So my wife brings home a new (to me) Sam Adams beer. It’s called the White Christmas and it’s based upon a White Ale type beer. Ok, I can get behind this. I pop the top and pour it into my Sam Adams beer glass (you know the kind, it’s specially crafted for Sam Adams beer to maximize the aroma and flavor on the tongue) and can’t wait to taste it!
But before I get into tasting notes, let’s heard from their marketing department:
Marketing Speak: “A special time of year calls for a special brew. For us, this brew combines the crispness of a white ale with the warmth of familiar holiday spices.”
Malt Varieties: “Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, wheat, German pils malt.”
Special Ingredients: “Cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel”
Standard Reference Method: (SRM): “6”
Ok, so my take on it…this beer is definitely lighter than a Boston Lager, indeed like a White Ale. This is butterscotch to caramel in color but still maintains all the rich, tasty goodness of my beloved Boston Lager.
On the nose, you can certainly pick up on the nutmeg and hops. On the palate, all three flavors of the “special ingredients” combine into a rich, sweet taste that makes this Sam Adams my next-in-line on the totem pole of favorite beers. This is a beer I could drink by the bucket full. The immediate flavor of cinnamon and nutmeg give it a great taste but its the orange peel that lingers and leaves a light taste on the middle part of the tongue.
It’s not so light that it leaves no residual flavors, but not to heavy to coat the gums and roof of the mouth (I’m looking at you, Sam Adams IPA). I like this beer because it’s so versatile with your cigar of choice. If you smoked a mild cigar with this beer, the beer will be the flavor leader of the combination, essentially, you’re using the beer to spice up the experience of the cigar. On the other hand, if you were to pair this beer with a more bold cigar, the beer itself is not so thick or heavy that it would compete with the flavors within your leaf, but I think the cinnamon could compliment those complex flavors. Lastly, if you were to prefer a more “earthy” cigar, the nutmeg will accentuate the theme of your cigar and add a nice twist to an otherwise boring (IMHO) cigar.
So tell me, what do you think of this beer and what cigar did you pair it with? Was it a good choice?