This year, Boston Beer Company added two new beers to their Summer Styles 12-pack sampler. For about $13, lucky buyers get two bottles each of the obligatory Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA, perennial favorite Samuel Adams Summer Ale, and the two new brews. Those new beers are Samuel Adams East West Kolsch and tonight’s beer of choice, Samuel Adams Rustic Saison.
The first time I tried this beer was outside of the sampler, on draft at Taco Mac. I liked the beer well enough as a refreshing warm weather quencher with lots of flavor. As a saison stylistically, I would have liked more flavor, but this supposed to be a warm weather brew after all. It was certainly drinkable enough, and the below average alcohol content (4.3% by volume) certainly means you can sip a few without too much ill effect.
Boston Beer says this about Samuel Adams Rustic Saison:
Samuel Adams Rustic Saison is an incredibly complex yet refreshing beer in the classic style of Belgian farmhouse ales. These blonde ales were traditionally brewed to quench the thirst of farmers throughout the summer months. The unique character of our brew comes from its Belgian yeast that imparts floral, fruity, and spicy flavors. These are layered with a slight earthiness and a citrusy, herbal hop character for a bright and satisfying summer brew.
And here’s what I think:
Samuel Adams Rustic Saison pours to a bright golden color with a thick spritzy head formation and a very enticing spicy yeast nose. Taking a sip, the beer is light in body but still has a firm, crisp malt character appropriate to the style. The spices come to your palate’s attention right away, peppery, hinting at clove, citrus, and Belgian funk. There’s a rich sweetness underneath from the honey as well. In the finish, there’s a drying herbal bitterness that makes this beer very refreshing indeed.
I’ve seen some so-so reviews of this beer in the beer geek community, and while it’s true all the flavors in this beer are on the subtle side, keep in mind that this beer is part of the summer beers sampler. It’s not supposed to whack you over the head, it’s supposed to refresh and satisfy, all the while generally within the confines of the saison style. I think it certainly does that, and is worth checking out.
Well suited for poultry dishes and fish to my mind.
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.