Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat AleBrewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale
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American Dark Wheat Ale
not listed
3.58 | pDev: 13.97%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat AleBrewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale
Notes: Brewed with hand-smoked malt from red and white oak from a forest in Orange County, VA, on land once owned by James Madison.
Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 188 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by seedee17:
Photo of seedee17
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well this beer looked pretty good, nice amber color, slight haze, but other than that, it's pretty mediocre. Had a slightly yeasty smell, fairly sour smelling as well, with a hint of metal. The most prominent flavor in the beer was it's tangy tartness, with a little bit of breadyness in there. Mouthfeel was OK, fairly smooth with light carbonation, a little thin. Drinkability suffers from the beer's tartness not being balanced out by other flavors. Kind of tasted like a homebrew that got a little wild. I like the historical brewing experiment, though.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Todd
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

James Madison Dark Wheat Ale. Authentic Recipe No 3. Best enjoyed before October 2006. Pours a hazy, slightly muddy brown with orange and copper hues around the edges. Beige head with some initial foam, but it quickly settles to a thin wisp.

A signature raw and wheaty aroma with a hint of smoked malts, and a faint suggestion of cocoa powder. Otherwise pretty clean in the nose.

Watery body and very light in the mouth. Thin caramel and toasty malt character, with a bread crust linger. Soft chocolaty edge. Carbonation livens the palate up with a tight hitting zest that pulls with it a slight citric bitterness and banana-like pithiness that sits amongst the wheat and rye flavors and its unique feel on the palate. A tangy rye with some spice and smoky malt character rounds off the brew, with a lingering, bittersweet, toasty bread finish in tote. Mouth is left dry and a bit sour.

Interesting. Wasn't working for me at first, but once the beer warmed the flavors began to emerge - so definitely try the beer from cool to room temperature to pick-up all of the nuances that it has to offer. Can't comment as to how close it is to tasting like an authentic James Madison period beer, but I can imagine that it's as close as one could probably get using modern day brewing equipment and methods.

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Photo of Jason
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 brown bottle with a freshness date on the label.

A- Murky brown with a very active and quick to foam carbonation. Great head retention.

S- Toasted grain, brown malt and fermented wheat twang in the aroma. Smokiness is very small.

T&M- Mildly crisp with a semi-viscous smoothness off of a creamy full body. Lots of malted wheat character, slight lemony twang. Toasted grain and a ghost-like smoke add a bit of complexity. Finishes on the sweeter side with a light spicy rye.

D- Not too bad at all, rather enjoyable. Reminds me of really good raw homebrew.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades to a ring leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Wheat/malty nose. Flavor has sweetness from the malt and there is wheat and yeast coming through as well. $9.99 - 4-pak, 12oz bottle from Shaw's Supermarket Concord, NH.

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Photo of budgood1
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out an incredibly cloudy dark amber colour....hard to describe because i've never seen a beer close to this appearance. big white frothy head leaves big rings of lace. light aroma of wheat malts and caramel apples. i even get some corn on the nose...hmmm. it's sweet on the tongue...a touch spicy but i was expecting more from the use of rye, wheat and smoked barley. i sense a bit of alcohol, too. actually, it all melds quite well together in a nicely balanced brew. there is even a nice floral hoppiness that adds to the profile. the body is above average, making for a sticky sweet mouthfeel. drinkability is ok. this is a sweet beer and as it warms i get lots of corn notes.

another nice beer, and i'm sure in colonial times they would have slugged this down without thinking about it.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky looking auburn/brown. Thin creamy white head leaves some spotty lace. Nice aroma. Sweet, yet smokey as well. Spicy. Banana. Wheatiness. Cinnamon?? Solid nose. Taste is good as well. Very easy feel to it. But somewhat tasty as well. Not boisterous. Rather subtle. A 180 compared to their other "Patriot" brews. The smokiness is delicate. The chocolate and roasted malts are the foundation. Some tangy wheat accents come and go. And maybe a few fruit derived esters as well??? If anything, maybe just a titch thin in the taste department. Mouthfeel is quite nice. Velvety. Silky. Medium bodied. Easily. EASILY the best of the Patriot series.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

James Madison Dark Wheat pours a cloudy reddish brown color with a off-white head that quickly fades to a thin coating on top of the beer. Aroma is caramel, with some sour/citric fruitiness and some slight smokiness. Taste is caramel, a bit tart, nutty, brown sugar and some yeast breadiness. Light to medium mouthfeel with medium to high fine carbonation. Quite drinkable, but it is not worth suffering through the root beer again just to have another. If this were in six packs I would buy more.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been holding out on buying the Brewer Patriot Collection because of the asking price at $11.00 bucks for a four pack but today I relented and bought it.This offering poured a murky iced tea looking brown with a thinner but well formed slight off white head,aromas are somewhat mild but pleasant a little clovey with some molasses sweetness I didnt detect much smoke though the bottle says the malts were smoked over local Virginia wood.Again pleasant would be a good phrase for the flavors a little mild but I like the flavors some light molasses sweetness and toasty wheat malt,the smokiness shows itself a little in the finish but its light.Good medium strudy mouthfeel and I will say it goes down very easy,I like it and I could see myself on Virginia plantation large porch drinking this.

