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

Samuel Adams New Albion AleSamuel Adams New Albion Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

583 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 583
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 14.88%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: auxiliary on 07-23-2007)
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Ratings: 583 | Reviews: 178 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of plumasgoldrush
plumasgoldrush

California

4.71/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am trying to compare this with the original from 1978. I have fond memories drinking this brew while walking down Denmark Street in Sonoma. There was always yeast sediment in the original bottom, always not quite clear, this one is somewhat hazy. I hope this brew continues, not just limited release, or how about a California Brewery taking a try at it.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 01:16:17 | More by plumasgoldrush
Photo of bigdaddyd069
bigdaddyd069

Maryland

4.6/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a very light amber with a little head.

S - noises floral with a hint of hops

T - semi dry hop taste with floral notes, sweet

M - Well carbonated, very light and refreshing. Very smooth well balanced malt

O - Great beer. I really enjoyed this beer.

Food pairing - I paired this beer up with a pineapple/honey glazed grilled chicken, white Colby cheese, sharp cheddar, and Terriyaki grilled pork tenderloin. All paired excellent with the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 02:07:09 | More by bigdaddyd069
Photo of jmbranum
jmbranum

Oklahoma

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

I remember reading about the original brewery from Michael Jackson's field guide to beer, so I was quite excited to get to try this remake of a classic.

Pours a bright, clear gold liquid with a very generous white head. Lots of grain and spices in the aroma.

The taste is crisp and complex. Sweeter than I expected but very well balanced. It reminds me of either an English pale ale or maybe a toned down Belgian farmhouse beer. Very distinctive mix of hops and spices. I also am reminded of Anchor steam beer.

Despite the name, it is not an APA. Compared to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the hops are much more subdued and seems more like an English pale ale. Nice biscuit-like maltyness.

Medium smooth mouthfeel.

Overall, a very well-balanced beer. I will buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 19:54:57 | More by jmbranum
Photo of SerBennett
SerBennett

Michigan

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!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 21:53:01 | More by SerBennett
Photo of adxss
adxss

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is my first review. While I tend to be analytical, this review is based on history and what this beer really means. I read about it in business week. You owe it to yourself to learn about this beer. Back at the dawn of craft brewing, this was a pioneer. All the major brands' adjunct formulas were about all that was available, along with a few very similar european imports. Peter Hand's Old Chicago was driven out of business. Sam Adams didn't exist yet. Schlitz "original formula" was about the best there was in those days. So within this bleak context, along came New Albion!

It has a deep yellow color, and a slight head, although it can be a bit fizzy. The texture is thicker than its "contemporaries". The flavor is clean and balanced- a little hoppy, but not too much. A little sweet, but not too much. A little bit of malt. Try it next to what the major brands offered back then (and now)... WOW! This stuff seems nearly perfect in comparison. Unfortunately the beer drinking public didn't agree, and it would be 10 years before anything this advanced was widely available.

Fast forward to today- overly hopped beers, concoctions of every imaginable kind, heavy, dark porters and stouts (I like them all)... then along comes New Albion. It is a refreshing break from the popular craft beers and prevalent styles. It deserves some attention. Thanks you Mr. Koch for reviving a real classic that I didn't get to try the first time around.

I hope you don't mind this unconventional review, but this one is as much about beer archeology as it is about the technical review, and I'm glad this beer got a second chance.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 00:45:17 | More by adxss
Photo of Mister_Falcon
Mister_Falcon

Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a vaguely cloudy, glowing golden color into a pint glass.

Smells like a good amount of decent hops with some malty scent poking through.

Bitter with the taste of hops with a nicely fruity flavor poking through as it washes over the palette.

Decently crisp with carbonation and warm with alcohol before it washes down leaving a nice bitter residue on the tongue.

If I had to characterize the overall taste and mouthfeel of this beer off the top of my head I would characterize it as part Sierra Nevada, part Wheat beer. It's really quite good. Much better than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:59:44 | More by Mister_Falcon
Photo of streetcommander
streetcommander

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Think Noble Pils with just a little less edge. Very fantastic.

Appearance is golden amber with very minor cloud. Head is white and sticky. Globulates and stays around.

Mouthfeel is superb, carbonation is balanced, and viscosity is crisp and clean. You could easily drink 10 or12.

Flavor is substantive without being thick, greasy, and overloaded. I'm a fan of SA Noble Pils, and perhaps that is why I like this so much. Better than Noble Pils . Easily award winning.

Too expensive at 10 a six pack. Would become the Walmart of beers at 6 a six pack...minus all that China made shit they sell of course...probably why it cost 10...F-it, a steal at 10 a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 22:16:36 | More by streetcommander
Photo of AnalogReigns
AnalogReigns

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So this is the granddaddy of craft beer, eh?

Nice, well balanced, MODERATE pale ale, very much like an English pale, IMHO, which I suspect Mr. McAuliffe was aiming for way back in '76, when nobody this side of the pond had ever heard of an IPA, British beer was adventurous...and 90 IBUs were unthinkable.

Color is very pale--which will put off a lot of craft-beer afficianados immediately. Served in a Sam's official glass (love those things!) it puts up a 2 finger head which disipates fairly quickly--but leaves light irish lace behind.

