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Juniper IPA - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Juniper IPAJuniper IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

116 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 116
Hads: 681
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 33.81%
Wants: 5
Gots: 46 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: socon67 on 09-29-2013

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (119) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 116 | Hads: 681
Photo of mothman
1.64/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

White head. Gold in color.

Flavor profile is just awful. Sticky hops. A lot of stickiness. Burnt plastic. Rubbing alcohol. Just gross. Tons of bready malts. Gross spices (juniper).

I took one sip of this and knew it was going to be a struggle finishing it. This one is just awful. Avoid.

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Photo of RToffler
1.66/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I was utterly disgusted the moment this vitriolic waste offended my taste palette. I enjoyed a sampler of the Samuel Winter Seasonal offerings, but this stuck out as the most utterly repulsive drink I have ever had the misfortune of placing in my mouth. I am genuinely convinced that any positive review of the beer comes from a misplaced attempt at sophistication. I will stick to Miller High Life while you all enjoy your highly overrated flow of piss-brau.

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Photo of tzieser
2.56/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a typical 16oz pint glass. Crystal clear copper/amber in color with a fluffy white head that sticks to the sides of the glass for a decent amount of time. One thing Sam Adams always nails is the appearance. Never had a bad looking pint from these guys and this is no exception.

S: Pretty strong juniper/pine sap aroma with a bit of hops in the background and the typical sweet malt smell. Smells like some gin in a beer. It's alright but nothing special I guess.

T: Not very good at all. The hop flavor tends to lean towards the earthy and pine side and the juniper is not helping things at all. Pretty much tastes like a cheap IPA (Harpoon comes to mind) with a punch of pine sap. The malt does nothing to keep the beer balanced. Not very drinkable in my opinion.

M: Not as bad as the taste. Not much else to say about the mouthfeel.

O: I had a bad feeling I was not going to enjoy this beer going into it. It's worth noting that I'm not a big juniper fan nor am I a big gin fan. I don't despise it, but I don't love it either. I thought Rogue's Juniper Pale Ale wasn't bad (then again that was years ago) but this is pretty awful. I understand what they were going for, but why make it an IPA? I think if they toned down the juniper and hops and made it a standard pale with a bigger malt base there would be more success to be had. This is just a bitter mess and not in a good "hoppy bitter mess" way. I love you Boston Beer Company but PLEASE swap out this abomination for Holiday Porter again. Hell, just put Holiday Porter in 6 packs so I don't have to buy 12 packs of Juniper IPA and Chocolate Cherry Bock. 4 beers right there that will sit in my fridge for months. Thanks!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

5.8% ABV confirmed. Enjoy before: March 2014. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with gold colored standard Sam Adams label and branded blue pry-off cap acquired as part of the 2013 winter 12-pack variety box at me local HEB grocery and served into an Avery snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. The idea of an IPA brewed with juniper is interesting but I'm a bit suspicious; I'm worried it'll resemble gin, which I'm not keen on.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it pours.

Pours a 2 finger wide head of white colour. Nice creamy smooth consistency. Fairly soft complexion. Good thickness. Head retention is pretty good - about 5-6 minutes - though the ABV is a biteen on the low side for the style. Uneven lacing coats the sdies of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear vibrant copper. Translucent and transparent. No yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for an IPA - there's nothing unique or special here. I'm looking forward to trying it. No egregious flaws are evident.

Sm: Has your standard floral hop character with some light pine and vague fruity hops. Some healthy caramalt and pale malt. I do find a kiss of juniper berries when I look for that note, but I highly doubt I'd find it blind. It also doesn't seem to have the bitterness of juniper or gin. If anything, it lends the aroma an extra fruity dimension which is very welcome.

A clean appealing aroma of above average to mild strength. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. No off notes.

T: Juniper is much stronger in the flavour profile than it was on the aroma, and does impart some gin-like bitterness, which joins the hop bitterness in tampering with the balance. There's not quite enough pale malt/caramalt sweetness - and what there is isn't quite in all the right places - to really lend this credible careful balance. It does have a decent cohesion, but it's not a gestalt build and lacks subtlety and complexity. No intricacy or nuance here. The hop character itself is pretty generic - just your usual floral and vaguely fruity character. There's just not much of interest here.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. No off-flavours.

Boring and uninspired.

Mf: Smooth, wet, a bit refreshing, and overcarbonated. Should be softer. Crisp. Has an okay presence on the palate, but the texture doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste. Okay thickness and body.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, boozy, or hot.

