Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Samuel Adams 2010 Longshot Blackened Hops

Brewery: The Boston Beer Company
Location: Boston, MA
Style: Black IPA
Brewery Website
Rating: A

Today's tasting is a Black IPA from Samuel Adams. I know I'm posting this a bit late, as this is one of the 2010 winners of their yearly Longshot homebrew competition, but homebrewer Rodney Kibzey's creation is well worth discussion. The beer is a deep chestnut color, bordering on opaque black. The head is huge and foamy, and pours up tan-brown in color. The nose is led by fresh-squeezed citrus hops paired with a touch of roast coffee.

The initial impression on the palate is that of a juicy, citrus-hopped pale ale. This then fades to a smoky bbq flavor. There are notes here of iodine, maple and hickory. The flavor combination really reminds me of real pit barbecue. The hops here are mostly on the aromatic side with citrus and fruity notes, but there is a bit of a mild bitter kick, especially as it pairs up with espresso notes from the roast malt. The Blackened Hops has a medium-full body. The finish is smoky, roasted malt with some lingering espresso and piny hops.

I have yet to meet a Black IPA I didn't love, and the Sam Adams Blackened Hops is no exception. The flavor here is very distinct. The combo of fruity hops paired with smoky, roasted malt makes this a killer pairing for barbecue. This is well with seeking out if you can still find some.

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