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Samuel Adams New Albion Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams New Albion AleSamuel Adams New Albion Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

616 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 616
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 14.88%
Wants: 5
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: auxiliary on 07-23-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 616 | Reviews: 178
Reviews by smlmeyer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
2.79/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Let me start of by saying I love having my occasional Sam Adams Boston Lager.This is a respectable brew but not one of my favorites by Sam.

It pours a crystal clear light gold color...with a slight white head.

It had reminiscent's of bready malts and a little sweetness.

Medium bodied.

overall a descent beer but would not buy again.

Photo of Billolick
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with best before dating notched onto the side of the label.

Pours lightly hazed, near golden amber, looser bubble lite tan head, bubbles rising to the top and leaving some moderate sheeting and slippery lace.

Grassy hop nose.

Easy drinking and moderatly hoppy APA. Nothing really blowing me away here. Decent every day sorta creation. Worth a try but not something I'm dyin to go out and get more of.

Photo of JupiterJesus
4.02/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at RRBC, the day after the Younger release and a few weeks after the New Albion Ale release party at RRBC. After 3 pours of PtY, I needed a palate cleanser!

I enjoyed this a whole lot more than the negative buzz made me think I would. It is very nicely balanced and quaffable, with a surprising complexity of flavor. Dry, with a firm bitterness. There isn't an enormous hop flavor and aroma, but what is there does its job nicely. The best part is what I think is an an english yeast-driven character that adds a complexity missing in most APAs, and is what really takes this from generic pale ale to something I'd order again.

I scanned the other reviews, and see complaints that it is 'thin' or 'boring'. Even that it has 'lager-y' flavor. That is borderline retarded. The recipe for this beer is freely available and uses pale malt (no crystal or other specialty malts), cascade hops ("the" American craft hop - SNPA, Mirror Pond, etc) and the New Albion yeast. Nothing lager-y about it. It is an American Pale Ale at its most prototypical (fitting, since it was the prototype for all APAs to follow). It is supposed to be light-bodied, drinkable and not overwhelming on the hops or malt. I wonder if BA reviewers' taste buds have been burnt out by too many IIPAs, and their brains burnt out by the BA groupthink that says anything below 10% ABV isn't worth drinking. </rant>

I've never had a Sam Adams beer that I would recommend. I don't know how this is in the bottle, but I have no reservations recommending this on draft while its still available. It is interesting to note that only two other reviewers here had this on draft, and also had above average ratings. Tasty, balanced and quaffable. Definitely an above average brew (for what it is), though my opinion might be tainted (for better or worse) by all the Younger I had before it.

Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Albion Ale opens to a crisp aroma, full of grains and good touches of citrusy hops, offering an immediate sense of balance and flavor. The grains bring toast, floury baguette, rising wheat bread, wet straw, and touches of biscuit, while the hops add an overlay of pine, pink grapefruit, and grapefruit rind, the bitterness here a nice companion to the breads. The ale also features a good selection of light fruit esters, including apricot and orange, with fainter supporting notes of berry and cherry. As a whole, while the flavors in here are light, befitting a pale ale, they’re very nicely balanced between breads, sugars, and hops, offering a wide range of aromas in a nose that has surprising lingering power for its lightness, maintaining most of its potency for at least a few minutes after the bottle has been opened.

On the tongue, the beer brings an immediate grain and hop note, the flavors from the nose translating almost directly, except the dry, bitter grapefruit rind has more potency, adding an astringent citrusy kick to the mixture. The fruit esters also translate well, and even offer a greater presence on the tongue, with more apricot and orange coming through to combat the bitter hops and add body. The flavors maintain their presence throughout much of the mouthful, the sugars slowly dying off. The aftertaste is heavy on toast, biscuit, grapefruit rind, and pine, with almost no sugars left, fading with relative quickness. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-heavy, the ale fizzing up somewhat on the tongue.

Overall, this is perfectly good beer, and while it doesn’t offer anything overwhelming or necessarily distinctive, it does feature a very respectable flavor palette that sets a nice standard for any pale ale to live up to, and offers good drinkability at the same time. Certainly worth trying, and not just for its historical significance.

Photo of dogfishandi
2.94/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Best Before JUL 2013

Pours out a very clear golden to light golden color with 1-2 fingers worth of fluffy white head. Pretty good head retention and lace.

