Review: Summer Ale, Samuel Adams

Summer Ale

  • Style:  Wheat Ale
  • Bitterness:  Not provided
  • ABV: 5.3% ABV
  • Malts:  Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, Copeland pale malts, and Malted Wheat
  • Hops:  Hallertau Mittelfrueh
  • Special Ingredients: Lemon peel and Grains of Paradise
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle
  • Calories:  162 per 12 oz.
  • Price:  $7.49 six-pack at grocery store

Description:  "Samuel Adams® Summer Ale is an American wheat ale. This summer seasonal uses malted wheat, lemon peel and Grains of Paradise, a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th century, to create a crisp taste, spicy flavor and medium body. The ale fermentation imparts a background tropical fruit note reminiscent of mangos and peaches.  All of these flavors come together to create a thirst quenching, clean finishing beer perfect for those warm summer days.”  — Samuel Adams

Random thoughts:    Wheat beers make for great summer drinking.  Summer Ale was inspired by Belgian Witbiers.  However, instead of using the typical orange peel and coriander, Samuel Adams used lemon peel and Grains of Paradise (a form of pepper).  This is part of my 2nd series on Summer seasonals.

The tasting:  Light gold in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipated quickly, leaving no lacing on the glass.  Aroma of lemon, bready malt, and honey.  Flavor of lemon and tangy wheat.  The lemon peel, as well as the pith, provided a pronounced and unusual bitterness different from hops.  I didn't notice the spice or tropical fruit (as mentioned in the description) in aroma or flavor.  Summer Ale is light bodied with medium-high carbonation.  It finishes crisp with a slight citrusy tartness. 

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.   Samuel Adams Summer Ale offers a unique twist on the Belgian Wit.  In the end, the it was a bit too lemony for me.  If you like citrus flavor in your beer, give it a try.

Have you tried Summer Ale or any other Samuel Adams beers?

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