Tasting Notes: A Sneak Peek at Samuel Adams New England IPA

Photo Credit: Mashing In

For this week’s edition of Tasting Notes, we somehow stumble upon the opportunity to preview the soon-to-be widely released New England IPA from Samuel Adams (Boston, Massachusetts).

Since Samuel Adams is truly synonymous with the region of New England, it only makes sense for them to get in on craft beer’s recent IPA haze craze by brewing their own New England IPA.  Staying true to the more classic representations of the style (think Heady Topper from The Alchemist), the Samuel Adams New England IPA showcases an “opaque, hazy appearance”, a fruity hop presence with minimal bitterness, and a “juicy, luscious mouthfeel.”

Please, do not be confused by the blank sample cans we received. Packaging is in place (see promo image at the top of this post, credit: Samuel Adams), and this new Year-Round offering is currently experiencing a gradual rollout in Boston and select cities/states.  New England IPA will eventually see nationwide distribution after the New Year with availability in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft.

That should just about cover all of the background information on Samuel Adams New England IPA, so let’s get into some Tasting Notes to see what this new brew is all about.

Tasting Notes for New England IPA from Samuel Adams

Appearance – This brew is a sunburst orange in color that has some darker amber tones residing within the center of the pour.  When held to direct light, the oranges and yellows brighten at the edges while that amber core actually holds and deepens.  The beer has a good amount of haze to it, and a steady carbonation level can just barely be seen coursing within.  The pour built a lush two fingers of eggshell white foam.  Retention is pretty fantastic, falling ever so slowly to a creamy, lasting finger that sheets the glass with wide sweeping patterns of lace.

Aroma –   Very nice here with intensely juicy citrus and tropical fruit notes filling the air.  We are talking about massive amounts of pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine and passionfruit.  These fruity tones dominate the profile, but a bit of grassy and earthy character can be found underneath.

Taste – The flavor nearly mirrors the nose as an ample tropical fruit presence bursts with notes of passionfruit, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, papaya and berry.  A faint pine and earthy quality does eventually move in alongside a guava-like note that is further supported by a trace of non-descript malt sweetness.  This thing is basically a liquid fruit bowl.

Mouthfeel – Residing a touch on the heavier side of medium in body with a medium carbonation level, this beer is creamy and smooth in texture.  It dries out quickly, causing any hint of hop bitterness to dissipate immediately.  Its 6.8% ABV is not at all noticeable, keeping the experience refreshing and easy drinking.  The aftertaste leaves behind faint traces of pineapple and sweet citrus.

Final Thoughts – In a craft beer world gone hazy, this New England IPA from Samuel Adams certainly holds its own.  The mouthfeel is right, bitterness is minimal, the aromatics and flavors are juicy as hell, and it is definitely pretty to look at it.  By definition, this is absolutely a NE-style IPA/Hazy IPA and should be taken seriously as such.  Like all Samuel Adams beers, this offering benefits from a respected lineage that unquestionably puts quality at the forefront. That being the case, New England IPA gets some serious bonus points when you consider the fact that is about to become the most solid, consistent and easily attainable Hazy IPA on the market.  Seriously, keep an eye out for this one when it makes its full nationwide release at the start of 2018. Prost!