Longshot Derf's Secret Alt - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Longshot Derf's Secret AltLongshot Derf's Secret Alt

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260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AmericanGothic on 03-16-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (111) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 132
Reviews by barczar:
Photo of barczar
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a solid one inch cream head that leaves substantial lacing.

Toasted malt, bread dough, and a hint of floral hops comprise the aroma.

Flavor is odd. There's a bit of underlying fruitiness reminiscent of high fermentation temperatures, some toasted caramel malt sweetness, with a touch of roasted malt bitterness. It's fairly soapy.

Body is somewhat syrupy, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, disappointing for Longshot brew. Tastes like a homebrew I'd make, fermenting high.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Until a few minutes ago I had no idea this beer was this big.Poured into a becker a deep rich well defined amber with a tightly formed slight off white 1/2 finger head.Fruit abounds in the nose along with some roasted nut wich is more apparent as it warms,sweet alcohol as well.Unlike any Sticke Alt I have had with it's intense fruitiness and warming alcohol but I like it,some peppery/leafy hops play a bigger role as the beer warms with again a bigger alcohol presence.Fred did a great job on this beer...again like no Alt I have had but it's great.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a dark amber color with a medium-sized tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Mostly a caramel aroma. Some sweet fruit.

Strong taste of caramel. Raisins and dates, with a hint of orange. Sweet finish.

This was a really nice beer to drink. Very sweet, maybe a tiny bit too sweet. Still, I really enjoyed it.

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Clear and bright tawny hue, ample suds

SMELL: Brown bread, leafy, dried plums, alcohol, faintly peppery, earthy, toast, grassy

TASTE: Sweet, slightly thick, bready, toasty, treacle, sharp alcohol, warming, mild twang, floral, dried grassy finish

Decent Double Altbier, I had expected this beer to open up a bit more. Sweetness was a bit much, after taste fades pretty quick. Worth a shot.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a medium brown color with a huge off-white/tan head. The aroma is toffee and biscuit malt, with a sugary smell that resembles Bazooka bubblegum. The flavor has a lot of malt sweetness, with some strong toffee and caramel notes. There is also a lot of sugary sweetness, with the bubblegum notes once again present. The alcohol is well hidden and it is very hard to tell that the beer is more than 9 percent. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber orange with some ruby red. Lots of rising bubbles and a big four finger off white head with good retention. Lots of lace on the glass.

Smell: Sweet mildly roasty malts with lots of caramel and toffee. Hints of brown sugar. Also picking up some hints of citrus hops with notes of grapefruit and orange peel. Some hints of dark raisins and plum in the background with a hint of alcohol. Smells sweet and bready but balanced.

Taste: A very nice combination of bready malts, hops, and dark fruit. Sweet bready malts that are lightly roasted with big notes of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Midway comes some balancing citrus hops with notes of orange and grapefruit. There is also a good presence of dark fruits with notes of booze soaked raisins, figs, and plum. Sort of tastes like a cross between a Doppelbock and a dark Belgian ale.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy and chewy. Very smooth for the big body and high ABV.

Overall: A very good take on an Alt. Bready and sweet but balanced and complex with the presence of hops and dark fruit.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - garnet amber hazy with 1 finger khaki bubbly head with moderate retention and good lacing

S - sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, a lot of booze

T - sweeter than maple syrup, this caramel sweetness hit you hard and lasts till the break of dawn. The caramel and molasses malts dominate and never seem to diminish. The dark fruits and citrus hop notes chime in ever so briefly and are overwhelmed by brash warming booze that almost ruin the experience rather than complementing it. Great effort with malt however.

M - medium light body with low carbonation and a ton of warming etoh. Sticky.

O - tastes like a barley wine but has the embodiement of caramel malt all the way. A good spring and winter beer or a dessert brew.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a Sam Adams glass)
A- This beer pours a dense glowing garnet body with a light tan head of thick foam that last a good bit.

S- The slight sweet malt aroma has a soft dry hop finish.

T- The toffee note has a slight sweet green nougat hop note in the finish with a fruity hint and sweet malt note lingering. The sweet taste grows cloying as the beer opens.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel is creamy with a tight fizz and a soft alcohol heat warmth.

O- This beer is a bit thick like milk and the melanodin flavor is the strongest malt flavor with not a lot of grain character or hops for the alcohol level.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear dark brown-red. Some bubbling activity clings to the glass but settles down. A tan head grows to just over a finger tall and drops some good lacing down the sides.
This one is bigger than I expected. It almost reminds me of something like a dubbel sans the Belgian yeast. Dark malts form a backbone over an almost candy sugar sweetness, with lots of dark fruits and caramel coming out. As it warms, a touch of citrus comes out underneath, further distinguishing it. Alcohol is certainly noticeable but works in a similar way to a highly alcoholic Belgian as well, integrating and adding warmth without being too hot or giving off fusel or rubbing alcohol notes. The mainstays are the dark fruits/caramel combo with the almost smoky dark malts presence, getting a little heavier after starting off more toasty.
This beer sustains a crispness through the sip along with a moderate smoothness in a medium body. Carbonation is at a low-medium level.

