Review: Boston Beer Co's Sam '76


In honour of interviewing Boston Beer Company's (AKA Samuel Adams) founder Jim Koch to discuss beer and the release of the company's first new core product in a long time, Sam '76, I decided to review the beer as well!

Sam '76 is one of the first of its kind, it's a hybrid of lager and ale. It brings together the light, citrus aroma of an American Ale with the clean. finish and balanced drinkability of a Lager. The beer took more than 13,000 hours and 60 trials to create. The finished. product blends two active fermentations together to create a lightly golden,  slightly veiled brew with subtle citrus tropical aroma that is refreshing and smooth. 4.7% ABV

Appearance: Sam '76 pours a lightly cloudy lemon yellow with a light-to-moderate amount of carbonation inside the body of the beer. The beer starts off with a moderate amount of snow white foam on top and then diminishes to a thin layer on top of the beer with a tad bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma: Interesting, light but citrusy. The first thing I get from the beer is a nice amount of citrus notes, mainly lemon and mango with a hint of orange peel - a little bit reminiscent of a hazy IPA. Once I get past the tropical notes, I get a crisp, light presence that's reminiscent of a Pilsner - it's a bit bready, grassy and toasted maltiness to it.

Taste: This time around, I get the Lager side of the beer first rather than the Ale - I get a very crisp, light malt profile that has a lightly sweetened cerealy profile to it, a hint of grassiness and very easy to drink. As for the Ale side of the beer, it's pretty much the same as I stated in the aroma - it's lightly sweet and tropical with notes of mango, orange peel and lemon. There's a very subtle bitterness to it, mostly a herbal presence with a very very faint pine bite to it. This beer is sweet and tropical yet light and crisp at the same time.

Overall Thoughts:  I've had many Sam '76s since it first made its initial presence in Canada at the Brandon Beer Festival in April - I recall the first time trying it I was surprised how light it was but how tropical it was at the same time, which reminded me a bit of hazy IPAs but nowhere near over the top. I feel like this beer is good for someone who wants a lager but to change it up a bit, but at the same time I feel like this is something that an IPA/Ale drinker would enjoy on a hot summer day as this is very easy on the stomach so you could have two or three if you'd like on the deck and not feel bloated. The last time I drank a Sam Adams beer so often was when their Spring Lager was out back in 2012.. oh how I miss that beer. Will I buy this again? Well.. I have been already.

Check out my interview with Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch where we discuss Sam '76 and beer in general. I hope you enjoy the review as much as I did interviewing him!

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