Dr: A downable IPA which is very forgettable. The juniper doesn't suit it well and I don't particularly think it's a good premise for a beer of any style. It's all well and good that Sam Adams is reaching for excuses to put IPAs in a winter pack, but I'm not certain juniper is a flavour that belongs in beer (no doubt Fantome or New Glarus will prove me wrong within a year). I wouldn't buy this again and I'd be unhappy to see it in future seasonal packs. Mediocre at best and not worth buying.

The untamed curt bitterness really drags this one down. There's no highlight here for me.

Low C-

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nice golden color with minimal head. Smell is heavy juniper berries. If you like juniper, this one hits the nail on the head. The aroma kept me confused for the longest time. What is this smell that I've smelled before? Finally, it hit me, Gin! Nice light beer that is heavy on juniper. Doesn't do anything special for me. It's light, crisp, very dry and easy to drink. Not much substance or body though.

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Photo of KFBR392
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: color is a medium red/brown color. Light active carbonation on pour and in glass while drinking. Good amount of lacing left behind.

Smell: big amber malt front. There is a light flowery aroma from the juniper. Good amount of oak and malty sweetness. Not getting a lot of hops.

Taste: sweet amber front. Medium bodied malt rides through on the body. Light juniper presence lingers on the back end of this brew. Syrupy feeling is left behind.

Mouthfeel: light with a definite sugary sweetness.

Overall: okay stuff. Felt like an amber ale to me. Getting no noticeable hop profile. A good brew for someone looking to break out of the macro world.

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Photo of atr2605
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a golden soft copper color with an off white head with good retention and leaves some nice lacing
S-citrus, juniper, and some biscuit in the background
T-piney and grapefruit with juniper in the finish
M-medium bodied with average carbonation
O-not a bad brew, juniper seems a bit out of place.probably wouldn't get it again but it's worth a try

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Photo of budgood1
3.04/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

pours out a clear amber hue with a bubbly dirty white half inch high head. the head sticks and leaves some spotty lace. neutral slightly hoppy aroma with a slightl sweet maltiness. pretty much a nondescript aroma and that unfortunate. the flavour profile brings some sweet maltiness accentuated by a spicy note due to the use of juniper berries. this turns next to some alcohol notes and a raw earthy hop bitterness that seems to create an overly spicy overall profile. this is in no way an IPA. juniper pale ale would be a better description. medium bodied. coarse mouthfeel. average drinkability.

overall i was a bit underwhelmed by this concoction and at times puzzled. does not seem festive at all. i'll be sure to drink the remaining bottles to see if my opinion changes but this doesn't seem that good.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a brassy golden color. Smells sweet, toasty, slightly of citrus. Flavor has a really "standard" pale ale/IPA malts flavor. Citrus and light bitterness from the hops. Juniper is mild. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, but the carbonation is stinging, which lightens up the stickiness. Overall this is ho-hum. They got rid of Holiday Porter for this?!

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Photo of Craigory
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle notched best by April 2014, poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours a lovely, clear golden body with an inch of fluffy off-white head, and leaves tons of lacing as I drink. Lovely.

S: A little pine, a little citrus, and a little...soapiness? Maybe that's supposed to be Juniper, but it just smells like something is a little 'off' in there.

T: Follows the nose, with a little pine, a little citrus, and a little 'something else' that is not obviously pleasant. As the beer warms, that something else takes more of a berry quality, but no way I would have pegged it for Juniper without the label. A little malt sweetness peeks through in the aftertaste.

M: Fairly light body, with a little effervescence. So, quaffable, at the least.

O: This really isn't a terrible beer, but it's no better than okay. Different for the sake of difference, but it just doesn't justify itself in the experience.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The last of the Sam Adams Holiday Sampler. Poured in to a tulip.

Pours an amber/gold color, bit of chill haze, with a frothy white head.

Smell is sweeter than pine, the juniper influence perhaps.

Taste is a one-dimensional evergreen flavor. No malt to speak of or fruity notes.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a dry bitter finish

Overall not a great IPA. The juniper does nothing in my opinion. I wouldn't throw this away, but I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a crystal clear copper, with a nice three-finger craggy white head of large and small bubbles. Big ringlets of lacing.

S - Extremely mild floral aroma. Not getting much else. A little undefined fruitiness (closer to bubblegum actually) comes out as it warms.

T - Floral hops forward, wafer like malt underbody. Juniper adds even a more flowery note in the finish. Some grapefruit pith and lemon rind also. Overall flavor profile is so mild as to be almost bland.

M - Light bodied with prickly carbonation. Very typical of Sam Adams regular production brews here. Slightly soapy feel.

