Samuel Adams is one of the many breweries that led the craft brew insurgence of the 80's and 90's. They're also one of the few that managed to survive.
From the introduction of their flagship Boston Lager in 1984 to now brewing over 2.5 million barrels of beer a year, Samuel Adams is an enormous success story.
I often wonder if the brewers at Samuel Adams beer have become detached from their craft beer roots. Is it possible to maintain craft beer quality when you've grown to brew such a huge volume of beer? Can the recipes continue show the thought and care that is so evident in many of the craft beers on the market today?
I'm still on the fence.
Boston Lager is nothing special to me. It's just a beer.
But then Samuel Adams comes out with something that is remarkably tasty that surprises me.
Doublebock (9.50% ABV) is one of those. It is in their Imperial Series, which are brewed in small batches. As opposed to mass produced, like their Boston Lager.
It pours a deep, rich amber red. Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles grab the glass and build a tight, fluffy head. Very nice looking brew.
The aroma is sharp with hoppy tartness and yet mellow with chocolate and brown sugar at the same time. Enticing.
The initial taste is a subdued malty sweetness tinged with brown sugar, a hint of cocoa and other spices. There's just enough bitter hops to even out the flavors and balance the whole brew out. The alcohol can be felt as well as tasted, but not in a detracting sort of way. The finish is bitter sweet.
The mouth feel is medium to full with excellent carbonation. A nice drinking beer. Good thing the alcohol burn tempers the speed of consumption.
A very tasty double bock. An excellent example of the style.
Overall: very good