Monday, August 18, 2008

Samuel Adams LongShot Grape Pale Ale Review

Brewery: Boston Brewing Co. | Beer: Samuel Adams LongShot Grape Pale Ale
Style: Pale Ale | ABV: 5.4%
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

LongShot Grape Pale AleThe Boston Brewing Company, being one of the biggest success stories in craft brewing, takes the art of brewing pretty seriously. A big part of their brand image is the attitude that the company really cares about everyone out there making great beer, including homebrewers. To back this spirit up, every year the company holds a homebrew contest for their employees and the public, with two winners (one from each group) having their concoctions distributed across the country. Click here to watch a cool video the company put together about The American Homebrew Contest.

This review is about the 2007 winner from the employee category, Lili Hess' Grape Pale Ale. The bottle advertises this as an "ale brewed with natural grape flavor and maple syrup added." Well, you certainly have to give Lili points for originality here. In her own words, "It's like you are drinking a pale ale after biting into a fresh green seedless grape." Sounds fun.

Appearance: Rich amber color with a decent off-white head that leaves quite a good amount of lacing

Aroma: Almost smells like a malty apple cider, there's some real brown sugar sweetness lurking here

Taste: A lot more malty than I had expected, it's sweet with some nice tart crispness to balance it all out. I'm getting some fruit, but I can't decide if it's grapes that are coming through though (is it green apples I'm tasting?)

Mouthfeel: Well balanced carbonation with a decidedly light body

Drinkability: Goes down nice and easy, this is a beer in the middle of the spectrum

Verdict: A well balanced malty Pale Ale with a unique twist of sweet fruit. I really love Boston Brewing for putting on this contest, it's a great public service to the world of homebrewing and beer in general. Quite a unusual little beer, Lili Hess' Grape Pale Ale is a worthy winning recipe, athough I bet not everyone would agree with me...

Grade: B

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