It’s no secret Sam Adams does beer in general, and IPAs specifically, really well. But what always impresses me is the way Sam markets their beers. Case in point, the currently available “Hop Tour” six pack, featuring the Latitude 48, Noble Pils, and Whitewater IPAs. Three great beers that go great together.
Josh has reviewed all these beers in the past, but it’s been a few years, and they’ve never been reviewed together. Since it’s already Sunday and I’m out of time to buy more brews before I watch NFL RedZone for seven straight hours, I’m going to compare my thoughts to Josh’s to see if they’ve changed over time.
First up, the Whitewater. It’s a wheat ale brewed with apricots and spices, intended to be a blend between a Belgium white and American IPA. It pours our a slightly cloudy yellow with a little foam crown on top, and a very hoppy aroma. Taste wise, this is very dry and quite bitter. I got lots of pine notes up front, with some floral hops through the middle before ending on a sweet stone fruit endnote. Combined with a 5.8% ABV, this is eminently drinkable. I tend to agree with Josh’s review, except for a lack of citrus notes.
Next up, the Latitude 48 IPA. Brewed with hops found along the northern 48th latitude line, it pours a clear dark copper color. The aroma is pretty malty and sweet, and those tendencies carry through to the flavor. It starts out with some crisp but indistinguishable hoppiness, gets really sweet and malted through the middle (kind of reminded me of honey), and ends on a long bitter end note. I also like slightly stronger 6% ABV ABV. My experience differed a bit from Josh’s review, as he got all kinds of awesome hops. He reviewed it in 2010, and I’m wondering if the brew has changed since then.
Finally, the Noble Pils. This is brewed to be a Czech Pilsner with the five “noble” hops. It’s typically only available in the warm months, so I was psyched to see it in the fall. It pours out a crystal-clear straw color, with just a tiny foam crown. The aroma is sweet with some hints of fruit, but I didn’t get any hops. Taste-wise, it’s the perfect blend of a crisp light pilsner flavor on the start with some sharp hops through the middle. There isn’t really much of an aftertaste and combined with the 4.9% ABV, it’s the perfect beer to just drink all day long. My experience was really similar to Josh’s review, and he’s got a really cool story about this brew.
Overall, what’s not to like about the hop tour sixer? Three great beers, two bottles each, one good Sunday afternoon of drinking 🙂