I have been blogging about beer for years now. It is not too often that I drink a beer and I am instantly drawn to the keyboard as I am today. Let me preference this column by saying I am not (or didn’t think I was) a fan of juniper berries. An over indulgence of gin in my college years has forever turned me off to the aroma of the English sprit’s main ingredient.
On the other hand, I am a huge sucker for a great IPA. Sam Adams has excelled in brewing this type of ale and many derivatives of the style. however, I will admit the new Sam Adams Juniper IPA sat in my beer fridge for about a week before I cultivated the courage to face the dreaded juniper berry once again. Now that I have tried this wonderful beer, I am embarrassed by my cowasdice towards a little piece of fruit.
I love a great IPA but my pet peeve about most of the IPAs/DIPAs/IIPAs on the market is, some brewers think throwing a shovelful of hops in a beer makes for a great IPA. The brewers at Sam Adams know better and it shows in this beer. There is a delicate balance of hops, malt, and herbal flavors in Sam Adams Juniper IPA. It is a complex beer but not so much the flavors and esters are clouded.
The ale pours a deep cooper color crowned with a generous white head. The frothy head is my first clue that there is a generous amount of hops in the ale. The aroma is clearly American with touches of pine in the aroma with the faintest touch of herbal note in the nose. I also picking up a bit of toasted grains in the aroma.
The mouthfell is medium with a dry washing of hops and juniper across the palate. There is a definite malt presence that lends its sweetness to the juniper berries, over all there is a cool dryness to the finish.
This beer lends itself to sweet, creamy soft cheese very nicely. The mild carbonation makes for a wonderful palette clenser between cheeses. Add some artisian bread and a quality balsamic vinegar to the mix and you have yourself a beautiful evening ahead of you. This is simply one of the best beers I have had in a while. A wonderful addition to Sam Adam’s winter seasonal line up.