Photo of RichardMNixon
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a seidel.

A: Beautiful ruby-red body with thin brownish head.

S: Sweet malt and honey with a touch of alcohol. Not a very strong scent.

T: The orange flavor they mention is there but accompanied by a strong medicinal flavor that's hard to get past.

M: Strong point of the beer. Smooth and thick leaving a tart aftertaste.

O: Not something I'd buy a 6-pack of. The Dunkel that came with this one in the Longshot pack was better but I don't have notes for it.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep reddish brown with a nice 2 finger head. Good retention. Resulting lace is thick and sticky.

Smell - Caramelized sugar and prune. A bit of heat on the nose.

Taste - Dark sugary caramel, toffee. A hint of coffee comes into play toward the aftertaste. A faint citrus hop pokes through in the finish, otherwise this beer is all about the malts. Finishes with the slightest of burn from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body. Sticky on the lips. Decent carbonation.

Overall - Little too rich and sugary for my tastes, though a commendable effort nonetheless.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You love them or you hate them, but its fun trying all of the longshots. A brown coloured body, it sweet and malty and rich, with a dry finish.Some chocolate malts and a drop of anise.Appropriately carbonated.Decent drinkability.Thats for bringing John.

Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown with a very large, thick, brown head that has great retention

S - light caramel, doughy, citrusy

T - malty, doughy, caramel, bitter some faint citrus, very faint pine; spicy alcohol finish when the beer warms

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, warming alcohol

This is an enjoyable, malty offering. Just a tad more balance from the hops would make this a really good beer. I enjoyed it. If it were slightly more hoppy and the alcohol was more subtle, I would buy a few more bottles.

Photo of cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a ton of sweet bready malt, dark fruits and caramel with faint citrusy hops and some alcohol as well.

T- The taste like the aroma is a lot of sweet malt with a moderate amount of bitterness in the hops in the finish and a lot of warmth from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation for this beer.

O- Overall, a pretty solid malty beer that would be perfect for a cold winter night in front of the fire.

Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Derf’s Secret Alt pours a darker mahogany color. Looks very clear. Backlighting reveals some cherry or burgundy highlights. A tan head covers it and rises to about a finger and a half in height. It’s rather slow to dissipate and leaves a sticky, moderate lacing clinging to the glass. Not bad at all.

The nose is just okay. Pretty average to be honest. It’s not all that aromatic. Needs more strength. It starts out with a yeast scent. It’s at the forefront throughout. There are some dark fruit notes – fig and a little raisin. It definitely smells malty and sugary sweet. Alcohol is very prominent. Much moreso than I expected. It doesn’t smell bad necessarily. Not good though. Needs more substance and less booze.

The flavor is a little better than the nose. Enough to warrant a score bump. It is definitely brown malt and brown sugar up front. Yeast is strong throughout. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig are flavorful. It is a bit acidic and spicy. Clove seems to emerge every now and then. There are some interesting hoppy notes that emerge about halfway through. They taste like citric grapefruit. It’s an okay flavor, but doesn’t work extremely well. Alcohol is strong and boozy. It’s a bit warm, as well. Finishes yeasty and boozy.

The body is medium. Carbonation is relatively light and soft. It does feel smooth. Pretty good feel. Nevertheless, the harshness of the alcohol slows consumption a good bit. It’s a slow sipper for sure.

Derf’s Secret Alt is an alright beer. It’s not bad, but it could use a bit of a tune up. Frankly, the alcohol is just too darn strong. If that were toned down a bit, I suspect it’d be improved quite a bit. If you can tolerate that and hang in there, it’s alright. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of beerluvr
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

A- Deep garnet/brown with a nice two-finger high head of light tan foam, finely carbonated.

S- Malty and lightly spicy in the nose. Bready malt aromas too...smells great.

T- Fruity and nicely hoppy flavors, nice mingling of the sweet/bitter components...pleasant hop finish.

M- This is a heavyweight for sure, with all that malt packed in it it's very full-bodied. The soft carbonation reinforces that.

O- I'm really liking this one, great complexity in the flavor and I love the body of this one.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener (don't have a stange)- pours a pretty clear brownish red (mahogany) with a creamy one finger tan head, decent retention, moderately sticky lacing. Slight layer of foam remains down to the bitter end.

Smell is a noseful- nice big center of bready dark malt with some prune and yeast notes.

Taste is consistent with smell and adds to it- lots of bready dark malt throughout, prune and yeast in the middle, a little alcohol spiciness towards the end, and a sweet finish (I taste banana). I'm not really tasting any citrus hops at the end as Sam Adams describes. Big malt-fest.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, light to moderate carbonation. The presence of the alcohol is a little bit distracting. This is a very fine brew and I'm proud to support homebrewers (as I am one!). Wish more Sam Adams were like these.