Beautiful well balanced malt to hops, probably weighing in at say...35 IBUs.

I bet this beer today would go over very well in the UK, but...probably not in the USA, where we either want 8 IBU mass produced beer...or 65+ IBU IPAs....and anything in between is too much for the masses, and too little for the beer geeks.

Still, a quality product, and nice to taste today, what made history....

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 19:45:19 | More by AnalogReigns
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6% ABV, Best Before JUL 2013 notched on label.

A - Carbonation streams from the glass' nucleation, through the clear goldenrod beer to it's fleeting white cap of foam. Wispy lace remains clinging to the glass after it's departure.

S - New Albion Ale has a mellow aroma with gentle notes of American citrus hops which suggest where our hop head obsession began. White pepper and lemongrass spiciness open up around a pale malt base and herbal undertones for a crisp and inviting nose.

T - The rather timid aroma of New Albion Ale is quickly cast aside for a powerful flavor that I can only imagine was revolutionary for the time; totally unexpected and original. While tame for today's standards, this beer has a full hop flavor of lemongrass spice / citrus with earthy notes and light pine resin on the finish backed by simple pale malt.

M - Lively carbonation dances on the tongue without interrupting the medium-light bodied, dry hop finish that's so crisp and refreshing. Moderate bitterness trails off with a glorious drinkability.

O - "Simplicity" is this iconic beer recipe's greatest characteristic. And by simplicity I mean that it might be tame for today's outrageous hop-crazed standards, but at it's core this hoppy pale ale would have blown people's minds back in the day. Up front and citrusy, this American-hopped pale ale demands you drink another when one full-flavored and crisp pint is empty. And when you do, you'll still be finding new nuances within. I rarely buy 6-packs of beer, but I think I'll be scooping one or two of these up.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 23:21:02 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of auxiliary
auxiliary

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Almost a clear golden color. Nice offwhite head, and had some nice lace.

smell - Hints of hops, but mostly wheat here.

taste - Wheat overwelmed the taste, but had a little bitterness at the end, but not much from the hops.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Bottle and sell Sam Adams. I'm guessing the ABV was maybe a 6%-7% it seemed to me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2007 04:28:24 | More by auxiliary
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.11/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't of drinking age when Jack McAuliffe formed the New Albion brewpub. It's interesting to see this trademark continue on as a remind of the roots of craft beer.

Pours a bright golden yellow with a two-finger head that fades quickly. More of a lager color but it suits this ale just fine.

The aroma is the quintessential american pale ale: light, buttery with just a touch of hop character around the edges. The hops remain in the background as they should.

Lots of flavor, mainly rich buttery malt and a nice, subdued grassy hop bite. Bite? More like a nip here. Flavorful. Not what I was expecting.

Ditto for the mouthfeel. Lingering baked bread dominates the mouthfeel. Very pleasant. Crisp.

Sometimes, brewers seem to forget the idea of an american pale ale being an introduction to hops in general and will often cram more hops than are necessary into such a beer. New Albion kept it simple and I'm glad to see that this recipe lives on.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:39:28 | More by Brad007
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a clear, golden rod color with an average head of off-white foam. The scent is weak but has hints of wheat, hops, and malts. The neck label describes a distinct American hop taste and they are right on there! The taste is smooth and clean with a distinct hoppy finish. It tastes a lot like a hopped up version of a German Pilsner. It’s quite tasty and has a decent, unique flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 20:51:31 | More by Lemke10
Photo of JupiterJesus
JupiterJesus

California

4.08/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2013 17:36:32 | More by JupiterJesus
Photo of blacktieman
blacktieman

Tennessee

4.06/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 07:22:07 | More by blacktieman
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small head, but it lasts. The liquid is dirty gold and mildly cloudy. Some ring lace after each sip.

Creamy malt aroma with a very balanced flowery hop smell.

This is an archetypical APA. Some soft pale malt up front. No sweetness (until just prior to the swallow), but it isn't lip-smacking dry either. The finish is bitter and well-balanced. Richer body than most APAs, high carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 00:10:46 | More by smcolw
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a simple nonic pint glass.

A crystal clear and super golden crystal clear body. A great mix of rising carbonation, and a big fluffy creating four finger head that is bone white with lots of staying power. A giant cap made and settles without budging at all. A real great looking brew.

A real solid mix on the nose. Light sticky yeast, big dry grain and toasty bread, with a mild sweetness. Faint mild grass like hop just barely gets a whiff. Real interesting nose.

Palate hits with a nice mellow malt backbone. Hits like German style pilsner then sweetens with just a touch of caramel. Finishes with a nice sticky mild yeast component and sense of almost noble like hops, but more grass. Hints of fruity esters. The beer had a wonderful sticky quality to it in the palate, with a nice splash of hops.

