Has it finally happened? Is Boston beer, maker of the Samuel Adams line of brews, finally running out of styles? Consider that they usually add a few new beers to the lineup with each seasonal 12-pack sampler they release, and they release on of these 4 times a year. There are, after all, 4 seasons. Anyway, for 2014 the Beers of Summer sampler included no new beers, and the Samuel Adams Harvest Collection 12-pack I just got my hands on only has one.
That one new beer is Samuel Adams Harvest Saison, and even then that’s not the first saison Boston Beer has concocted. They did Samuel Adams Rustic Saison a few years ago, though as we will see the two are very different beers indeed. There was also a Longshot Lemon Pepper Saison back in 2010. The mix of beers in the sampler is a little different as well. You’ll get:
· 4 Samuel Adams Harvest Saison
From the neck label:
With every autumn comes the hope of a bountiful harvest and this distinctive take on a traditional saison delivers with a crop of barley, oats, rye, and wheat, with its own malty aroma and golden amber hue. The crisp taste of this Belgian style brew is a perfect match for a brisk fall day.
Ingredients from the website:
HOP VARIETIES: Aramis, Saaz
MALT VARIETIES: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, oat, rye, wheat, aromatic malt
YEAST STRAIN: Belgian Ale Yeast
Samuel Adams Harvest Saison has an alcohol content of 6% by volume and 25 IBUs. My bottle has a best by date notched of January, 2014. I paid $13.29 for the 4-pack at Target, a real bargain these days. That’s less than $7 a six-pack.
Samuel Adams Harvest Saison pours to a brilliant orange color with a thick creamy head and a zesty, spicy nose of Belgian yeasty funk. Taking a sip, the malts come out and greet your tongue right away, with chewy caramel from the barley, smoothness of texture from the oats, spicy graininess from the rye and a hint of tartness from the wheat only at the last. You definitely get a candyish, funky Belgian yeasty character here, and a bitter, herbal grassy hop finish rounds this one out perfectly.
All of the flavors meld perfectly here-the grains, the yeasty spice, the hops. This is not your usual harvest beer, but I’m surprised how much I like this one.
Folks, we have a winner, and I even like the fact you get 4 bottles of Samuel Adams Harvest Saison and 4 bottles of my beloved Samuel Adams Octoberfest. It’s also a big departure from Samuel Adams Rustic Saison. This one has bite folks, with more yeasty spice, much more malty goodness and certainly more hops. August is a bit early for me to be drinking fall beers, so I’ll likely save the rest of them for September and football season. And when they’re gone? I just may pick up another. This year’s harvest after all, is a very, very good one.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.