Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday Night Tasting- Latitude 48 & Three Graces Ale

Samuel Adams – Boston, MA
Brewmaster’s Collection- Latitude 48

This is the newest offerings from the Kings of Craft Beer, only found in the Brewmaster’s Collection Summer Mix 12-Pack. This is an India Pale Ale that has not been brewed before, which features German, English, and American Hops found along the 48th Latitude of the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the “Hop Belt”.

The beer pours a slightly dark or moderate amber color, with plenty of head to fill the glass. It has a malty, potent, piney body with an aroma to match. Naturally, you get a great hoppy, floral bouquet, but it has a delicate, dry, and crisp mouth feel. Though it’s got plenty of hops, it doesn’t overpower the malty character of the beer. Those who have tried Samuel Adams Noble Pils and didn’t quite care for it may actually prefer Latitude 48. It has a more subtle flavor, and is not nearly as bitter as the Pils.

In my opinion, this beer has a high drinkability factor. It would go great with anything, from grilled chicken, steak, or even pasta, but could be fine on its own.

Unfortunately Latitude 48 is currently only offered in the mix pack, but will likely be found in six packs soon enough. Many of the Brewmaster’s collection beers can be found separate from the mix packs, such as the Coastal Wheat and Blackberry Whitbier.

Haverhill Brewery – Haverhill, MA
Three Graces Tripel-Style Ale
9.1% ABV, 35 IBU
1pt 6oz, Bottled March 2010

This brew uses Golden Hops, Pilsen Malt, and a special Belgian Ale Yeast at high temperatures, which gives the beer a spicy aroma and flavor. If that wasn’t enough, it’s fermented for two months, which help it reach its high alcohol content.

From the first pour (took two to finish the bottle), you could see this great pale orange color, typical of Belgian styles. It had a great aroma, mostly of orange peel and with a nice spiciness and floral fragrance. It was both light bodied and had a crisp mouth feel, while having a soft tart and bitterness flavor.

This is definitely drinkable, despite the high ABV, comparable to most tripels which can sometimes be too potent. This one will complement great summer days, or cold winter months as the Haverhill Brewery mentions that it pairs well with chicken, sharp and blue cheeses, as well as savory sauces.

If you live in New England and have not been to the Tap Brewery & Restaurant, you must go! There’s nothing better than visiting this casual and inviting brewpub on a warm sunny afternoon. Located in downtown Haverhill, MA, their food prices are reasonable (lunch for $10 or under!), their beer is cold, and they have one of the best outdoor spaces, with their deck overlooking the Merrimack River. It should also be noted they have a jukebox with an awesome selection as well.

While their prices are low, their quality is high. The Tap Brewery & Restaurant is one of our favorite places to visit, and we will be doing a feature write up over the next few weeks.

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