Brew Review: Samuel Adams Latitude 48

On the list of things that can't be ignored, a box full of beer is fairly high. So you'll understand my position when I tell you that this is the precise situation I currently find myself in. Sitting in and about my office are no fewer than twenty bottles of various Samuel Adams flavors. I'm definitely going to drink them, so I suppose the least I can do is review them as well.

The sad truth is I've never met a Sam Adams I enjoyed. That's not to say they're bad beers, they're not. They just tend to be nothing special. Will S.A. convert me to a follower? It's unlikely, but I'm still going to review one of their beers every day this month to find out.

Today's beer: Latitude 48

Tastes: like betrayal. Latitude 48 makes multiple references to the fact that it blends hops from the world's "hop belt" located at (you guessed it) latitude 48. In February, beernews.org wrote a preview post in which they are clearly under the assumption that this brew is the "new IPA" from Sam Adams. Lies! If there were ever hops in this beer, only the merest suggestion of them remain now. I've taste more hops simply be breathing.

I'd rather drink: an actual IPA.

Verdict: This beer smacks of a great idea that was marginalized into submission by a desire for mass market appeal. You can't make something new and different without accepting the risk that some people aren't going to like it. With so many better IPAs available, the mere existence of this beer is pointless.

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