On the evening of the 16th of April, the beer tasting at Jungle Jim's was for Samuel Adams. Somewhat of a local brewery via Boston, Sam Adams is a popular tasting. My first beer tasting at Jungle Jim's was on October the 10th, 2008. This too was for Sam Adams, though that one was not nearly as well attended. The latest tasting had about 180 people in attendance.
Arriving early, I acquired a good seat and met Jennifer Winkler, the District Manager. She was quite friendly and chatted with us a bit as we await more guests and Eric Beck and Megan Jones, also from the brewery. The largest brewery Sam Adams owns is in Cincinnati, about two blocks from where I park on workdays. When they are making beer, the aromas in the air are wonderful.
For the last Sam Adams tasting, ten regular beers were brought, plus two leftovers from the summer's taste testing and two others brought from the brewmaster's own cellar. This time round there was no disappointment with nine from Sam Adams (including three from the imperial line), plus three from their Longshot Homebrew competition. Of these thirteen, five were of 9% ABV or greater. Nice, let's get to the line up.
The first beer they made, the only beer in every seasonal pack and the first one out of the gate. Ironically, it is one of my least favorite of their line. Hop on nose, clean mid-mouth with some bitterness on the finish. Quite clean and non-descript, it pairs well with nearly any main course. 7
Samuel Adams Light
Having enough fewer calories than the Boston Lager to be called a Light, but don't let that full you. It has the same caramel coloring and flavor, but lacks the bitter aftertaste. Fruity and hops on the nose, with hints of pine. It is sweet mid-mouth and finishes clean. 8
A good standard ale, it is hoppy on the nose, with a good blend of malt sweetness and hops mid-mouth. It has a nice, clean finish. 8
Now we are talking. Lots of pine and citrus hop aromas on nose, hops and malt mid-mouth and hops on the finish. Notice a pattern? This is the kind of beer that is stereotypical for craft beers. We are talking hints of Stone here. Very nice and a table favorite. Too bad it only comes in a seasonal mixer pack. Make 6ers, please Jim. 9
Not being a fan of wheat beers, I wasn't expecting much from this one. Wheat is detectable on the nose and Grains of Paradise mid. As it gets warmer, lemon is noticeable. 7
Highly fizzy and sweet, this wit is quite refreshing and blackberry laden. Blackberry greats one on the nose and wheat says hello mid. The finish is clean. 7
Three wheat beers in a row, well ok. How is this one different? Hops blend with the wheat on the nose and there are hints of citrus mid. The beer finishes with much lemon. 6
Yes, four in a row, but this one is 10.3% ABV. Alcohol and hints of wheat are on the nose. Warm and sweet mid-mouth, the alcohol makes its presence known. It finishes smooth. Now this is a wheat beer. 9+
I had this one last year at the Spring Beer Fest and was looked forward to this one. Roasted malt and alcohol are on the nose. Mid to finish, it is a blend of smokey and chocolate. 9+
Starting with malt on the nose, there is a nutty flavor and a Crystal malt presence mid-mouth. Late mid there is an alcohol bite and the finish is smooth. 10
Longshot - Mile High Barley Wine
Like many barley wines, this one is over hopped for preservation. This is Ben Miller's entry. It is citrus on the nose from the hops, mixed with hints of alcohol and malt. Malt is also present mid-mouth and the sweetness lingers to the finish. Very nice entry. 9+
Longshot - Old Ben Ale
Michael Robinson entered this recipe. Malt and raisins greet the nose and stay throughout. This one had all of us reaching for more. It was quite the "Ok, this is the last one" beer. 10
Longshot - Lemon Pepper Saison
Homebrewers typically do all manner of odd things and this one speaks to that adventurous spirit. Jeremy White's entry starts with lemon and pepper on the nose and it stays all the want to the finish. There is also a hint of clove mid-mouth. The writeup states vanilla and citrus notes. Perhaps as it was the last beer and several high gravs had come before, but I noticed no such notes. Overall, not bad. 8