O - Not a big fan of this one. Flavors just not bold or interesting enough, and the juniper seems very gimmicky and it's addition doesn't really help the base beer. Would not buy again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: A pristine clarity of light coppery-orange coloring shows a light and spacious rise of carbonation. The head is creamy, peanut shell toned, leaving a washy, spares, spongey dab lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet syrupy malt upfront, hints of fresh cold blueberries, wet citrus and wintery pine. The juniper berries adds a bit of dry balance. Sweet, soothing and gentle, definitly not a hop bomb or was intended to be.

T: Flavor was sweet fresh caramel, fleshy juniper berries that provide dry citric tones with a dry toasted character rounding things out. Dry gin like berries bitterness is evident on the finish.

M: Sharp feel around the tongues edges, light to medium body, slippery malt feel with a berry-citric ting on the tongue.

O: thought the nose was sweet and fruity, the juniper berries didn't translate as well to be expected on the flavor. It had brief moments of hope, but in the end it just didn't deliver or had that noted sam adams sense of drinkability which usually produces clean and very drinkable beers. The juniper berries seem a bit odd contributer to an ipa, i can see how they imagine the dry citric quality could add to the hops, but juniper berries are usually not a favorite addition to anything. I usually am the first to defend Sam adams and there clean brewing quality and easy drinking beers, this was not the case, a more of a side step and trying to be different and off centered rather then just focusing on making a good beer.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this poured out of the bottle into a pint. Lighter IPA with a soft copper coloring. The juniper comes through in the flavor with the hops, but it's by no means overpowering. Transparent coloring, limited white head. Aroma comes through more with the hops. Original, but not great.

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Photo of Gmann
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a golden honey color with a tight egg shell colored head that left a small wall of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is bready with some light metallic notes. Reminds me more of an English pale ale. Perhaps a light touch of a flowery hop. Don't get much juniper in the aroma.

Quite bready in the flavor and has lots of honey and toffee sweetness. Very English in the taste. The hops range from apricot sweetness to a grassy bitterness. Again, the juniper doesn't really standout. I really enjoy some of the nordic beers because of the juniper but I cannot really pick it up in this beer. There is a slight fruitiness/spice that I attribute to the juniper but it really isn't much.

Moderate feel with prickly carbonation. Sweet to start but has a nice bitter balance. Drinks well. A touch dry in the finish.

An average IPA. Doesn't live up to its labeling but doesn't really have any off flavors. I was excited to try this as I like juniper in beers but this missed that mark.

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Photo of artdob
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a classic frothy tan head, though staying power is just for a few moments. Aroma has light maltiness and hops, but overall, fairly minimal at least for my sniffer.

Palate... Hops for sure give this a familiar IPA foundation. Light citrus notes, grapefruit in particular followed with the hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated.

While the name of this one has Juniper mentioned, honestly I'm not familiar with juniper smell or taste, so is it here, I can't judge that element. As for IPAs, it's alright, but given a choice, in this department I would be more likely to reach for a Stone brew.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a large wine glass. Pours a clear deep golden/light copper in color with an inch or so of off white foam and with a touch of haze. Decent retention and lace follow.

Aroma is light with some subdued spicy and lemony hops, more like a hoppy pils than an IPA. Juniper notes evade me. Not much as for bite or bitterness, and what bitterness is there seems to come from the scant juniper side of things vs. the hop side of the equation. Yet the lack of caramel notes helps to offset the odd juniper addition to a degree. Feel is thin and a bit watery even as the aroma expands a bit with waming. Overall ok but still so so. Juniper is remote throughout and that's okay, bit steely otherwise given lack of hop bitterness.

Best by April 2014.

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Photo of utfiero
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Color- very clear light amber. Full head.

Aroma- gentle floral hoppiness with hint agave.

Taste- Starts with a mild roast and pine needle hopiness with hint of honey-like sweetness in the mid-body finishing long with a mild floral gin-like dryness. 50 IBUs. An interesting IPA but not one I'd want on a regular basis.

ABV 5.8%

Poured from 355 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass).

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Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This has the classic Sam Adams characteristics of light body, clean and understated flavors, and lovely foam and carbonation. This is yet another of of odd flavored beers they crank out endlessly.

The juniper scent is quite distinct in sniffing the glass. Color is clear dark amber. Bitter, twiggy, herbal flavor. Rather slick mouthfeel. Each sip makes a promising start with some resiny, malty sweetness. However, it becomes extremely bitter and increasingly unpleasant at the finish. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Lee's Discount Liquor in Mesquite, Nevada.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the holiday 12 pack
Medium golden color with a decent head. Spicy earthy floral hop aroma with lots of caramel to back it up. Flavor follows the aroma caramel backing with spicy earthy hops to balance. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick sweet mouthfeel. Decent enough beer, I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of what the juniper brings to the party.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a shaker pint glass.

