Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic Ale....Cranberry?

So, in the spirit of the near-upon holiday season, I've started seriously pursuing interesting (and hopefully tasty) holiday style microbrews, mostly searching in the limited bottle shops in my general vicinity. It's slim pickins for microwbrew variety here in Western Pennsylvania for sure!

Anyway, this past Saturday my wife and I stopped by a new establishment and were extremely impressed with the overall selection of microbrews of all styles (hundreds and hundreds to choose and I'll be returning there for certain). The prices were high however, but still a better deal to be able to try a single bottle of something new for $3.00 than to purchase a whole case of 24 for $40.00 only to find out it's not something I'd want to drink more than one of anyway.

My wife created a mixed brand sixer and I as well. This evening, we agreed to sample an interesting looking Samuel Adams offering called Cranberry Lambic. I understand that this beer is an annual offering in the Sam Adams mixed sampler holiday beers case.

What I didn't understand was what the word "cranberry" was doing on a beer bottle. Either way, it piqued our combined interest and seemed worth a shot. Well, a shot was about all of it I could drink. It was that bad! The cranberry taste was not just a subtle background hint in this brew but an overbearing, sour pungent punch to my tastebuds and my wife's as well. Not even the aroma of this beverage was appealing to me. Very little of this Cranberry Lambic reminded me of beer at all let alone something which was craft brewed for enjoyment while celebrating in the "holiday cheer mode" of the season.

I have tried other Samuel Adams products with great kudos for many of them, but this one I wouldn't even split for a toast amongst friends let alone finish an entire 12 oz. bottle. I think that's what shocked me the most is the extreme of how much I disliked this libation compared to everything else I've tried from Boston Beer Company. Cranberry Lambic is a violent mood swing from the Boston Lager and most of their other lineup members. I will try other beers from the Samuel Adams seasonal holiday sampler case, but not this one ever, ever again. Maybe, just maybe someone who is into "fruity" beers, and cranberries in particular, will enjoy this. But my guess is, probably 95% of the microbrew market wouldn't like it. I'm sure there's a niche market here with Cranberry Lambic, I'm just not sure who and I'm pretty sure I've never met any of them.

My final word on Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic.....I'll give it a 1.50 out of 10.00 (in my humble opinion). Please try it though, and let me know if maybe I just got a bad bottle or served it too cold or too warm or poured it incorrectly into the wrong glassware, or drank it on the South side of the house instead of the proper East or I should've saved it until next Easter or whatever. I just didn't get this (whether I'm just too sud savvy or hopelessly ignorant) and I'm sorry if this was too harsh. I'll have better reviews to come for the Boston Beer Company. Cheers! :)

You can check out more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!