Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager

I think I've only had one other blueberry beer, and it wasn't half bad. I'm not a fan of adding stuff to beer that doesn't belong there unless you're really, really good at making beer with more traditional ingredients. Sam Adams' brewmasters have demonstrated a keen ability to make lots of different beers, so I'm willing to see what they come up with from their experiments.

The beverage is a fairly hazy dark straw color. The head doesn't dissipate nearly as much as most of the Sam Adams beers. A good quarter inch of foam sits atop the liquid in a moderately patchy blanket while the aroma is very blueberry atop a biscuity malt. While I tend to shy away from beers with fruit added, this one smells pretty good.

First sip, and that is a lot of blueberry. The combination of malt and blueberry gives it a taste very much like a blueberry muffin from Starbucks. There's a bit less blueberry than that, and it's not as sweet (after all, Starbucks has that glaze of sugar across the top that really pounds the sweetness home). I can't say I dislike the first sip, but it's not really the essence of the beer, is it. We need to quaff.

Tip-in is light blueberry in a thin crust of malt. The carbonation is there, but it accentuates the mouthfeel of a crust. The middle arrives with an almost blueberry-less wash of bready malt and light spices. I can taste a kind of citrus lurking there with some very tame hops. The finish sends a wave of bitterness across the tongue with some sweet blueberries along for the ride to sweeten the deal. That bitterness only lasts for a moment on the tongue, but it lingers on the lips for a little while.

It's a good beer. I'm not saying I'd like it every day, but it certainly works for what it was designed to be. I'm glad I have two for tonight.



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