There's No Place Like Sam for the Holidays

This past weekend, thanks to my son’s 2nd birthday party, I finally got the chance to sample the beer selection contained in this year’s Sam Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack. In order of worst to first, here is what I have to say about the pack:

Boston Lager is the bottom of the barrel here. It’s not that it’s a horrible beer, but it’s altogether too generic for the mix. I say, just remove it altogether and let the Boston Lager drinkers go get a case of that instead. I did not sample this selection this weekend, mostly because I wouldn’t waste any of the beers I was allowing myself to consume on this.

Holiday Porter is next because it is not very good. I am a dark beer drinker, so it’s not because I don’t like porters. I simply didn’t really think much of it. Reviews of it tend to be quite solid, but to me it was a bit boring and didn’t do much for me.

White Ale joined the winter crew this year. I’m okay with that, but I am one of the few who actually liked Cranberry Lambic, white it replaced. I’ve had this white several times (though not this weekend for the same reasons mentioned above) and it’s always done the trick. It’s nothing to rave about, but it tastes pretty yummy. If you have some Blue Moon drinkers in your family, you can give these to them to keep them quiet while you dive into the top 3 (keep reading!).

Old Fezziwig Ale is considered a Winter Warmer, but it simply doesn’t pack enough punch to truly we a Winter Warmer in my opinion. That said, it’s still a solid session ale in a pseudo Old Ale style. I’d gladly drink a few, but I’d much prefer a Lancaster Winter Warmer if I had my choice.

Winter Lager is a great Sam Adams seasonal. It’s readily available at most bars and restaurants, providing a great Winter beer option when dining out. In the pack, it’s a filler, but a good one. In fact, doubling the amount of Winter Lager bottle and forgoing the Boston Lagers is a worthwhile option for Boston Brewery to consider. Despite my thorough enjoyment of this beer, I passed on a bottle of this in order to have a second bottle of my favorite beer in the pack (besides, I had one on tap the day before when my wife brought me out for lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s).

Chocolate Bock is the best of the bunch. Velvety and scrumptious, this beer is basically what you’d think it is by the name. It’s a bock brewed with chocolate malt aged on cocoa. It’s a great Winter selection and I encourage you all to try it. The biggest disappointment is that you can only get it by buying the Winter Classics, thus you will have to share or chug the others to get your hands on these.



~ by thepaintedman on November 23, 2010.

3 Responses to “There's No Place Like Sam for the Holidays”

  1. I’ve always been partial to their White Ale, thanks to Signorelli. I would contend also, though, that their worst (Boston Lager) is still better than most swill passing for beer out there today. Totally agree on the Winter brew, and there’s a bottle of Chocolate Bock in my fridge right now! Cheers!

  2. I love the holiday pack! The “worst” on this list is still, in my opinion, the best beer in America. Of the holiday pack selection, I save Boston Lager and Chocolate Bock for last, but I also really like the Old Fezziwig, White Ale, Winter Lager and Porter. The Porter, to me, is a few cocoa nibs away from Chocolate Bock, flavor wise…

  3. Tom, I’d drink a Boston Lager if it was between that and crappy macrobrews like Bud, Coors, etc. but there are many other amber lagers I’d snatch before it.

    I think the Bock and Porter are significantly different, but that’s me.

    That said, thanks for stopping by and enjoy your brew. Come back soon!

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