Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale

First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day...unless you don't live in the United States of America, in which case just move onto the next sentence.

To celebrate the birth of my country, I decided that I wanted to try a very patriotic beer this time around. However, I was at a loss as to which one. I asked Becky, who instantly gave the answer "Sam Adams." That, as it turns out, was the easy part, seeing as how "Brewer - Patriot" is imprinted on every bottle. The real dilemma was which Sam Adams, as they have 21 different beers in their repertoire, from the staple Boston Lager to the expensive 50-proof Utopias. Being a sucker for those seasonal beers, I eventually honed in on the Cherry Wheat Ale, picking up two bottles at my favorite Reno beer establishment, Booze Brothers.

Introduced in 1995 as a summer seasonal in the Sam Adams Brewmaster's Collection, Cherry Wheat® (yes, it is a registered trademark) became such a popular brew that it is now served year-round. Sam Adams' website touts it as one of the best selling beers made by the brewery (main beer page, then Brewmaster's Collection → Cherry Wheat). It is brewed with Michigan cherries and a touch of honey in the "centuries old American tradition of brewing beer with native ingredients." The brewery itself, the Boston Beer Company, was started in 1984 by Jim Koch, a sixth-generation brewer who thought that American consumers wanted something better in their beer. From a door-to-door operation, he eventually grew to a company that sells its beer in all 50 states and 20 countries. It also has won 650+ awards for its beer, more than any other brewery in the world, according to the company.

Here are the stats:

Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale
BREWERY: Boston Beer Company, Boston, MA, USA
CALORIES/SERVING: 180 per 12 oz. bottle
ABV: 5.35%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 13° Plato (1052.85)
MALTS: Two Row Pale, Malted Wheat, Munich
HOPS: Tettnang Tettnanger Noble
AWARDS: 2004 Australia Gold Medal, 2006 Euro Star Gold Medal, 2006 World Beer Championships Gold Medal, Monde Selection (Brussels, Belgium) Gold Medal

Most of this information came from either the Sam Adams website (Flash-based, so no direct links) or the bottle. Hopefully I'll get more information soon.

The first thing that I noticed about this beer was its distinctive cherry aroma that bubbled up from the beer the instant I poured it into my glass. It was so intense and fresh, it was nothing like any beer I've smelled before. Its color was a reddish-amber that was slightly cloudy but still translucent. The head was a little disappointing, but I probably just poured it wrong. The first taste was very interesting; I could definitely taste the cherries that were brewed inside the beer, and it went down smoothly and without protest from my palette. The finish had a nice cherry taste that transitioned into a wheaty aftertaste that did not linger or offend.

In conclusion, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat would make a fine addition to your Fourth of July picnic or fireworks celebration. Now, go out there and celebrate the birth of your country by blowing a piece of it up.


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