Sam Adams makes some pretty decent beers. Their normal lineup isn’t particularly outstanding, but they are certainly solid beers. They do on the other hand make some very interesting specialty beers like their Utopias. They also have a small batch lineup. This is my first beer from that line up and I was not disappointed. The bottle claimed it is batch 2, and I’m not sure how much it varies by batch, so I’m just throwing it out there.
It is a Barelywine, which usually is a special occasion beer. It was a farewell to myself, since I am going to a completely different part of the country as part of my work for over a month.
The aroma smells first like an American Pale Ale. As it warms up, you can smell burnt sugars and other delicious sweetness.
In the summer I like to make a grilled pineapple with a lime and brown sugar glaze. This beer reminds me a lot of that with its pineapple , burnt brown sugar, and toffee flavors, along with citrus and maybe some woodiness thrown into the pot. It is also decently bitter, which is the main difference between the grilled pineapple and this. I think it provides a perfect balance, and changes it from a desert to dinner drink. There are also tiny hints of vanilla, which probably come from the oak aging. The bottle claims honeysuckle, but for the life of me, I can’t really remember what that tastes like, so maybe it does.
There is an overall warming alcohol feel, and at 10% ABV it will really help you celebrate your special occasion. It was a thoroughly pleasant and unique take on a Barleywine.