Not much to the aroma, almost lager like in a way. Light cereal grains, some fruity esters, and pretty much no hops detectable

Again, not full of flavor, but it sure is drinkable and refreshing. Definatly nothing off about it. A lightly sweet lager like cereal grain with just a hint of citrus from the hops, hops are once again nearly undetectable. Just a bit of fruity ester. Doesnt have much of a finish to it.

Very light in body, but not at all watery.

This is not really a beer I'd ever come back to, but everyone should try this considering its pretty much the first craft beer ever made in America. Its crazy to think that this 30 years ago was considering new and extreme.

Photo of far333
3.31/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Very clear straw yellow colored with a bright white rocky head full of dimples that lingers long and gradually recedes back leaving legs of lacing around the glass. Very low aroma of honey malt. Flavors of honey malt and grassy notes, some lemony nuances, medium bitterness. Expected more citrus, I believe this is all cascade. Full and creamy mouthfeel. Overall a decent session beer, good gateway beer. Obviously way ahead of its time, it was probably considered rich in flavor in its day, but is merely better than average today. Great to be tasting a bit of brewing history, cheers to Jim Koch for undertaking this project.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.84/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Was at the Reno total wine, as usual, the selection was more underwhelming than the last time. Figured I'd grab a six of this, why not, drink a piece of history.

Pours a nice looking pale ale, lots of golden clarity to it, mostly white colored head, right around the 1" range. Aroma was bready, but lacked the hops. First signal that this was truly an old school pale ale. While lagers may have had more ibu's back then, this pale ale cetainly did not. Nothing bad, but you know, gimme the hops.

Taste, eerily similar to Coors Banquet, which was probably the leading macro in the flavor department back then, this was like they took that beer and decided to amp its malt and hop bill by about 5%. Novel stuff back in 1976, but pretty bland by today's standards. Cool to see how things have changed and grown, but ultimately, I think a purchase of just 1 bottle would have been a better choice for me.

Photo of chinchill
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle notch dated "enjoy by" Jul 2013.
Pours light amber in color with a moderate size, sudsy white head. Weak head retention but some lacing.

Appealing grassy-floral-fruity mix includes suggestions of hay, apples, citrus fruit, faint biscuits and spicy hops. The flavor is similar to the nose, but less apple and a clearer tangerine note. Interesting mix of flavors, with some complexity. Appropriate hop/malt balance.

Feel: Light-medium bodied with medium-light carbonation.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
June 2013 stamped on bottle
A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden straw yellow with a thin film of snow white head that is supported by tiny bubbles that pop to the surface.

S- The sulfury aroma has some hop hints in it with a field corn aroma coming on strong but dissipating pretty quickly. The aroma is pretty clean over all

T- The soft green hop note has a dry sulfur flavor to it with a lingering field corn note that fades to a bitterness that grows in the after taste. There are hints of hops in the aftertaste and a soapy flavor over takes it.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a soda pop fizz that scrubs the flavor except for the bitterness out of the taste.

O- This beer has a big fizz that washes out most everything except the field corn and sulfur flavors which start to take on a brie cheese flavor as it warms. There is no malt flavor or hop flavor except for the bitterness, and it was tough to get through 12 oz of the beer.

Photo of blacktieman
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear, pale but saturated yellow.

Smell is fresh, delicate, floral.

Taste: Oh, yes. A puff of floral and citrus hops, married so naturally to pale malt. Mouthfeel is equally crisp and smooth.

This is what American pale ale should be: crisp and balanced like English pale ale, but with its own distinctive character. Hop fiends may be too desensitized to appreciate it, but this is an impeccable, refreshing brew.

Photo of Brenden
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale is bright light-medium orange, barely translucent. The head rests at one finger for a moment but shows pretty good retention. It leaves a moderate quantity of spotty lacing on the glass.
Grains, white pepper and lemon zest greet the nose. It's a little odd, though; for the first few sniffs, it's almost like there are some spent grains I'm smelling, then nothing and the aroma goes mute. I can still get a little out of it, but not much.
There's lemon zest and pine, light pith and a touch of lemon juice as well in the taste. The pepper is still there but isn't as strong as it smelled. It's almost a little grassy underneath with a ghost of green weedy stem shifting in and out. it finishes with lots of bread after the bitterness sneaks away.
It's prickly but soft as a fuzzy blanket of carbonation rolls gently on the tongue. In the medium body, it's actually quite nice.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. JUL notched on the label.

