I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. The best before date was notched at September.
Appearance: Hazy dark gold hue, but pale yellow depending on the light.
Forms a large, white, foamy head which mostly evaporates but still
leaves some lacing on the glass.
Smell: Strong aroma of sage herbs, a hint of citrus and black pepper. Garden-like and fresh.
Taste: I’m not usually a fan of arbitrarily adding herbs and spices to
beers just to make them different, but in the case of Samuel Adams
Little White Rye it actually works out well. It’s mostly a standard (but
tasty) witbier at the core with plenty of the usual orangepeel and
coriander. The sage and rye gives it some herbal character and a subtle
spiciness that wakes up the palate.
The zesty character makes itself known right away. There’s a citrusy
potpourri of lemon and orange as well as pale maltiness. A quick burst
of peppery bitterness through the middle (due to the rye I’m assuming),
followed by a sweet finish of a honey/lemon candy with a coating of sage
or parsley. It reminds me of a cough drop, but without any medicinal
character. Slight bit of dry spice on the finish and a mostly clean
aftertaste. I’m actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this beer. This
is quite experimental for the Samuel Adams brand.
Drinkability: This is a remarkably easy beer to drink. The body is
perfectly medium, with a fine amount of carbonation and smooth finish.
There’s a slightly dry aftertaste, but the beer is actually quite
refreshing while in the mouth and would be ideal for summer. At 5.3% ABV
it’s got a lot of flavor for its size and would be quite tempting to
session (if only you could get more than two bottles at a time).