Overall this is an interesting spin on an APA, quite a fun and easy drinking beer too. Glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 20:11:17 | More by smakawhat
Photo of gusdabrew
gusdabrew

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One simple malt 2 row pale, one simple hop cascade, one simple beer. The beauty of it all is the simplicity. Nothing better for a hot day. Just clean and refreshing. Better than any macro - there is no corn in this. I also found it for a steal price slashed to $3.99 a six because people looked at the reviews before they tried it.

a- yellow straw, soapy head, some lace curtain lacing

s- light grain malt, fresh hay, faint cascade hops

t - sweet light malt with nice hop edge

m- medium to light, refreshing with a clean dry finish

o - just a simple throwback beer, limited release I'm snatching up all I can, also nice throwback label

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 06:10:52 | More by gusdabrew
Photo of steveh
steveh

Illinois

4.01/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got my hands on some of this special release -- oh no, am I now an Ahab?

Best by July 2013 notched on the label.

A -- Clear, very pale yellow with a very long-lasting white head.

S -- Spicy, slightly earthy hops, but not overblown.

T -- Great balance of bready, crackery malts and spicy, bitter hops up front that blends into bitter hops then finishes with a distinct bready yeastiness. The bitter hops linger through the aftertaste without becoming heavy.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to crisp with a light-medium body.

O -- A very nice throwback to the days when Pale Ale wasn't trying to be more than the sum of good hops and malts in a great recipe. Not sure if BBC will keep this around, but it's worth being an annual specialty.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 20:36:17 | More by steveh
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper-orange with a finger of frothy white head. Fades normal.

S - Citrus, orange, light grassy and floral hops, sweet bready, grainy, biscuit, and light caramel malts.

T - Orange, citrus, grassy, floral, noble hops, smooth bitterness, sweet grainy, bready, biscuit, and mild caramel malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, bitter, dry finish.

D - Nice balanced and smooth APA. Nice hop and malt balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 05:40:45 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Enjoy By: Jul 2013.

Appearance: Pours a medium yellow body with a light, airy, tall, snow white head. Sticky wisps of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Just a gentle whisper of maltiness, as lightly bready as can be with equally modest notes of spice and lemon.

Taste: Lightly bready, mild-mannered pale malts with just a touch of imparted sweetness. Lightly spicy, peppered hops hinting just a bit little of lemony citrus and an altogether soft bitterness, though it's amply bitter to rebound the sweetness. Drying, faintly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation. A bit lighter and more sprightly on the tongue than most.

Overall: A particularly pale pale ale, feeling more blonde-ish to me, though I liked it for a simple, easy-going brew that kind of grows on you.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 01:31:07 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A chilly bottle poured into a pint glass.

This is generally a clear golden liquid but it has a slightly tarnished hint to it, so its a shade darker than pure gold. The head is a light grey foam that starts out quite thick but settles to a thin layer. Some rising carbonation can be seen.

There is a light hop aroma. It is a sweet citrus scent.

This beer has a great flavor, but it is unlike modern west coast pale ales. The hops here are strong but not exceptionally bitter. There is a good pale malt base that offers a touch of sweetness. Grassy hops are strongest as I swallow.

Average body and carbonation. There is a little bit more of a coat than I expected, but it isn't very sticky.

This is a really enjoyable beer. Its unlike the pale ales of today but you can taste how it is their precursor. It's a beer worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 21:03:57 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

3.99/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Pale, chill-hazed copper in color, with a moderate head of white foam.
Aroma-nice little fruity hop note
Taste-Mild-mannered but flavorfull fruity hops, citrus zest, a bit light-bodied but pleasant and tasty. Nice flavor and balance. Would be a nice brew to welcome someone into the world of craft beer. A very nice American Pale. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 22:01:09 | More by hosehead83
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.99/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 7/2013.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and an earthy, grass-like aroma. Taste is much the same with a nice bready flavor on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and super easy to drink. While it's not really a standout compared to today's offerings, it's pretty neat to be able to try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 02:41:06 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of JMScowcroft
JMScowcroft

Vermont

3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sam Adams - New Albion Ale - 12fl oz bottle

Look - Pours golden, almost clear with a bubbly, champagne-like head. Medium carbonation.

Smell - Light malt with some citrus (orange/coriander/lemon).

Taste - Carbonated malty citrus bite. Similar to a white but lighter/more crisp. Taste is the one major highlight of this brew.

Mouthfeel - Fades fast with a slight citrus leftover.

Overall - Not bad, would be more suitable for a Summer brew, I tasted this in February and it did not fit the current outside climate.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 12:43:58 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of BrewerB
BrewerB

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at City Beer Store last week $1.99. Have been really interested in trying this ever since I learned of the historic New Albion Brewing Company years ago.

Pours a brilliantly clear golden with a thick cap of white foam that collapsed down within roughly a minute. Aroma of lightly toasted malt and a tinge of floral-citrusy hop. Very modest grapefruit citrus presence. Initial cereal malt gives ay to a fruity hop and a light pine character. Dry finish with an emphasis on the piney hop flavor. Medium bodied with a moderate to medium-high level of carbonation.

While this may lack the ever-increasing hop flavor we're finding in today's APAs, this beer is very well-balanced and lends itself well to having a few pints. Cheers to Jack and Jim for bringing this one back to the market over 30 years later.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 02:02:49 | More by BrewerB
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Samuel Adams New Albion Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.