A: Pours a clear light golden amber with a 2 finger puffy white head. Dissipates over the course of a few minutes and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Average amount of visible carbonation.

S: A grassy light malt with a mild hop backing. A hint of sweetness. Nothing too interesting.

T: Light malts and a hint of hops, reminds me a lot of a bud, just a little more pure in the ingredient department. Decent cracker or toasted malt flavor. Drinkable but not very interesting.

M: Light body with ample carbonation. Good clean finish to it. Easy drinking.

Overall its alright, can imagine it how crazy good it would of been 30 years ago when it was last brewed. Our taste buds arent as hop sensitive anymore.

Photo of weonfire
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Clear opaque golden, inch of light white head, good amount of lacing. carbonation rising from bottom.

S - Crispness, german hops, dry

T - Initially: Grain, barley, biscuity, malt. Finish: is a dry, malty with bitterness of 2/10

M - Moderately frothy, light body, dry

O - I applaud this beer for blazing the American Pale Ale trail. That being said, I would not be drinking beer if this was the only option around. Flavor is minimal at best, nose isn't any better. This reminds be of my first sip of beer ever: Lowenbrau.

Photo of tastybeer
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Golden and crispy clear. I see many rising carbonation bubbles. White foam top, and straggly slick strings of lace.

S: Fresh cracker-like grains, and some light spicy citrus hops. Pretty simple. Fresh. Not bad, not exciting.

T: Good balance of chewy crackery malt and pine, citrus, and spicy hops. This beer is a-ok.

M: Slick with a bit of chewiness. Light bodied and easy to drink.

O: Not a bad beer....the freshness is key.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow, served in a pint glass with a white, finger width head. Great retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell - Light citrus, with lesser notes of sweet, bready malt character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Notes of citrus backed by a sweet, bready and slightly grainy malt backbone. A touch of light toast near the finish. Simple, but clean and with awesome balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with moderate, crisp carbonation. Super smooth. Silky. Goes down without effort.

Overall - The history behind this beer is pretty awesome, and the beer itself is pretty damn solid, too. Sessionable as hell. I wasn't alive when this was originally brewed, so I can't vouch as to just how close they nailed the original, but if this is it down to a 'T', then Mr. McAuliffe was a true visionary, and I tip my cap to this 'grandfather' pale ale of his.

Photo of SerBennett
4.5/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer is fantastic!

It poured a beautiful deep golden color, great carbonation with a one finger head. Lacing stuck around for a while, head dissipated somewhat quickly.

The smell of this beer is delicious. Hints of citrus, hops, wheat, grass, and malt all hit the nose at once to make for a fantastic and powerful aroma.

This beer tastes amazing. There are so many things going on with this brew that it is a pleasure to just let it all play out. The mouthfeel is great, with a pretty medium body. As I drank the beer, the flavor profile slightly changed. At first I got a lot of wheat and citrus and bread, but as I continued to drink and the beer got slightly warmer, I got more hops in my taste.

This beer is also at 6.0% ABV, which is really great for a session or non-session beer.

I'm actually honestly surprised that the ratings for this beer aren't higher. This is definitely one of my top favorite brews!

Photo of Sammy
3.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Premier Gourmet. Fairly basic pale ale, lagerish. Yellow bodied with a small amount of white head. Medium mouthfeel. Very mild bitterness. OK drinkability. A small cut above a macro beer. This would have been above average 30 years ago or so.

Photo of tdm168
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - clear, golden orange with a thick, soft cap of foamy, white head that has good retention

S - sweet and citrusy with hints of orange zest

T - very faint malt, citrus, some light grapefruit and orange zest, mild piney bitterness in the finish

M - medium bodied, crisp, a tad overcarbonated

This is a decent, refreshing pale ale. The flavor profile doesn't demand a lot from the palate, but it offers just enough hop character to seem creative. This would be a nice beer to have on hand when you're trying to watch the game and relax, but it'll probably disappoint most in its simplicity.

Photo of secondtooth
3.54/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean golden, with a rich, white head of foamy suds. Beautiful and detailed lace, as well. Nice presentation!

Nose is grainy, with toasted barley notes being most prominent.

Taste is richly malted, bordering on sweet but ultimately reeled back in by a slight touch of piney hops toward the finish.

