THIS COPPER-COLORED winter IPA has an appealing early snap from the broad bitterness of Columbus hops, whose 50 IBUs carry through the moderate body and slightly elevated carbonation into a thinning finish. At 5.8%ABV it’s a touch strong for Sam Adams’ 6-pack fare, which generally aims towards easy-drinking; a more generous (or at least complex) body would have been welcome for balance in the late stages. Instead, we’re ‘treated’ to a winter seasonal twist in the form of juniper berries, which added to sweeten up the aroma and reinforce the piney hop tones of the midpalate. The tactic worked for the most part, but results also in a slightly odd vegetal aroma that probably wasn’t what the brewers had in mind. ‘Woody’ or ‘resinous’ would probably have been more on target. Thus the desirable flavors of the juniper berries just barely surpass what more vigorous hopping (either in bittering or late-kettle additions) or specialty malt additions could have achieved on their own. But, but—we’ve got all these juniper berries lying around the brewhouse and simply can’t just throw them out….
Served: 12 oz bottle