Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sam Adams Double Bock (Beer Review)

This is the first Sam Adams I’ve bought in a liquor store. If you’re not familiar with Tennessee law, it is illegal to sell anything but liquor in a liquor store, and liquor is only able to be sold in liquor stores. So that means no wine or whiskey or the like can be found in grocery stores, and beer can’t be found in liquor stores. As with all rules, though, exceptions can be made. If a beer has a high enough alcohol content, it has to be sold in a liquor store. Ridiculous, no? The double bock has an 8.6% alcohol content.

The aroma of the beer hits you right out of the bottle. It’s a sweet, syrupy kind of smell that sets you up well for the first taste. It’s just too damn sweet on the front end, and too heavy on the alcohol on the back. It’s a smooth beer with very little carbonation, and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I like my beer to have a little bubbly to it, but with the pervasive alcohol taste, I’d probably just find it undrinkable. As it is, one glass of this will last me most of the night, and I always end up very sleepy.

Personally, I found this to be a waste of $12. That’s right. Twelve dollars for a 6-pack of this stuff. Not the most expensive beer I’ve bought ($20 for a 4-pack of Samiclaus), but definitely not the cheapest. I’m a big Sam Adams fan, but I’d have to say that this stuff ties their regular Boston Lager as my least favorite beer that they produce.


Thea said...

It's illegal to sell non-liquor in Tennessee liquor stores?! Woah. That's different. (I'm in California, and liquor stores here sell beer. 40s)

I've had the pleasure *snort* of trying TRIPLE boch by Sam Adams (courtesy of BevMo)--it was probably the worst experience of my life. Ugh. Gagging just thinking about it. So gaggingly vanilla-maple and damn alcoholic.

But, in general, I like Sam Adams. The Winter Lager is probably my favorite.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

Yeah, Tennessee is wacky like that.

If you scroll down my beer list on the right side of the page, you'll find that I like me some Sam Adams also (except for their standard, the Boston Lager. I never really enjoyed it). I'd have to say my favorite would have to be the Boston Ale or the Summer Ale.

My Holy Grail of Beer is their Utopias. Not for taste, just because it would cost me about $200 to get a bottle of it. I would imagine that it would taste similar to the double or triple bock, just even more alcoholic (you're looking at about 25% alcohol content). I think they only do a few thousand bottles a year, so if you're not in Massachusetts, you're pretty much SOL.

Illustrious Potentate said...

What is the content when it becomes a "liquor"? I have been looking for some Mackeson XXX and didn't think about looking in the liquor stores. Also, Trappists Ales are high in content and you can't find them in "beer" stores. Of course, I doubt I could afford them if I did find them. The Mackeson is awesome though.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

I love the Mackeson XXX. It's one of my favorite beers. I'll take it over a Left Hand Milk Stout any day. I think I'll be seeing my beer guy tonight, so I'll check and see if they have any Mackeson.

As far as the Trappist stuff goes, yeah, you're looking at $8+ at the Saucer, maybe about $4 or $5 if you get it at a store. The liquor store next to my beer guy has a tiny selection of higher alcohol content beer, and he's got a few Trappists. Those are usually sold by the bottle. But I've had my eye on a bottle of Schlafly Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. From Schlafly's website: "A roasty, rich and malty Imperial Stout with a strong dose of caramel, oak, and Bourbon character. This is a perfect beer to pair with hearty, cold-weather dishes, smoked meats, and virtually any dessert (especially chocolate)." It comes in a box and is $10-12/bottle. That may end up being my recovery present to myself. :)

Kate said...

When I first moved to Oregon I was astounded that a person could buy alcohol on a Sunday. So...the entire state must be going to hell or something. (For those of you who can't sense the sarcasm, I grew up in Indiana where alcohol sales are illegal on Sundays (except in bars and restaurants, I think) so grocery stores would literally rope off the beer and wine aisle at midnight on Saturday.)

I have a bit of a personal grudge against Sam Adams, though most of their beers are ok. Our mayor-elect is named Sam Adams, and when he started campaigning at the beginning of the year he received cease and desist letters from Samuel Adams the brewery for copyright infringement, because some dumb lawyer couldn't get their head out of their ass long enough to realize that it wasn't copyright infringement in any way. Big dumb corporation=must be evil (in Portland, anyway). And we like our mayor-elect quite a lot. So you don't find a lot of Sam Adams beer out here, partially in protest but mostly since there's enough good craft brewers around that they don't even bother with larger corporate breweries.

That said I'll default to their beers in airports when it's that or Miller.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

In Tennessee, liquor stores are also closed on Sundays. But beer and liquor by the drink can be sold after noon. So grocery and convenience stores stop selling beer at 3 a.m. on Sunday and are able to ring them up again at noon. Liquor is still a no-no, though.

And I had read about the Sam Adams case. How incredibly stupid.