Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sam Adams samples at Union City Grille

As my usual luck would have it, we were out of town during Wilmington's inaugural Beer Week, but we got a chance to taste some leftover samples last night at Union City Grille.

We tried two offerings from The Boston Beer Company (a.k.a. Samuel Adams): Sample A, an oaked ale, and Sample B, a maple pecan porter. Our waiter explained to us that neither of these beers is commercially available; they are only test batches of recipes that are candidates to go into regular production. This is part of the Samuel Adams® Beer Lover's Choice® campaign.

Sample A was reddish amber with a modest half inch of head and a fairly subdued aroma vaguely suggesting toffee. It was quite sweet and brassy in flavor, almost like a Scottish ale -- not nearly as mellow as any oaked ale I have ever tasted. If anything, the contribution of the wood is in the aftertaste. Good, but not really remarkable.

Sample B, though, was outstanding! It was dense black in color, and sported two inches of fluffy foam. The nose clearly carried sweet maple, a good bit of smokiness, and the suggestion of dark, bitter undertones. Sam Adams has brewed up a delicious porter base. The structure of the flavor shows a judicious hand: this is no novelty beer, rather a highly drinkable porter with creamy mouthfeel and teases of pecan and maple dimensions, mostly towards the end.

My lovely dinner companion and I both hope that Sample B gets the nod and starts appearing on retail shelves sometime soon. Looks like other folks may be feeling the same way, if Facebook "likes" are any indication:

It was fun to feel like we were getting in on a sneak preview. Hopefully we can attend some live events at Wilmington Beer Week next year and contribute direct feedback to the selection process.

No comments:

Post a Comment