Update: After eating some pizza, I smell some banana as well as taste. Go figure.

Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent brown with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Bready, caramel notes, plus woody hops

T: Brown bread, toffee, booze & leafy hops up front, with some orange peel up front. Brown sugar, more citrus to include grapefruit & toffee as this warms. Finishes with major malt backbone dryness/sweetness & some grapefruittty & woody hops

MF: Chewy, subtle carbonation, boney dryness

A legit dopple sticke, better than any of the bottled versions I had from Dusseldorf (albeit all had to travel far & God knows how old they were...). Kudos to Fred for picking out a very underrepresented beer style putting his stamp on it with an American flair! Drinks fairly easy considering the ABV

Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery ruby, with a couple fingers of light tan colored head. This stays frothy in the glass, drenching the sides with thick and sticky swathes of foamy lacing. The aroma has some thickness to it, with ripe and slightly dank citrus, caramel, a touch of cocoa, and some darker roasted character mixed in. A smidge of alcohol heat singes the back of the nose a little as well.

Roast and hops have some stiffness to them up front, with gives way to a sticky blend of caramel, cocoa, and overripe fruity citrus. Spicy alcohol sweetness on the backend finishes this dry and warm. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a firm creamy crispness that then pulls up with some sharpness on the tongue. You can feel the alcohol in the body here, as it has a bit of a sting to it that starts to wear on the palate after a while.

I actually enjoyed the range of flavors in this but it’s the high alcohol that I just didn’t get, as it takes away from the crisp smoothness that I usually associate with an Alt. An Imperial Alt I guess? I don’t know, but dial the ABV back and this would have been a really nice example of the style.

Photo of HalfFull
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a globe glass, showing a clear crimson with a light cap of foam. Retention is a bit brief but not too far afield.

Aroma is quite malt forward with caramel apple and some brown sugar notes. Bit of chocolate spice and a light hop profile initially, expanding with warming. More of a complex German lager at times.

Flavor is complex yet balanced with warming. Caramel and brown sugar arise again, clean on the finish and with a pleasant carbonation level. Aroma grows on you while the sweetness beats you down a bit. But at 9.3% that's not unexpected.

In the end a solid yet unusual take on the style. Sweet and strong, malty and hoppy. A bit tiring by the bottom of the glass.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear toffee colored body with minimal head.

Slighty boozy smell with a medicinal cherry note. There's a phenolic yeasty finish to the scent.

The taste is very boozy with a hint if cherry, banana, and toasty malt.

Mouthfeel has an astringent burn and warm finish in the throat.

It's an ok beer that's a tad bit boozy.

Photo of Gmann
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber-brown color with an off-white wispy head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma is sweet from the malt. Notes of honey and caramel mix together with a strong raisin scent. A bit peppery and meaty. Similar to a strong bock.

The taste is of a steely caramel flavor. A fair share of metallic notes. This goes along with a bready malt that has a big raisin and prune presence. Some alcohol fusels detected. A citrus hop profile rounds out the flavor profile. Definitely a sticke, this is big and boozy. Its a bit raw.

Moderate body with prickly carbonation. The carbonation helps break-up what otherwise would probably be a sticky feel. The ABV is a bit too noticable in the feel as well. The hops are a nice touch.

A big beer with some nice flavors, definitely not boring. The alcohol is a bit rough and overall the alt is a touch too sweet.

Photo of bum732
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

S: Very caramel malt, some banana, rum soaked bread, smells very sweet, cream soda.

L: Crystal clear dark red, white head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing.

T: Very sweet malt with a citric backbone. Some breadiness, but very caramally, almost burnt caramel. Some toasted malt in the finish, drying really well. Quite a hop bite, somewhat harsh. I don't think it works with this beer.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation. Alcohol barely present.

Not bad, hops clash with the other flavors quite a bit. Better as it warms, but nothing special.

Photo of imasloth
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark maroonish amber with light white head that was quickly gone. No lacing.

S- Tart and malt with just a touch of sweetness.

T- Malt with light tartness and same sweetness. Candy-like ... Smarties? Licorice nibs?

M- Light to medium-bodied, nondescript until finish when it is dry and tart.

O- Nice but not super-special.

Photo of Bung
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Best by August, but it's a big beer so no problem. Fairly dark amber pour, thin layer of off white.

Aroma, some caramel and citrus. A bit too much orange liqueur. It's a bit boozy.

Taste, not as boozy. Some citrus, caramel, grape at first. Much stronger biscuity-bread, toast and some nice chocolate and molasses.

Medium bodied, nice and creamy. Maybe just a little warm, a sipper.

Actually pretty nice, an "amateur" version of the Uerige brews.

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Longshot Derf's Secret Alt from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.