And when I do get that 12-pack, I’ll also have two more Alpine Spring bottles, which are also conveniently sold in their own 6- and 12-packs, as Alpine Spring is now the spring seasonal from Samuel Adams. Alpine Spring, a lager, contrasts nicely with the Mighty Oak Ale. Alpine Spring is pale yellow and effervescent, has a spicy hoppiness, and has the aroma of a classic German Marzen—referred to by Melba as “the bong-water smell.” It’s not too spicy, though. Most of the hops are bound up in the nose and not on the tongue. I’ll admit that I prefer it that way.
We ended 2011 with Samuel Adams, and we’ll start this year with a triple review of more offerings from the Boston brewery. A quick note about the 2012 Infinium, which tastes slightly different than last year, where I rated it “Enjoyable.” The 2011 vintage is maltier and richer—still very effervescent, and not as cidery as last year’s. The richer flavor pushes this year’s vintage into “Recommended!” territory; although, bottles are still fairly expensive, my major complaint last year.
10.3 ABV ; limited availability
High marks, too, for the 2011 Beer Lover’s Choice winner, Mighty Oak Ale, available in the Brewmaster’s Choice 12-packs. My only quibble with this beer is that there are just two of them in each pack. Samuel Adams ages the beer in oak barrels, giving the ale subtle notes of vanilla and caramel. It’s also malty, not overly so, and the hops—including my favorite to say, “Fuggles“—are perfectly balanced. I would dare say that they took one of their unjustly unsung varieties, the little-seen-outside-of-Boston, Boston Ale, and aged it in an oak barrel just to see what would happen. The color of the oaked ale is similar to Boston Ale, dark reddish amber, and they share the same rich backbone.
Since then, Sam Adams tweaked the name to Mighty Oak Ale, but the recipe remains the same. It’s a rich, malty ale with those notes of vanilla. I was reminded of Innis and Gunn barrel-aged beers, but where Innis and Gunn is super-aggressive with the flavor of the vanilla and caramel esters, the Mighty Oak Ale is subtle, not sweet. I’m enjoying the Mighty Oak Ale and surely buying another 12-pack of the Brewmaster’s Choice to get a couple more.
Alpine Spring, photo by Mrs. Ferment
Mighty Oak Ale, photo by Mrs. Ferment
5.7 ABV ; available in the Brewmaster Collection
There might be other beers in the Brewmaster’s Collection. If I get beyond the Alpine Spring and Mighty Oak Ale, I’m sure to write about it.
Samuel Adams 2011 Infinium, Mighty Oak Ale, & Alpine Spring Recommended! 10.3 ABV ; limited availability We ended 2011 with Samuel Adams , and we’ll start this year with a triple review of
Mash Schedule: BIAB, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 20 lbs
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
1.0 pkg American Lager Yeast (White Labs #WLP840 Yeast 6 –
2.00 oz Hallertauer Pellets [4.30 %] – Boil 20.0 Hop 4 10.7 IBUs
2.00 oz Hallertauer Pellets [4.30 %] – Boil 10.0 Hop 5 6.4 IBUs
2.00 oz Tettnang Pellets [3.90 %] – Boil 60.0 mi Hop 3 16.0 IBUs
Mash Step Heat to 155.0 F over 4 min 155.0 F 30 min
2.00 oz Hallertauer Pellets [4.30 %] – Dry Hop 0 Hop 7 0.0 IBUs
1 lbs Caramel 60 (60.0 SRM) Grain 2 4.8 %
Saccharification Add 57.06 qt of water and heat to 105.0 105.0 F 30 min
It's clone time! The Homebrew How-To team found what is rumored to be the secret recipe for Sam Adams (thanks HomebrewTalk) and put it to the test. Recipe fr…