Review: New Albion Ale, Samuel Adams Brewing

New Albion Ale
Samuel Adams — Boston, MA

  • Style: Pale Ale
  • Bitterness: 30 IBU
  • ABV: 8.0%
  • Malts: 2-row Pale blend
  • Hops: Cascade
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description: Jack McAuliffe’s pioneering spirit paved the way for the American craft beer revolution. We’re re-releasing his original Pale Ale, with its distinct American hop character for the first time in 30 years in honor of Jack and his contributions to craft brewing. Cheers!  — Samuel Adams Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  This is a special bottle of beer. It contains a bit of history and provides us a taste of one of the first "craft" beers. Samuel Adams, in partnership with McAuliffe, resurrected New Albion Ale. Here are some links where you can learn more about the history of New Albion Brewing Co. and the re-release of this beer. It seems almost sacrilegious to review it, but what the heck...

The tasting: Golden straw in color, slightly hazy, with a white head that dissipates fairly slowly. Aroma of grain, cereal, and light grapefruit hops. Taste starts with bready malt. In the middle, grassy and herbal hops provide a moderate level of bitterness. Alcohol is not present in aroma, but touch is noticeable in the middle. Hop bitterness is moderate. New Albion ale is light bodied, has a creamy mouth feel, and finishes with bread, yeast, and grassy notes. 

Rating: 3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  New Albion Ale provides a unique glimpse, and more importantly—a taste of the very beginnings of craft beer in America. This special limited release was distributed in January 2013, so it might be hard to find. If you're a fan of good beer and / or beer history, don't miss the opportunity to taste this beer if you can find it!

Cheers to Jack McAuliffe, beer pioneer!

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