The crack of the can, the hiss of the gas, the lovely bubbling cascade. There is no doubt remaining. We’re in nitro country now.
Now as I’ve written in the past, my experiences with nitros has been rather dodgy and one dependent largely on the style of brew. Given nitro’s tendency to offer to whatever brew it comes with a creamy and smoothed out overall feel, such has, in my experience, really only worked well in stouts. So here, from Sam Adams now we find ourselves with an IPA – a brew style which I’m as hesitant as I am curious to see adopted to our increasingly popular gassy crafting.
Starting out with there is of course the appearance of this brew. Regardless of anything else it is, as we see in the video attached here, something rather beautiful about the settling and final form of a nitro beer. Firstly we have the pour, wherein the glass appears to be filling up with nothing but foam. But then, as we approach the top, the beer itself begins to peek out from beneath the cloudy curtain.
From there, what looks almost like a soft waterfall made of tiny bubbles begins flowing downwards, feeding the growing beer body as it makes its way upwards. At the same time, the foam head atop the beer forms up, ultimately creating such a dense nexus of little bubbles, that such almost looks solid at a glance.
Following this though, there is the nose. At a whiff of this IPA, it comes across much as one should expect it to, with a defined hoppy scent and otherwise clean presentation. Thus far I am tempted to expect nothing more than a hop-heavy India Pale like any other. However as we’re both well aware, I know better.
So what is in this sip then? For starters, the creamy and I’d almost say cloud like smoothness of the nitro contribution is very notable, however not so much as I might have expected. Anticipating something in which only hints of hop crept through what was an otherwise flat beer made entirely of gassy and lofty body, I am instead almost surprised to feel the bitter notes of grassy hop dancing on my palate.
Though it is considerably different in both taste and texture than a standard IPA of nearly any variety, it does rather defy the expectation of absolutely dulled flavor that I sat down expecting and offers up the flavors of hop and bitterness in a manner that while allowing them to remain front and center, softens them just so. For this I am almost tempted to say that this beer may be perfect to offer up to anyone who is curious about IPA (which believe it or not, they’re still out there) but haven’t tried one yet for fear of overt bitterness.
At 7.5 ABV and coming to us in this tall 16 oz. can, it offers up enough of a beer to where for the average after work sip, one if not two should do. It is important to note however, for those considering going out to try these, that they are best served chilled as the gasses within prefer the slower and stable environment of the cold. Likewise, in the case of this IPA, it just tastes better.
So to Samuel Adams Brewing, to the gas known as nitrogen and of course to you I say as always…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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