Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spring Thaw

Damn This Cold Weather!

Beer Reviewed: Spring Thaw Variety Pack
Style: Various Lager and Ale Selections
Brewery: The Boston Beer Company


There are times when I really dislike living in the Northeast, and this week is one of those times. Most of this week has had lows in the single digits and a fair amount of wind to make it even worse. I grew up in a cold weather region, but I was actually born in California. It’s probably not true, but I’ve always believed I should return back to the warmth of Southern California like some beer swigging salmon.

That said, I usually wait until February to start pining for Spring, but when I went shopping at my Local Liquor Store (LLS), I was inspired to believe that budding branches and warmer temperatures are right around the corner when I saw this gift-pack from The Boston Beer Company.

I have to admit that I have a limited background with Samuel Adams Beer, mostly Boston Lager, Sam Summer and their Winter Lager that I’ve previously reviewed. This gift pack provides a great opportunity to taste a wider range of their offerings and really come to know this brewery that much better.

Samuel Adams Spring Thaw variety Pack Outside

I am going to start with my most familiar, the Boston Lager and move through the rest of the pack, thinking about Spring and hopefully forgetting about the cold. If it goes well enough, maybe I’ll move on to Red Stripe, or something else from the Islands, but that may be a little premature.

My background with Boston Lager actually started in the airport. When I travel, there seem to be a lot of airport bars that offer Samuel Adams products, but that may be because I stay away from Bud Light and Coors at all costs. I’ve only had it on tap, and only out of the dirty taps and glasses that are ubiquitous for the air traveler.

Bottle of Samuel Adams and Snowglobe of NYC

The Beer

Beer characteristics

Quantitative parameters of beer character

  1. The non-standard IBU rating is a 30, but The Hitchens Taste Scale puts this around a +3.
  1. Alcohol content is 4.9% alc/vol, which is lower than some of my recently reviewed beers, but not unusual for the type this is.
  2. The color is a deep amber, and referring to the SRM, this would be a little darker than an English Bitter at an 11 on Lovibond.

Looking Up To Sam Adams Boston Lager

Qualitative parameters of beer character

  1. The aroma is subtle with a little citrus. I was expecting a bigger nose for some reason, but I’m starting to get the sense that this may be a quaffable beer.
  2. The flavor is hoppy, like a good lager should be. It’s full and deep, but not overpowering. The hops are mellow, but it’s the dominant flavor of the beer.
  3. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops, but there is also a tannic dryness that hangs around for quite some time.
  4. The mouthfeel is not very strong. There is a little tingle, but it settles out quickly and gets you ready for your next sip.
  5. The carbonation is present, but not overpowering. The head died off quickly and the bubbling in the glass was light, but constant.
  6. Being that this is a spring thaw themed gift-pack, the temperature should be cold, but not freezing. You will probably need a coat, but no gloves!


I recommend this Boston Lager even if you aren’t flying through Logan. It’s a traditional lager that has been executed flawlessly. I’ll let you know if I recommend the gift pack as soon as I get through it, but in the meantime, try Boston Lager on tap or from the bottle.

- Enthusiast

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