Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (569) - Albany, USA - APR 4, 2010
I’ve never been a big fan of fruit-themed wheat beers because I find them to be entirely too gimmicky. I prefer a beer that happens to have a fruity taste due to its malts and hops rather than adding fruit and/or flavorings. The Samuel Adams line has experimented with just about every style of beer under the sun and has not released a beer of this type until now with their Blackberry Witbier. It’s definitely a little higher in quality than most American takes on the style, but that’s not saying much.

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

This beer pours smoothly and forms a hazy, light amber complexion with hints of orange with plenty of carbonation evident. The head is large, foamy and white and lasts throughout the life of the drink and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is strong and very similar to others of the type with a sweet, malty, fruity scent noticeable immediately.

TASTE

I’ve sampled many raspberry wheat beers before, but never a blackberry wheat until now. However, simply using blackberry to make a “witbier” does not a superior beer make. Samuel Adams take on this style has only a bit more depth to it than others of the type.

There is no specific blackberry flavor, per se, but a sweet fruity taste is noticeable as soon as the beer hit my tongue. It is not tart, but mild and almost watery. The beer has a soft, thin mouthfeel with a generally sweet flavor, but is not at all tart as the brewer’s website states. Drank cool, the flavors of orange peel and coriander are noticeable (but only if you’re really looking for them).

FINISH

Wheat beers tend to be either heavily-spiced and coarse, or watery and smooth, and Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier follows the latter. It doesn’t have the crispness of a lager or pilsner, but it is much more gentle on the palate. In fact, a creaminess can be detected if allowed to warm.

BODY

There’s really no reason for a fruity wheat beer to be as heavy as this one is at 176 calories and 5.5% ABV. However, those numbers seem inflated as this beer drinks as if it were a light brew. I drank two bottles back-to-back without feeling so much as buzzed and certainly not full or bloated in the least. Combined with the drinkability, I think this would make a good session beer.

FINAL THOUGHTS

According to samueladams.com, Blackberry Witbier beat out a coffee stout for the newest entry in the Samuel Adams line. I find that surprising because this beer seems so pedestrian in so many aspects. Perhaps that’s the intention, and I think it’s the only beer in the line-up that could be specifically marketed to women. I’d drink it again, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

Grade: 6/10