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Beer #5 – January 5, 2010: Samuel Adams Winter Lager

January 5, 2010

Beer: Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Brewery: Boston Brewing Company, Boston, MA

Style: Bock / Spiced Lager

Serving Type: Bottle

Price: $6.99 – $7.99 / 6-pack

Availability: Winter Seasonal

Glassware: Shaker Pint

Strength: 5.8% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but still interesting.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: It pours a beautiful coppery-orange, with a cream-colored foamy head.

Aroma: It smells of honey, orange peel, and faint notes of cinnamon and clove.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with tiny bubbles of carbonation, resulting in a very full and creamy mouthfeel.

Taste: It starts with the sweetness of orange-blossom honey and sweet tea, but in this beer, the middle really dominates.  Full and rich caramel flavor from the malt melds with earthy flavors of sarsaparilla, ginger and cashew, with subtle spicing from cinnamon and clove.  The finish is refreshingly slightly drying.

Pairing: Sam Adams’ website suggests dessert pairings of both carrot cake and gingerbread.  I can imagine given the malty character and particular spices of this beer, these would both go quite well.

Trivia: The namesake of Samuel Adams beer was an 18th century “Founding Father” from Massachusetts.  After a lack of success in business on his own, he was made partner in his family’s malthouse.  While he made the raw ingredients for beer as a maltster, he was most likely never actually a brewer.

Other Founding Fathers had their ties to beer as well.  Thomas Jefferson maintained a brewing room and beer cellar at his home, Monticello, in Virginia.  And George Washington was quite fond of Porter, though as a true patriot, refused to buy any of British origin, and encouraged the brewing industry in the newly founded United States.

Of course, it was more likely that the Founding Mothers were the brewers in the family.  While commercial breweries did exist, most brewing (and drinking) was done at home.  Home brewing was typically a chore typically taken on by the female head of the household in the colonial era. 

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