Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday Night Tasting - Sam Adams / Weihenstephan: Infinium Ale
Samuel Adams & Weihenstephan - Boston, MA and Bavaria, Germany
10.3% ABV, 1pt 9.4oz
This is one special beer that has taken Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan a few years to develop, but I really think they've hit on this one. The beer is a champagne style beer, but was brewed within the boundaries of Reinheitsgebot, which is the German Purity Laws for brewing beer. Simply stated, it's using only the four main ingredients in beer: water, barley, hops, and yeast. More definitively, it has the body of a beer, with the delicacy of a champagne - with all the flavor and bubbles you would expect for a beer that took two years to develop.
The beer pours a medium light head, which fades fairly quickly. I poured it into champagne flutes as I would typically pour a beer, along the side of a tilted glass. The beer foams up like a champagne, but then settles like a beer. It is extremely bubbly as you would expect from a liquid poured from a champagne bottle. The liquid is a slight dark amber gold, which is quite nice.
The aroma is of a champagne and has a heavy caramel and toffee presence. It has a nice layer of malt and brown sugar scents as well.
Once the beer hits your pallet, you get the tingle from the bubbles, but the great flavors start to shine through. It's crisp and clean like a Belgian beer, but has an effervescence of caramel and toffee.
This beer is definitely one you want to share with friends and family, which is what we did. This is actually our second time having Infinium, with the first being a few weeks ago at our annual Christmas party. I bought a bottle for a gift grab, and our buddy Shawn decided he would crack it open for everyone. Last night was no exception. It was a gift from our very good friend Andy, and we couldn't resist giving everyone a taste.
Andy said, "It kisses you with a very pleasant flavor of caramel," which is definitely true. In fact, we both thought it tasted like a caramel apple, minus the apple. Yes, it's definitely sweet, but it's not so sweet that you can't enjoy a glass. It comes with a fairly dry aftertaste, but is a very pleasant beer. It is drinkable, but not practical based on the price ($18-$22 most everywhere).
According an article I found online, this is the first of three collaborative beers between Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan, so it'll be very interesting to see what they come up with next!