Thursday, October 16, 2008

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

Today we'll sample one of my favorite seasonal beers, Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. Brewed by the Boston Beer Company, it was created as a tribute to the noble hop Hallertau Mittelfrau which are grown in the Hallertau region of Bavaria in Germany. If Germans made hop bombs this is probably what they would make.

The beer pours a deep golden straw color with a bright white head. Its not crystal clear like a Pils should be, there is a slight haziness to it, maybe from all the hops? The aroma is dominated by the spicy floral aroma of the Hallertau hops, with a hint of honey and malt lurking underneath it all. A real treat for the nose.

The flavor starts out with a touch of caramel sweetness, this is quickly replaced by the spicy bitterness of the hops. There is some citrus notes mixed in there as well. The mouth feel is a little creamy and has a tendency to stick to the tongue. The finish is bitter and perfumey with a touch of heat form the alcohol. There is just enough malt in there to keep the beer slightly balanced but the Hops are definitely the main attraction.

This beer is very drinkable, if it wasn't for the 8.1% ABV I'd have a hard time stopping after just one. The bitter finish could be a drawback for some but I like it. I really enjoy how the Hallertau hops are so clearly put on display. Jim Koch should make this part of their regular line-up. This is not a beer to be missed. It is sold in four packs and they'll set you back about ten bucks.

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