Review: Samuel Adams' Magnificent Seven Imperial IPA

Review: Samuel Adams' Magnificent Seven Imperial IPA by Cody La Bière
Usually if you want to have your beer brewed for the general masses, you have to start up a brewery.. or you could do what three lucky home brewers who won the Longshot American Homebrew Contest over at Sam Adams. Zach Adams' Magnifcent Seven Imperial IPA was one of the three winners for the 2012 edition. What's interesting about the Magnificent Seven is that Zach and a friend of his created this Imperial IPA to showcase seven of their favourite American-strain hops, so that's going to be quite a treat to try out!

Appearance: Pours a nutty brown yet caramelly beer, followed by a twinkling and frothy head of foam, very beautiful foam, reminiscent to some whipped topping you would get at a high quality coffee joint. Decent amount of carbonation going on here as well.

Aroma: Before the review, I had NO idea what style of beer this was going to be, and I didn't even read the label, so I like surprises! This is very much an Imperial/Double India Pale Ale, hops are first and foremost here. It has a rich and floral bitterness that's familiar in American DIPAs, not quite as aromatic as some West Coast IPAs out there but the pine & grapefruit scents are quite inviting.. telling me to driiiiink up!

Taste: First impression of the beer is that you immediately get a bit of an alfalfa/floral presence in the beer, not that strong of a flavour for an Imperial IPA, but then all of a sudden, the bitterness hits, it's not as bitter as a lot of standard American IPAs, but it's a piney bitterness. For the sweetness, there's a hint of grapefruit for the citrus, and the oddest flavour I'm getting out of this is a weird skunky flavour, like as if you were drinking a Heineken, but don't worry folks.. this is a tasty Imperial IPA! This is certainly a hop forward IIPA, floral, bitter, different bitterness notes showing up all over. The more I'm drinking this, the more I'm starting to get a hint of a Dill Pickle chips in it.. damn it Cody! Get your taste buds checked, just like that time I thought Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace tasted like dill pickles.

Overall Thoughts: While it has a slight skunkiness to it, that didn't scare me off as it has a nice balance of hops that give it a really interesting medley of hoppy flavours including pine, grapefruit and even leaves a creamy mouthfeel. I can't wait to see who ends up winning the 2013 edition of the Longshot American Homebrew Contest! The Magnificent Seven Imperial IPA has an IBU of 7.8%, which is about right for an IIPA/DIPA. I would like to see a larger Canadian microbrewery do a similar contest on a national scale. I know Russell Brewery does a homebrew contest once in a while (review here), but it's not national.. yet. This isn't available in Canada, so don't rush down to your local MLCC/LCBO/SAQ looking for it, you'll have to buy it in the States, I picked up a 6 pack (with the three different winning brews) for under $9, not bad!

PS: Boston Beer Co, if you're reading this, you promised me an interview with Jim Koch since last July ;)


Brewmaster Dave said...

The Canadian national home brewing competition judging takes place every year in April in Regina, and is hosted by the local club there, A.L.E.S.

The winning beer is then brewed at the pub and released on tap at a later date.

Cody Lobreau said...

That would be a real treat to check out!