There's some awesome chicken going on at this "cookout", so let's have some beer, shall we? This one pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises pine resin, light biscuit, light honey, a touch of spruce, and flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, the pine being cut by the spruce (likely the juniper, but it comes across more spruce-y to me), and a touch of old cedar tossed in for good measure. A stronger biscuit-y backbone has been established as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, an alright IPA, but the juniper doesn't really help matters too much (nor does it truly hinder things that much, either), and the resulting hop-influenced flavor profile leaves a bit to be desired.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

First Sam Adams I have had that I loved and didn't love. When I poured it out of the bottle it was beautiful. An awesome dark, golden color with the bubbles of carbonation floating the surface - topped off with a puffy tannish head that had remarkable staying power. But that's where my being impressed ended. It smelled like most other IPAs and tasted like one too. Not one of the Sam Adams I plan on going out of my way to partake of in the future.

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Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours into a standard pint glass a clear copper color with a thinner white head that leaves a sheet of lace as it settles pretty quickly.Aromas of herbal/leafy hops and faint pine from the juniper berries,a dryer malt base,pretty pedestrian.Flavors are on the dryer side with herbal hops and pine oils standing out,again ho hum but not a drain pour by any means.The juniper plays a role but the beer is somewhat basic,again not a drain pour just pretty average.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Samuel Adams Juniper IPA in their new winter seasonal mixed twelve pack last week at Meijers. I don't have much experience with Juniper, but I do not like gin and I wonder how the Juniper will work with this IPA, so lets see how it goes. It was notched best by February. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good with Juniper berrys in the middle and a shiny gold background, I think it's fairly eye catching. It poured a fairly clear golden amber color that took on more of an amber color when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of patchy lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the Juniper showing up first imparting a piney and pine sap like aroma that's a little gin like. Up next comes the malts which impart a grainy, bready and pale malt like aroma with a slight bit of doughy yeast in the background. Towards the end comes the hops which impart an earthy and citrus rind like aroma and when combined with the Juniper it becomes a little soapy. The aroma was decent, but I thought the Juniper was a little heavy and it could have some better balance.

T- The taste seems to be not all that similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some malts showing up first imparting a grainy, bready, and pale malt like flavor with a slight bit of doughy yeast coming through. Up next comes the hops which impart an earthy and citrus rind like flavor with a slight bit of Juniper coming through. On the finish there's a medium amount of bitterness with a pale malt and citrus rind hop like aftertaste. This is a decent tasting beer, but the juniper wasn't that noticeable and it seems to be almost the opposite of the aroma.

M- Fairly smooth, a little crisp, slightly dry, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was decent beer and a fairly average American IPA, this beer was a little puzzling to me, in the aroma the juniper was just too overpowering, but in the taste it barely showed up, I thought that was pretty weird. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth and not filling, but the taste didn't do a good job at holding my attention so one would be enough for me, I have no urge to drink another one in a row. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel, they were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was it's all around balance, in the aroma the juniper was too overpowering and in the taste it hardly showed up. I wouldn't buy this beer on it's own, it's just not for me and I wouldn't recommend it either. All in all I wasn't a big fan of this beer, I was little unsure how juniper would work in an IPA, but it just didn't come together well with this beer and it was too unbalanced, but I still think there's a chance that Juniper could be used in a good way in a beer, it just wasn't evident in the beer. This just might be one of my least favorite beers from Sam Adams and as far as I can remember it's my least favorite beer that they have put in the winter seasonal variety pack. Better luck next time guys, this beer just wasn't for me.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: VONS in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $14.99 for a winter variety 12-pack
Purchased: Nov. 1, 2013
Consumed: Nov. 1, 2013
Misc.: Enjoy by March 2014

Poured a honey caramel clear color with 3-to-4 fingers of khaki white head. Lots of uneven foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Fantastic retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled a mix between blackberries and blueberries, which I assume are juniper berries. Also grape, soapy notes, caramel, faint pine, light floral hops, citrus hops, wet Cascade hops and a musky finish.

Tasted similar to the nose, albeit slightly better. Got juniper berries, grape, soap, pine, Cascade hops, floral hops, caramel and citrus hops.

Light-to-medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average-to-soft carbonation. Very bitter finish.

Not that big a fan of this beer. I will most likely not have another one after this. Well after the other one in this variety 12-pack.

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Juniper IPA from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.