I picked up a Summer seasonal pack of Sam Adams (who by the way redesigned their website) the other day and finally got around to opening up a bottle. My first beer of choice was their Blackberry Witbier which was selected over as the 2008 winner of the Beer Lover’s Choice award over a Coffee Stout.
The Cherry Wheat is one of my favorite go-to brews, but unfortunately I have to say that Sam Adams sort of drops the ball on its remaining wheat beers. The White Ale, Coastal Wheat, Blackberry Wit, and Summer Ale all taste very similar with the exceptions of various spices and fruit ingredients. Checking out the profiles for each of these beers on their website, I found the grain bills to be exactly the same. Cherry Wheat is the exception since Munich-10 malt is utilized giving it a toasty quality closer to the Oktoberfest. I’m a little saddened to see this. In all honesty, I was hoping that each beer would somehow be a unique all the way down to the base malted used. Enough about my personal likes and dislikes and onto the beers which is currently getting warm.
Blackberry Witbier is exactly that…a sweet smelling fruit beer. I’d recommend it for those hot, sticky summer BBQ parties where having a couple drink options might be a good idea. There is a very noticeable blackberry aroma that wafts up during the pour. Characteristic of the Witbier style it has a substantial head, but lacks the yeast left in the bottle. Upon inspection I noticed that it looked filtered as the beer had a clear almost Pilsner-like color. I did not catch a hit of blue, red, or purple from the berries used.
The taste is smooth and easy. The wheat malts provide a creamy mouthfeel and the blackberries give a pleasant sweet taste to them. I will say that the berry addition/content is almost borderline too much. It reminds me of biting into a fresh blueberry muffin and getting only berries. The finish is laden with the blackberry flavor, but it does go down clean. I would urge all to drink this while it is nice and cold in order to keep it a quick refreshing beer more than anything.
I never thought I’d say this, but Sam Adams came up short on this one.