Thursday, May 22, 2008

Samuel Adams Pale Ale

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 4, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2011 No one is perfect, not even the Boston Beer Company, the brewers of the Samuel Adams line of beers. It’s rare I encounter a beer of theirs I don’t like and I was especially anxious to try their Pale Ale because I’m a lover of ales. But I found the beer to be entirely too dry-tasting and heavy in body to appreciate.

I doubt I’m alone in my opinion on this brew, though, because it’s only available in mix packs. If it were as popular as the Boston Lager or their seasonal brews I’m sure it would be much easier to find. Serious beer drinkers and/or those who enjoy the Sam Adams line would be wise to give this a try, but there’s nothing especially great about it.

THE POUR

I can’t prove it, but I think there’s something about this Pale Ale that makes it pour less smoothly than the other beers in the Sam Adams line. Every time I’ve poured one I get a lot of kickback for some reason. The beer forms a decent-size head but it quickly reduces to a rather thin layer. Some carbonation is evident, but otherwise it appears fairly lifeless.

COLOR & AROMA

I’m actually surprised Sam Adams Pale Ale is such a dark shade of gold but then again, it’s an ale, not a lager. It’s also a little cloudy, but then again most ales aren’t crystal clear like lagers. As for aroma it’s very generic, like a Budweiser or a Miller-type beer. It’s not pleasant in the scent, but certainly far from repugnant.

TASTE

In my experience, pale ales tend to be more sweet than bitter because their taste is derived from malts rather than hops. Sam Adams Pale Ale tastes much more the opposite as it has a bitter, tin-like taste. It’s not nearly as tasty as their Boston Lager which literally bites your palette with its hoppiness, whereas this beer just tastes metallic and dry. There’s just not much enjoyment to be had while downing a glass.

BODY

Ales are always heavier in body than lagers so I can’t criticize this brew for being so full-bodied. However, it does seem a little more so than the average ale, certainly more than the average pale ale. After just two bottles I felt bloated and weighed-down.

FINISH

I wasn’t crazy about this beer from the first sip and it certainly doesn’t improve by the end. In fact, it finishes much more dry and bitter than it begins. Sam Adams Pale Ale leaves a distinct, dry aftertaste. Perhaps some salty chips would help alleviate this, but I like to enjoy my beers on their own.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Sam Adams Pale Ale is not a bad beer by any means, it’s just surprisingly bland. As a lover of ales I’m a little disappointed. 
 Grade: 5/10