Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Seventh Beer Of Christmas

Samuel Adams Imperial White is a standout beer. Technically it's a witbier (white beer; a Belgian style wheat beer brewed with spices), but it's like no witbier you've ever tried.
[Samuel Adams] Imperial White pushes out the boundaries of a witbier. While the brew delivers orange and coriander notes typical of witbiers, it has a bigger mouthfeel and body. It's a truly unique brew.

This beer has a lot going on. Brewed with 50% malted wheat and two-row Harrington and Metcalfe malted barley, this beer has a bigger body and mouthfeel than a traditional witbier. We’ve added a number of spices into this brew, not only during brewing for depth, but also during fermentation. The rest of the flavors come from the yeast and the alcohol.

As this beer warms and opens up, you start to get flavors of complex flavors of dry fruits, exotic spices, and floral blossoms. These are flavors typically associated with wine and spirits, but they are showcased in Imperial White as a bouquet of flavors.

When you think Imperial beer, you normally think porter or stout. Putting "imperial" in front of witbier is an apt description of this brew. The color is a hazy gold; excellent head with aromas of coriander and orange. The flavors are concentrated with a sweet syrupy tendency, but not obnoxiously so.

The mouthfeel is incredible - rich, full body with lots of tiny bubbles to please the palate - and oh, so creamy. It kind of leaves you thinking: how'd they do that?

It carries quite a load at 10.3% ABV, but shoulders it well with its rich savory flavors. I normally eschew the big, commercial brewers, but this is one beer that is a style unto itself.

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