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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.

178 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 624
Avg: 3.4
pDev: 27.35%
Wants: 6
Gots: 22 | 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 (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 178 | Hads: 624
Photo of AdamBear
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A-golden with a white frothy head that thins

S-smells like a bland pale ale using samuel adams malts. maybe some berries? nothing really here to admire

T-comes in with a light and crisp flavor of pale grains. not a terrible flavor, has more to it than the smells lets on, still extremely light though, which is surprising for the abv. the tastes more like it has a 4.2% abv. Faint matching after-taste.

M-medium tangy carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-I understand the point of trying to resurrect some ancient ale, but why bother if the result is. If this is what the old american ales used to taste like, then i'm super glad i live in the era i live in now. don't bother.

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Photo of mnrider
2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. brown bottle. Freshness date notched on label.

A: Pours a clear light pale golden color. thin white head, nice carbonation
but no lacing from the thin crescent moon retention of head.

S: Toasted malts, sweet grains, light crisp floral hops. Little yeast. Overall
the smell is below average and not really welcoming.

T/M: Watery sweet grains. Dry from the inclusion of a little cascade hops.
Actually tastes similar to the smell. Yeast and maybe wheat are detectible.
The finish is pretty clean, just slightly bitter and dry. Overall I taste a Pale
Ale, but it just doesn't turn out to anything.

O: Nothing special here. The taste is just enough to let me finish it, but is
weak and thin. Needs more of a distinct hop taste and a better balance.
What is there is fresh, but I can't really say anything else. I think people will
try it for it's history in craft beer. I think APA's have really evolved since this


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Photo of adjunctjonez
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this limited offering from SA. The label caught my eye, more for its amateurish look and application (nice sailing ship). Only when examining the label closely did I pick up it was a SA offering. Either way I enjoyed this one, subtle but very drinkable and a historical window on usa brewing.

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Photo of grandbeerdaily
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams & New Albion
New Albion Ale (Original Pale Ale not brewed for thirty years)
6.0% ABV

Appearance: 3.5 Pale-yellow or golden straw. Quite light and clear. Thin even lacing and 1/2 inch of white foam.

Smell: 4.0 Smooth and sweet aromas of american malt and wheat. Mild fruity esters in the background with the slightest hint of grass and orange. Slight alcohol burn afterwards.

Taste: 4.0 Bready malt builds into a wheaty sweetness that is crisp. A smooth bitter begins on the tongue bringing orange zest and citrus flavors similar to lemon. The smooth bitter is not over bearing and provides a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: 3.0 The carbonation is sharp and the body is very light for 6.0%. A slight resiny-slickness rounds out the palate.

Overall: Unique and intriguing, but not ideal to my palate. The sharpness of the mouthfeel is offensive, especially if too cold. Also, the malt profile is too sweet. The bitterness is just right and the beer transforms from sweet to dry. This is intriguing on the palate and exemplifies the expert craftmanship of the brewers. The beer has drinkability and some of the best qualities of american pale ales. However, only secondary flavors are revealed. This keeps the beer from breaking the plane from good to extraordinary.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden and clear with plenty of carbonation. Pours a nice white head with moderate-low retention and some lace. Malt aroma with some floral and a small bit of fruit notes. Dry, bitter, toasted whole grain cereal, medium body. Think pilsener on steroids. Medium high carbonation.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.07/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

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Photo of JupiterJesus
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a half finger white head with decent retention and lots of lacing. Light aroma of biscuit malt and grassy hops. Flavor is dry biscuit malt with grassy, almost earthy hops, finishing surprisingly dry and bitter with a slightly acidic element. Light to medium bodied. A somewhat unusual flavor that is drier and hoppier than I expected, but I found to be quite satisfying. I found an empty bottle of the original New Albion Ale which I had purchased in the late 1970's. I wish like hell I could remember tasting this back then, but have no recollection. It must have made some impression because I saved the bottle for more than 30 years. If this is an accurate reconstruction of this beer, it was pretty unusual for its time.

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Photo of Amalak
2.31/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A. It is a very light, perfectly clear yellow tint. Has the color of a light American lager. It has a big foamy white head with some lacing.

S. It has a lagery scent. Malty, celery, some metallic.

T/M. Tart maltiness. Some hints of fruity grape, but has a bit of a skunked taste. Leaves a bad sour aftertaste. Extremely light.

O. It tastes similar to how it looks: A kind of below average american macro lager. Definitely not a fan. Fancy labeling, but tastes like a poor lager.

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Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Cloudy, golden orange color with a one-finger head of white foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral and grassy.

T - It tasted of citrus and sweet caramel. Very grassy and some spice.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is okay. I expected better for an original craft beer recipe.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Samuel Adams New Albion Ale is malty sweet, light, and weak.

It poured a light lager-like pale straw with a decent sized white head that dissipated quickly and left only small remnants of lace. The smell was all malt and yeast. The flavor was super-sweet, like honey dissolved in water; there were no hops flavors. The feel was fine but fleeting. This had the smell, taste, and feel of a light lager so it suffers mightily when reviewed as an American Pale Ale. It has none of the positive characteristics of an APA.

