not thick, a kind of medium body. Hugely bitter up front, citrus peel, floral hops, toasted malts at the finish, with no alcohol flavor. Saturates the tongue, hops stick to the sides of the mouth. Very nice DIPA, my only complaint is that I'd like a little fuller mouthfeel. The flavor is great, it just 'feels' watery. It gets a strong B+ from me.
Traditional Bock: This is from California home brewer Alex Drobshoff. This one comes in at 6.8% and pours a very bright copper color with a thick cream colored head. Caramel malts, roasted malts, plum all come out in the nose. The mouth is rich and creamy, with caramel, roasted malts, a bit of molasses. This is really nice, a great bock that's not overly sweet like some others. Very smooth easy drinking beer that gets a B from me.
Crandberry Wit: This one comes from Sam Adams employee Carissa Sweigart. I have to tell you I was very trepidatious about this beer. I'm not a huge fruit beer fan, and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is probably one my least favorite beers ever. Needless to say I didn't have high hopes for this one. Well I was wrong. The beer pours a hazy cloudy orange with a thick dense head of white foam. The nose is full of orange, cinnamon, cloves, citrus. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, notes of orange and cloves, fruity, then there at the finish comes a nice subtle tartness from the cranberries. Nothing over the top, nothing extreme, but a wonderful hot summer day beer. This is one I could sip by the pool all day long. Greatly refreshing and the tartness at the finish adds something really nice. This one gets another strong B from me.
This was my first time getting the Longshot 6 pack, but its a great idea by Sam Adams to celebrate home brewers, near all of which are craft beer drinkers.