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Photo of ADR
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slurry-like brown color with orange highlights. Good creamy head of medium bubbles. Ample sporadic laces with overall coverage. Beery aroma, featuring a toffee-like malt. Mouthfeel is lightish, carbonation plenty adequate. Sharp edge to the flavor, orange rind giving way to caramel apple. Still, walks a line of an ambiguous sweet candy and an astringent and fluffy estery sensation closing things out. One of the collection that shows plenty of modern beer qualities to it, but a little too bright and acidic for me, even a slightly thicker mouthfeel would help me out with this one.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Muddy brown color, hazy, with a creamy tan head. Leaves good lacing.

Smell: Grain and cocoa, slightly sweet with caramel. A little smoke, maybe?

Taste: Tart and smooth, cocoa and toffee are big parts of the flavor, not bad, an interesting wheat ale.

Drinkability: Good, one of the better ones in the sampler. I wonder if they really brewed this style back then.

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Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark brownish color, with a cloudy consistency. The head is large and firm, with an intricate lace. The aroma is solidly pleasing, full of wheat and caramel. Smoke, rye, yeast, and a lot of fruit mingle in the smell. It’s a rich and very enjoyable smell. It has a bread-like quality, backed with a little spice and apples, raisins, and banana. The brew is modestly sweet, with a full body. This is a seriously enjoyable brew. I’m an enthusiastic fan of historical recreations.

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Photo of Wildman
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very murky brown color and formed a nice foamy white head, that disappeared quickly and left little lace. An aroma of toffee, malt and some spices. The flavor was of toffee, slight hint of cocoa. The body was light and the finish was a touch spirte. Another novelty beer that is alright, but not something that I would rush out to have.

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Photo of chilidog
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd say for, sure the best ( for me anyway ) of this special four-pack. I very much enjoyed thisone.

It poured a dark, dirty looking, raw brown with a murky haze. Good carbonation that formed a nice, soft retaining tan head.

The aroma isn't real strong, but a smokey malt seems to stand out for me.

The taste is raw smoked malts. You get that toasted bread, crust, rye, cocoa, a hint of chocolate coffee.

The body is mild or mid-range. The drinkability is easy and not in-your-face. The beer pairs well with food. The wheat allows this darker beer to flow even on the hottest summer day.

I think Sam shows ol' James had a good thing go'en, way back when. Very nice!!

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Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew is a murky reddish-brown color with a medium rocky beige head with good retention. Thin rings of lacing. The aroma is lightly malty and nutty. Medium-bodied with a disappointingly bland caramel and malt flavor, along with a touch of earthy character. The finish is roasty with a lightly bitter aftertaste. All in all the beer is pretty unmemorable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The James Madison Dark Wheat pours a murky chestnut body beneath an average head of creamy off-white froth that holds fairly well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose displays wheat and sweet caramel.

In the mouth it's dextrinous medium-bodied and very-fine bubbled moderate carbonation leave it smooth and lightly creamy.

The flavor offers notes of grainy wheat, toasted malt, light caramel, the suggestion of baker's chocolate, spicy rye, and leafy hops. It finishes with a dollop of sweet, honey and caramelish malt that fades to reveal some spicy rye, a touch of brown malt, leafy hops, and then lemony acidity (a la rind).

It's interesting, well-balanced, and enjoyable year-round.

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Photo of bditty187
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Murky brown in hue with honey influences; the liquid is not attractive. Period. It looks like river water. Beige head, only a half finger of foam graced my presence. Head retention was poor, after a few seconds the bubbles faded to nothing but a thin, soapy collar. There wasn’t enough lacing to make note of it. Overall, the appearance is lackluster.

The nose lacks potency; I am struggling to detect anything beyond notes of chocolate and caramel, messy yeast aromas in the middle and spicy rye at the finish. If the smoked barley was louder this beer might rock! I love the rye finish but everything else is fairly boring. Maybe I should call it restrained? The nose is inviting but its nothing special either.

The palate is completely flat. I taste one thing from start to finish, there is little depth. It is worty malt with trace chocolate and caramel notes with a spicy rye underbelly. It gets out of the gate slow, never gains much speed, and peters out quickly at the finish. There is minimal aftertaste. To me, this beer seems unfinished or at best, underdeveloped. With that said, this beer doesn’t taste bad; it just feels broken or empty. Yawn.