I picked up one bottle of New Albion Ale because I love the story of Sam Adams recreating the old recipe. They could have kept that recipe buried--this "ale" has no redeeming qualities.

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Photo of riversider76
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden with a thin white head. Decent retention, and a nice lace. Aroma is of grassy hops, and honey malts. Nice, but weak. Medium bodied with some carbonation. Taste is of honey, and bread up front, with a nice touch of hops in the finish. A nice brew.

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Photo of far333
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.76/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear yellow beer with a white head that thinned out leaving spotty lacing.

S - mainly getting floral and grassy aromas.

T - grain, grass, Euro hop bitterness with some malty sweetness left on the lips.

F - medium bodied, good carbonation, crisp feel.

O - a pretty good/non offensive beer that's easy to drink.

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Photo of beagle75
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass and sheets of bubbles rise in the column.

S: Hops are distinctly floral, while mild toast and nuanced yeast play complementary roles.

T: Begins dry, with pale malt and mild floral hop aromatics. Acidity is mild into the middle where bread and yeast esters are combined in fairly seamless fashion. Toasted bread is thematic, resurgent in the finish that is the driest part of the flavor profile, yet barely bitter.

M: Thin viscosity, wet and vanishing on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: An unusually fair-colored pale ale, this beer has rather predictable sensory qualities but was detectably fresh and approachable. With its attraction being its living-fossil status, it would quickly turn uninteresting if available any time.

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Photo of mothman
1.65/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer tastes like one of two things: Old or an adjunct lager.

The main flavors in this beer are corn (or something like it) and grassy hops. It is very bland. It doesn't taste much like a pale ale.

The carbonation level is high. It is very crisp. It has a lighter body.

This beer really isn't very good. It was cool to try it, but I wouldn't drink more than 1 bottle. I don't even know if I want to finish this one.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.54/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a straw yellow color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fizzles down to a thin cap

S: A bit lemony, with lots of pale malts and a light floral fruitiness from the hops. Slightly grainy

T: Follows the nose, with a nice floral hop presence and pale malts. Lightly grainy, with some cereal notes as well. Very clean

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Not surprisingly, this is a lot like Anchor Liberty or the old single-hop pale ales of the late 70's. Not terribly complex, but very clean and has some nice simple flavors. Worth a shot if you want a lesson in history

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Photo of GRPunk
3.56/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with a best by date of July 2013 poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- 1-finger head dissipates quickly to a light film. Clean, golden body with just the slightest haze. Moderate carbonation. Decent stick.

S- Almost more of a British pale ale to me. Doughy, biscuity malts with an almost floral hop profile. Some fruity, ale notes and maybe a hint of grass.

T- Much as aroma suggests. Doughy malt. Hopping reminds me of an herbal tea. Almost like a jasmine and honey. Does that qualify as floral? At points hops become, herbal/medicinal, aspirin-like as well. Slightly fruity even. A little long in the finish.

M- Clean, semi-light. Moderate-heavy carbonation is almost effervescent.

O- As an American pale ale, I'm not so sure. Maltier than I would expect. Almost residually sweet. At 6.0 ABV, it's a little strong to session. I'd get it again if presented with limited options, but I'm not going to seek it out. Glad I gave it a shot.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I read that the original recipe was inspired by Sierra and that comes through in this version. Beautifully clear in the pour with a thick white head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a small ring and some lace on the glass. Not much to remark on in the nose - very subtle. Mild citrus in the taste balances nicely with a slight maltiness that lends to a filling, medium body mouthfeel. A nice easy drinking beer, but nothing I'd deliberately seek out with so many other choices.

But a nice homage to a pioneer in small brewing.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear medium golden color with a medium sized white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is not what I expected. Lots of bready and pilsner malt with hints of citrus, floral, and grassy hop aromas with a touch of chalk. The flavor is bready pils and a sweet light sugar with a hint of grassy earthy citrus hops. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. This was not at all what I expected it was going to be, it drinks more like a pilsner than an ale to me. I enjoyed this, it would make a great lawnmower or gateway beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the story behind this new albion ale produced through sam adams is really neat. i was really interested in trying it. the color is a nice clear golden with slight white head. it smells like beer, no spices or anything fancy, which is what one would want from a pale ale....just simple barley hops water and yeast. this beer captures what most american big beers wish they could be, a drinkable simple flavorful experience. i think this is a solid beer for what it is and what it wants to be. if this was available everywhere i would grab it over a bud any day of the week.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light pale yellow brew that wells up nearly a full finger of white head that lowers quickly, a thick ring sticks to the side of the glass,a swirl and a thin head rises, it's easy to see the massive amounts of carbonation

S - ah, that classic pale ale aroma, the opiate of the masses. Though even a quick inhale tells you that this is no rice adjunct lager, a decent hop profile and a mild malt backbone makes this a sessionable brew, which I gather was the goal of this brew

T - wow, the taste of this brew is far better than the aroma indicated. The hops strengthen and the malts become slightly smokey, earthy, creating a balanced flavorful beer, perhaps leaning slightly towards the sweet end of the spectrum

M&D&O - balanced, highly sessionable, quality, refreshing, a fine homage, a finer beer

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Samuel Adams New Albion Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
78 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.