Samuel Adams “Tasman Red”
This is an amber ale labeled “red IPA,” part of Sam Adam’s limited release series. It pours an impressive head, which lasts a very long time, and leaves dense lacing behind. Very sudsy.
The aroma is characteristically “amber,” but with a nice citric hop accent. Warm, mellow, sweet grain malt which is lightly toasted like fresh toaster bread. A spice element brings in a subtle note on the back end.
Samuel Adams says “this wily red IPA gets its character from the Tasmanian hops that are full of grapefruit, pine, and earthy notes.” There is indeed a bit of grapefruit and a dash of pine, but nothing like a proper red IPA should be. The malt falls somewhere between caramel and lightly roasted. It’s well-rounded, not at all rough along the edges. Very smooth, with a bit of a dry, hoppy finish. Sort of a peanut brittle, caramelesque malt sweetness with an earthy appeal. Also has this nice floral appeal. to it, sort of rosey. However, the flavor falls short of expectations. The carbonation is too moderate, hops are understated (especially for a beer labeled IPA), and the palate just doesn’t blend quite right. Something about the feel comes across rather flat, though creamy.
Turns out the appearance is the best feature of this brew. Sure, it’s east coast, but come on. Where do these guys get at labeling this an IPA? I think I’d have more respect if they had just called it an amber ale (and I’d have probably rated it higher too.) Obviously, some market pressure has been placed on Boston brew from the finer craft breweries producing IPA hybrids. This just doesn’t match up to the better guys out there. Sam Adams fails again. Sorry east coast. Not recommended.