Archive for samuel adams

Samuel Adams Winter Classics Beer Reviews

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by Bill Bowman

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. I have enjoyed some free time since school has let out. Last weekend, I picked up the Samuel Adams Winter Classics variety pack and decided to share my findings. The case cost around 12 dollars at Specs and even came with a bow on top!

Six varieties of beers and a bow on top!

Now, on to the beers. I review the Old Fezziwig Ale, Cranberry Lambic, Holiday Porter and Coastal Wheat. The 12 pack also came with the standard Sam Adams Ale and the Winter Lager, which I have had before and is high quality.

Old Fezziwig is the best named Holiday Beer.

Old Fezziwig is the best named Holiday Beer.

The Old Fezziwig ale, named after the festive character in the Christmas Carol will be first up. It pours dark brown, with a medium head. It smells like spices and fruit. It had a very caramel, fruity, full taste. A very good beer. I give it 3.75 out of 5.

The Holiday Porter

The Holiday Porter, named after the variety of beers popular with old porters in England is next up. It pours thin and dark. The taste is chocolaty and mildly bitter. Not as good as the Fezziwig, but still tasty. I give it a 3 out of 5.

Cranberry Good Times!

Cranberry Good Times!

The Cranberry Lambic is the most unique beer out of the bunch. It pours a reddish orange with a medium hear. It has a cranberry (obviously) smell. The taste is overwhelmingly fruity with some syrup hints. Very good beer, but I imagine not everyone has the pallete for it. I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Coastal Wheat

Coastal Wheat

The Coastal Wheat is an interesting beer out of the pack. I wasn’t really sure how it related to Christmas. Nevertheless, it poured kind of yellowish with a slight head. Smelled kind of citrusy. It tasted lemony and little bit wheaty (is that a word?). Going from the darker beers to the Coastal Wheat was not the best idea. I give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Well, I would recommend picking up the Samuel Adams Winter Classic variety pack this Holiday Season, if you want a little variety and great brews.

Bill Bowman


Bottles vs. Cans?

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , on November 5, 2009 by Bill Bowman

Beer served in its draft form is generally considered to be the best. It goes straight from the brewery to the keg and to you. Of course, not every drink can be from the tap. Beer is bottled and canned for mass distribution. The question as to what is the best method for beer quality is a complicated and highly contested one.


Cans protect beer from light and air, but some think it leaves a mettalic taste.

This is a hotly contested debate. Jim Koch, the founder of Samuel Adams made his company’s position clear on this issue, saying  “Beer shall be offered in bottles, not cans, so that no brew is jeopardized with the taste of metal.” Koch refuses to can his beer, forgoing millions in revenue from sporting events and other venues.

This anti-can opinion was not supported by all. Some brewers say that cans allow less light and air into the beer and thus make the beer better. The cans also allow the beer to get colder much faster than bottles. There is no winner to this debate, and in my opinion, I think that the actual taste difference is miniscule and the difference is all in your head. Some people just prefer holding that cold longneck!


Darker bottles prevent "skunking" more.

The question about which color beer bottle is best is another sticky issue.  Skunking happens when light reacts with a chemical in hops and produces a compound that really does smell rather skunky. Obviously the darker the bottle, the less skunking that can occur. Brown bottles are the best, followed by green and lastly, clear. Also, bottles in cases prevent sunlight and that of course, will further protect beer from skunking.

So, we have a good idea about what the different beer packing methods might be. But I will conclude stating my favored vessel for the end product. Pouring beer from the can or bottle allows the beer to “breath” and is suggested by most premium beers. Sam Adams has pioneered what it says is the ultimate beer cup.


Some say this cup was crafted by God himself...or maybe Sam Adams.

I acquired a Sam Adams cup at a Red Lobster several months ago and that cup has served many tasty brews since. This cup is made with space age technology. Laser etching at the base create bubbles for constant aroma release. There is a bead on the rim to create turbulence as the beer hits the mouth. The lip is turned outwards to deliver the beer to the tongue’s sweet-spot.

Interested in the cup? It will cost you $30 for a set of four. In my opinion, money well spent.

Bill Bowman