Light in body, low carbonation creates an unfulfilling, poor mouthfeel (and I am not even going to compare it to other wheat beers).

Generally speaking, this is not a bad beer. The nose is kind of quite and the palate lacks depth and complexity but even with these warts I can’t really knock this beer. It is okay. Nothing more, nothing less… it isn’t anything I need to drink again. Still, I am so happy a brewery like BBC would create something like this. Thank you jwc215 for the bottle!

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Photo of edchicma
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy caramel, with a cloud-like head that sticks around. The main aroma coming though is hops...lightly floral.Taste isn't bad..light floral elements along with light hoppiness. Mouthfeel is a plus..very creamy and smooth...medium-bodied. The creamy quality makes it a very drinkable beer also.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

James Madison Dark Wheat ale is a good representation of an American dark wheat beer. It pours a cloudy dark brown color into the glass with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick ring around the surface of the beer leaving a few spots of lace behind. A bready aroma of yeast and hints of lemon hovers over the beer.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is well balanced. The flavor is mainly wheat bread. Mixed in are notes of rye, toffee and lemon. It finishes with a hint of bread which lingers when the beer is gone.

Missing the clove and banana notes of German wheat beers this style is easy to drink and very tasty. It would go great with a steak!

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Photo of UnionMade
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like silty runoff after a good rain, with a lasting whitish froth on top. Entirely cloudy and opaque. Good lacing and head retention. Juicy, smoky malt aroma, thick with caramel and chocolate. Fruity, apple and banana, working surprisingly well with the smoky presence. Very rustic flavor, with coarse barley, softening wheat and smoke dominating. Pleasant apple and banana fruitiness, restrained but present, moving into a soft finish full of bakers chocolate. A bit of citrus zest? A hint of hazelnut and vanilla throughout. Rich, fuller body, very silky on the palate. Fairly dry, too. I really like this. It seems very similar to the dark wheat they used to brew back in the mid-late 90's.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle a hazy reddish brown with a huge head of foam that shrunk but stuck around from start to finish.

The smell is on the subtle side for me. I note a sweetish malty nose and that's about it.

The taste is quite sweet from the malt and there's some chocolate there too but a bit of a citrus bite in the background helps balance out the sweetness pretty well. Not a big beer taste wise but it is decent enough so I'd be tempted to try this one again if sold by itself.

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Photo of Gusler
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours an obfuscated brown with a towering creamy light tan head, as it ever so slowly erodes; the resultant lace forms a thick and sticky covering upon the glass. Nose as a sweet earthy aroma, hints of caramel, honey, with some slight tones of over ripe bananas, quite appealing, start is cotton candy sweet, the grain profile pleasant and the top feels moderate to my palate. Finish is modest in its acidity, with slight hop bitterness, quite dry and sweet after taste lingers long on the taste buds, a pleasant drink on this 111 degree day in sunny Arizona.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy copper/dark brown in color with a low tan ringed head and nice active carbonation. Sweet malt, light roasted malt, and light wheat aromas. Sweet malt dominates in the mouth with some grainy wheat character; lightly roasty. Light-medium bodied with a lightly sweet and light roasted malt finish.

Not bad compared to the rest of the Series but nothing exceptional.

Per Label: "Authentic Recipe #3" & "Wheat Ale brewed with Hand-Smoked Malted Barley" & "Malted Rye"

Enjoy Before: Oct '06
Tasted: 04/11/07

($8.99 / 4-pack "Brewer Patriot Collection")

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a slightly clouded dark orange-amber. A good finger of creamy, pale tan head has good retention but not much for lace.

Aroma - malty, rye-infused wheat with a smoky edge. A sweet-smelling yeast prevails as the beer settles.

Taste - a mix of wheat, smoked malt and yeast. Leans to the sweet side, moreso towards the finish. A distant touch of sourness at the end.

Mouthfeel - soft smoothness, keyed down carbonation, and somewhat filling body.

Drinkability - a unique and tasty beer, an enjoyable selection.

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Photo of Winter
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky medium brown in color with lots of carbonation bubbling up the side of the pint. Off-white creamy head. Aroma consists of rye with a feint smokiness to it. There's also molasses and dark roasted malt. Caramel, toffee and brown sugar round out the nose. Intriguing, yet amazing not as overly sweet smelling as one would think. The mouthfeel is medium in body and rather soft. I thought with all the bubbles it would be a little more carbonated, but it's almost "airy". Taste starts off with a rye, malty front. Hints of maple follow. There's a sort of minerally water taste in the middle which imparts a certain dryness to the ale. Smokey finish and you see the return of the rye again.

So far, I'd have to say that this is the best offering in the Brewer Patriot collection. It'll be interesting to see if the George Washington Porter can top this.

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Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 188 ratings