Review: Samuel Adams' Pale Ale

Review: Samuel Adams' Pale Ale by Cody La Bière
Right as I type this, I'm trying to pry off a woodtick from my leg.. AHHHH! I hate woodticks, okay, it's gone now. My mom went on a trip to Las Vegas a few weeks ago, her second trip in 6 months, last time she went... the beer she brought back was less than desirable (Figure 1, Figure 2) , so I gave her a list of what I want from North Dakota for when she was on her drive back to Canada. The list was simple, this time around she picked up Sam Adams' Pale Ale. As you can already tell, this is already a much better selection than both of the previous selections, combined. I had Sam Adams' Pale Ale before back in summer 2010 and thought it was not bad - nice amount of hops, respectable Pale, better than 3/4 of the rest of the beers in the pack (the Blackberry Wit & Light beer were bad).

Mom greeted me with the 6-pack of Sam Adams' Pale once I got to the farm, and I noticed something weird.. it was covered in a thick layer of dust. I've only seen that happen one time before with beer, with Paddock Wood's beers in Manitoba (while amazing, they just didn't sell well here :( ).

Looking at the Best Before Date, I immediately knew why it was collecting a bunch of dust: Its best before date was back in March of this year (2012). Yikes. Some beers are amazing for being past their prime, especially Belgian beers, but a Pale Ale.. this is not going to end well. I sent an email to Sam Adams' just letting them know that the liquor store's stock is old, and not only did they get back to me near immediately, they stated they were going to reimburse me for the beer! Now that's some awesome customer service! I didn't expect that, nor did I want to be reimbursed.

Appearance: Samuel Adams' Pale Ale is your standard pale ale, a golden straw colour with a decent amount of carbonation. The head is beige, slowly dies down gradually and leaves quite a bit of residue on the side of the glass.

Aroma: A faint barley/straw aroma with a hint of hops. More of a hoppy aroma than most pale ales in Canada (I'm looking at you Alexander Keith's and Great Western Original 16!). Very slight hint of lemon citrus in it as well. For being a beer that expired nearly 3 months ago, not that bad yet.

Taste: Even though I last had this beer back in 2010, I still somehow remember the taste. The hoppiness in this beer, as it is "past due its prime" is more bitter than the general decent hoppy citrusness that we know and love. In the standard Sam Adams Pale Ale, it would be still reasonably hoppy but the sweetness of the malt and lemon would co-operate with it well, but in this case, it's kind of just.. bitter. I don't mind it though, there's a bitter aftertaste from it but the slightly sweet malt is nice and inviting - similar (yet lighter) to the sweetness expected in a bottle of their Boston Lager. There's a light lemon flavour in here as well.

Overall Thoughts: Although this beer "expired" back in March, I can honestly say that this Pale Ale is tastier than the following beers: Molson Canadian, Coors Light, Bud Light, Alexander Keith's (India) Pale Ale, Kokanee, Labatt Blue, Great Western Original 16 and many others. It is not Sam Adams' fault that the beer is past its prime as the merchant should know better, but it's great customer service for them to be unnecessarily reimbursing me for it! It's a lighter pale ale than I traditionally drink (See also: Great Lakes' 666 Devil's Pale Ale), but on a night like tonight.. 15C and hanging out with family.. this beer is really decent to drink, even if the hops are more bitter now than the zestiness I hoped for. This cost approximately $7.50 for a 6-pack (355mL bottles), and has an ABV of.. uh.. it doesn't say? 5.4%. It's a great lighter beer, which most of us prefer once in a while and better than lots of the macros!


rossgram said...

Didn't even know they sold that. Is that Canadian only, maybe?

Cody Lobreau said...

Nope, American-only. Never seen it in Canada before. It's in the usual Summer Taster Pack that Sam Adams releases as well.