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Category: Samuel Adams

2013 Oktoberfest – Samuel Adams

2013 Oktoberfest – Samuel Adams

The very first release of Samuel Adams’ Oktoberfest in cans came in August of 2013. That’s probably the best shelf spotting I’ve ever made for my particular interests. I love Samuel Adams’ Oktoberfest and love cans. It’s about time that Sam Adams finally transitioned to canning some of their beers, especially after having some issues with their glass bottles in 2008 that forced a recall and issuing of rebates.

2013 Small Batch Collection – Samuel Adams

2013 Small Batch Collection – Samuel Adams

Spotted in August 2013 – the Samuel Adams “Small Batch Collection”. Four bombers in a cardboard box – suggested retail was about $19.99. At $5 a bomber – that’s an economical way to sample some of their special batches. The four beers included are:

  • Merry Mischief – Gingerbread Stout
  • The Vixen – Chocolate Chili Bock
  • Norse Legend – Sahti
  • Griffin’s Bow – Oaked Blonde Barleywine

All are intended for immediate consumption or to be aged. I didn’t pick up the set, as none of those styles typically interest me, but if I was offered any of those beers to sample first, I’d go with The Vixen.

2008 Chocolate Bock – Samuel Adams

2008 Chocolate Bock – Samuel Adams

Presented with a lovely pewter label on a bomber (and retailing at $14.99 a bomber, this was the perfect beer for the holidays). Produced in 2008, but I cellared the bottle until 2010 and served it at Thanksgiving. It was a big hit – subtle and mellow, with rich chocolate flavor and other flavor notes from its special brewing process, which paired well with turkey and pumpkin pie. This beer was aged on a bed of cocoa nibs from Felchlin – Grand Cru Savage from Bolivia. The nibs imparted notes of honey, vanilla, and dried fruit to the malt backbone of Chocolate Bock. Despite being aged for 2 years, the beer held up very well, even with a low ABV. It transformed into a wonderfully decadent and complex beer that finished smooth (without any bittering).
I only wish that I had bought more of this vintage. The “new” Chocolate Bock that got introduced in 2009-10 changed the formula, going from a premium beer to a mass-produced beer that could be put into the variety packs and six-packs at a reduced cost. I’d still prefer the premium cost of the 2008 Chocolate Bock over the more recent version. If Samuel Adams decides to produce another premium version of this beer, then pick it up immediately.

Rating: 92

2013 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

2013 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

The 2013 Harvest (Autumn) Collection variety pack from Samuel Adams contained the following beers:

  • Boston Lager (2)
  • Harvest Pumpkin (2)
  • Latitude 48 IPA (2)
  • Hazel Brown (2)
  • Octoberfest (2)
  • Ruby Mild (2)

This was a vast improvement over the original 2009 version. It’s probably also the best lineup I’ve seen for the Harvest Collection variety packs over the years since. There isn’t a single undrinkable beer out of this box, and most are solid beers that provide enough variety to keep one drinker happy or for everybody to be happy with their choices out of what’s left in the box.

Rating (for the variety pack): 95

2009 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

2009 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

As hard as it is to believe, Samuel Adams had never released a variety pack for fall before (they typically did it for winter) 2009. The very first Harvest Collection by Samuel Adams had the following beers:

  • Boston Lager (2)
  • Octoberfest (2)
  • Irish Red (2)
  • Cherry Wheat (2)
  • Brown Ale (2)
  • Dunkelweizen (2) [First brewing – Harvest Exclusive]

Overall, this was a greatly disappointing pack for me. The only good options were the stalwarts that were to be expected: Boston Lager and Octoberfest. Of the four remaining options, Brown Ale was the best. Dunkelweizen was simply horrible, as was Cherry Wheat.

Rating (for the variety pack): 45.