Overall, a tasty and enjoyable session ale, and a great gateway craft beer.

Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle

A- Pours a pale golden amber color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is faint malt and citrusy hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is malt with a perfect balance of citrusy hops. This beer is not going to knock your socks off but I am very impressed with its balance and drinkability.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I really enjoyed trying New Albion both for the history of this beer and the flavor. The strength of this beer is the drinkability,, I could drink this beer all night long.

Photo of prototypic
2.99/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

New Albion pours a light yellow color. Looks like straw. It’s crystal clear. Backlighting brightens it up a bit. It’s topped with a nice, soft white head. It rises to about a finger and a half before falling back to a surface covering. Holds there for a bit. Lacing was a little sticky, but lighter. Not bad at all.

The nose is not so great. It’s weak and needs more strength in a big way. It smells very earthy and grainy. That aspect resonates throughout each whiff. The malt base smells slightly sweet and has a strong cracker-like scent to it. There are some hops noted. They’re light and smell very grassy. Smells like noble hops to me. It’s not my preference for hops in an American Pale Ale, but it is what it is. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor at all. Needs work.

The flavor is okay. Maybe a little better than the nose. Pretty average in the American Pale Ale class. The malt base is bready and cracker-like. There’s a mild sweetness to it, but it’s not much. There’s a strong grainy, earthy, and grassy aspect to it throughout. It’s a bit much for the style. There’s an interesting salty flavor that doesn’t add much. Hops are definitely in the mix. They’re very grassy and are very reminiscent of noble hops. They do add a light bitter kick, but it’s not too much. More would be better. Alcohol isn’t very noticeable. At 6%, that’s not a huge shock. Finishes earthy, grassy, cracker-y, and dry.

New Albion has a lighter body. Carbonation is active, but it feels rather soft. It feels a bit too thin for the style. It’s not bad, but more body would be better.

I know the story behind this beer, and I have a lot of respect for Jack McAuliffe. I like that Boston Beer Company resurrected and released this beer. Having said that, it’s a very average American Pale Ale. I understand that it probably was a trailblazer 30 years ago, but it’s just okay by today’s standards. It’s an interesting release with good history behind it. In the name of history, it’s worth checking out.

Photo of russpowell
3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BBD of Jul 13

Pours straw colored with a finger of pearl colored head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Grassyness & faint biscuitty malt notes, pears, & apples

T: Follows the nose, some golden delicious apple & floral hops up front. Pears, straw & delicate hops as this warms, slight honeysuckle notes. Finishes with orchard fruit, crispness & grassyness

MF: Light bodied with slight carbonation, okay balance

I'd like to think I was drinking a call back to craft brewing history, but who knows how accurate this to the original? Easy to drink, but nothing I would buy again

Photo of wspscott
3.59/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Copper color with a relatively thick white head that never quite disappears.
S: Light citrus and pine and a little sweetness.
T: Much more malt driven than the average APA, but there are still hops in there. Bready grains and a little bit of light caramel sweetness topped by citrusy American hops.
M: Slightly creamy but the carbonation makes it very easy to drink. The hops linger on the back of the tongue along with what seems to be a little bit of tannin astringency.
O: A well made/crafted beer but a little lacking compared to APAs today. Assuming that this is close to the original, I can only imagine what it would have been like to have one of these in the late 70s/early 80s if everything else was BMC or Euro lagers. Kudos to Sam Adams for letting me taste a little bit of history.

Photo of OldGreyBeerd
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had several of these on a warm and humid day in Avalon NJ. Bottles on ice from the cooler. This ale was a very nice compliment to the grilled shrimp and andoulie sauage skewers with sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Nice color and held a small head well. The aromas had that slight fruit and wheat / hop sent and mixed with what else on the sea air, well it hit the spot.

For me as an old timer, this was a nice to drink and recalled those early days of craft brewers that provided a mild but unique subtlty to their brews.

I picked up a case of this on my way back to PA but my mind was on the northern coast of CA and the dunes of southern Oregon.

Cheers!

Photo of KTCamm
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A mix a six pickup. Bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours very pale yellow, light gold. Some white foam lasts. Sweet malty bread nose. Light bready taste with a ray of sweetness poking through. Moderately bitter, not extremist. All ale, no superfluous flavors. A one and done.

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Samuel Adams New Albion Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 616 ratings.