The new Samuel Adams Irish Red, a beer chosen by vote (between this style and a dunkelweizen -- rigged, I say, rigged!) as the next addition to the long line of Boston Beer Co's offerings. Smells fresh, malty, and a bit fruity, and a hint of caramel...unless that's anticipation of what I'm sure is in there. Mmmm...good body on this one, and yeah, there's caramel flavors. This is not an overly hoppy beer, but the earthy, spicy notes of East Kent Goldings are welcome. It really woke up my mouth with the piece of room temp Primadonna cheese I grabbed on a whim, too.
This is not for everyone. Irish reds are generally approachable beers, but this is perhaps too much for some. I say that because Cathy didn't care for it. I thought at first that it was the caramel malt, but after hearing what she said -- it's got that English taste I don't like -- now I'm not sure if it's the malts -- I think English malts are distinctive -- or the EKGs, which I just love. Cathy likes PNW hopping, crisp, piney, citrus, and this isn't that, not at all. She also likes malty beers, but usually more on the lager side. This Irish Red has a fuller body than most others I've had, and I like that, kind of a bridge towards Fuller's ESB in a weird way. The caramel might be overdone, but that's a defining characteristic, so that's like saying hops are overdone in an IPA, and, well, you can't say that in this country, right?
But this isn't Cathy's blog! I like this one, and encourage you to try it. Should be a good food beer with pork, chicken, and lighter fish; cheddar/Lancashire cheese, and nuts; pears, too, probably.