Do I detect a little nepotism in the 2012 Longshot Homebrew competition? One of the winners of Boston Beer’s annual contest last year was Zack Adams with his Magnificent Seven “Imperial American IPA”. That means Zack’s beer was one of the three selections in the 2013 sampler. But come on Boston Beer, could you have been any more obvious? Zack Adams? Samuel Adams? Clearly they’re keeping it all in the family.
OK, I’m obviously kidding about that. I can’t prove that Zack Adams is a descendant of Sam Adams, or even John Adams or John Quincy Adams for that matter. Though I suppose if he was related to one he’d be related to all….but I digress. Here’s what the neck label says about Magnificent Seven:
Zack and his friend Pat decided to create a brew loaded with their seven favorite hops. A showcase of US hop varieties and true to an Imperial American IPA, this beer has a big grapefruit, pine & resinous notes.
No indication on the Boston Beer website as to which 7 hop varieties are used here. I can say that the beer has an alcohol content of 7.8% by volume and that the six-pack sampler, in which you get two 12-ounce bottles of this beer, was once again $9.99 this year.
Samuel Adams Longshot Magnificent Seven pours to a brilliant orange amber color with a thick rocky head formation and a very herbal-grassy, resiny hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a fair amount of caramel in the body, but the hops quickly take over and assert themselves. It’s easy to see this is a multi-hop beer, because the hop character is all over the map on this one: minty-grassy, herbal, even tea-like in aroma, resinous, piney, and citric. The citrus character is perhaps less pronounced, I think, than the resin and herbal grassiness, but at the last a hint of, oddly enough, fresh grated ginger emerges, subtle phenols, and a long lingering, even sharp dry bitterness.
This isn’t the first Longshot Double/Imperial IPA, of course. That honor goes to Mike Mcdole for his Longshot Double IPA won in 2008, bottled in 2009. That one was more balanced, I think, and a better beer all around. Still, Longshot Magnificent Seven is nonetheless a worthy brew, and I’m glad I have another bottle somewhere in my beer fridge.
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.