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

188 Ratings
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Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat AleBrewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Dark Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with hand-smoked malt from red and white oak from a forest in Orange County, VA, on land once owned by James Madison.

Added by Todd on 06-03-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of mclanem
5/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: this beer holds a great unfiltered quality an amber brown color, nice frothy head.
Smell: A great smell can smell the lightly smoked barley as well as the mild coffee smell.
Taste: one word sums it up, Top 5 beers ever drank and easily one for the books.
Mouthfeel: this beer holds a great carbonation and being unfiltered it has a nice rich quality.
Drinkability: GIVE ME ANOTHER, only one in the box a shame.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.68/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I saw the Sam Adams Brewer Patriot Collection at Beers of The World and the beers in teh collection looked interesting and decided to give the collection a try. I paired the James Madison Dark Wheat Ale with a plate of jambalaya with andouille sausage and it went perfectly. The beer has a sweet aroma and the appearance of a Dunkelweizen. I could taste a slight smokiness and a subtle sweetness. The flavor was excellent. I thought this beer was very drinkable and could have definitely gone for a second. Sam Adams should sell this one all the time.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.62/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a traditional pint glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours a very cloudy garnet color, the two-finger head billows nicely and sits like a soapy, bone white hat. After settling for several minutes, the beer laces in wide, sporadic areas.

Smell- A very nice, appetizing nose of smoke and wheat malt, almost like a Scotch Ale... there's a definite peatiness here that I'm really enjoying. Full and malty, wonderful.

Taste- The thick, bready wheat character is center stage... like a perfectly done dunkelweizen, but without any banana or clove notes... just a whole lot of smoked malts! I love the combination... there's even this faint sourness that arrives just at the finish, offsetting the bold sweetness and mouth-filling malts.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- At this ideal cellar temperature, this beer is absolute perfection... velvet in the mouth. Agitating softly with a mouthful, it becomes liquid foam and takes its place among the most graceful examples of any beer... ever. If this were available year-round or even seasonally, count me in as a regular. What a pleasant and welcome surprise from SA.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.31/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass

A- dark brown like a english brown ale some head decent lacing of the glass

S- malted hops and a bit of smokeness, but just a hint not like a scotch ale

T- wonderful clean and crisp with a bit of that smokey malt flavor in the back end.

M- thin but balanced not much to say here

D- very drinkable i wish there was more than one a box.

James Madison was brilliant

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.23/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Woah. This poured a crazy brown orange color with lots of gross muddy swirls floating around. Hazy as fuck. It had a really nice foamy tan head and lots of lacing. The aroma is kind of like Their cherry wheat, but slightly darker tasting. Nice and wheaty with some caramel flavoring. The taste is prefectly balanced between the sweet toasty malts and the light hoppiness. Yeast flavor also perks interest. The mouthfeel is quite creamy,slick and super smooth. Very drinkable, although the sweetness would really get to me after 2. I was set up to be dissapointed from the previous reviews but this rocks. It tastes like sam adams cherry wheat on crack. Incredible toasted malt flavors here. Please put this is 6 packs.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown cloudy color witha dense tan creamy head. Lower carbonation.

S: Dark roasty notes of nuts and malt. A woody character that leads to light smoke is interesting and enjoyable.

T: Light malty smoke gives way to a smooth creamy note of wheat and earth. Traces of hops and rye. Some ghost notes of pepper. Very nice.

M: Dense, creamy. A hint of carbonation keeps things lively. Goes down very smooth. A pleasure to sit on the tongue, or wash down the throat.

D: Quite good. I'd like to have this on occasion. SA should really consider adding this to the regular production line-up. Get it while you can!

Notes: The best of the Brewer Patriot Collection.

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Photo of thebarracuda
4.21/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a light brown with a reddish tint, It dosnt have much of a scent to it except for a slight cirtus. it has an initial lemon flavor that quickly pairs up with fresh bread and finishes light and flavorful
I'd say that the early American colonists got it right, and I'm saddened that beers like these didnt stick around as much as they deserve

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Photo of ellisdee97
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark molasses brown with barely a hint of head which quickly dissappears leaving light ring and light lacing.

S: Chocolate malt, sugary, slight toasted malt background. Some honey and a hint of alcohol.

T: Coffee, toffee and chocolate notes. Deep dry musky toasted barley, honey sweetness and some molasses in the aftertaste.

M: Very smooth with good body and decent carbonation which balances it nicely. Slightly dry yet sweet. Carbonation creates a refreshing effervesence.

D: A very good beer. Smooth as silk and breathy, a great balance of dry and sweet aftertaste. This beer should become a regular.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2nd Patriot Series Beer that I'm trying and I most say that this pours a beautiful dark cloudy orange with a large white foamy head. The "bisquity" yeast aroma is very strong and appealing. Like walking into a bakery. The taste has a creamy,chewy, malt flavor that's very nice. There is also a slight citrus and wood flavor to this beer. The m/f is medium and the flavors mix together very well. This is a very good beer that Sam's should consider selling year round. Keep in mind that it is a period beer and different than most of today's beer.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured mahogany with a a nice head on it; very nice appearance at first; then the first try; very nice; good carbonation. awesome dark wheat push with a great subtle smokiness that is not overpowering; you almost have to be told it is there and that is the way I like it. Perhaps it could be a little bigger and chewier, but still, fantastic considering the source.

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Photo of chilidog
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
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 soulgrowl
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, earthy, 95% opaque brown body with a lightly-toasted marshmallowy beige head that is not very big but retains well.

Smell: Dunkel-like banana and clove with a little nutmeg thrown in, soft marshmallowy sweetness, hearty rye-bready notes, a slight alcohol presence and a fruitiness somewhere between maraschino cherries and apple cores.

Taste: Very pleasant and very reminiscent of banana bread; nutty, sweet, wheaty, and slightly spicy with a sweet-then-spicy-then-dry-then-tangy finish.

Mouthfeel: Deliriously smooth and creamy, almost stout-creamy, but light and clean at the same time.

Drinkability: A rather subdued beer, not the most robust ale out there, but definitely pleasant to drink.

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Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy brown leaving a two-tier body dark brown on top with a light cloudy rust color on the bottom leaving a head that is thick and powerful. The aroma is wheat, sugar, caramel, plum, dark fruits. The taste is very nice, a bit of alcohal upfront followed by some fig, prune, blood orange sweetness that is quickly followed by a bit of bitter hops but not as strong as I expected. This is a great brew def the best in the bunch IMO.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Huge frothy head, dark cloudy in appearance.

Smell : Brown malts and slight wheaty aroma come through.

Taste:Creamy rich. Nice balance. Hints of cocoa and tofee.

Mouthfeel: clings to the mouth very well. Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is easily a sessionable beer. Give it a try.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
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 UnionMade
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
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 Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer. I would try this one again. I let it warm a bit and served it in my Hefe Weizen Glass.

Appearance: Pours an interesting dark hazy amber (‘mahogany’, as indicated on the bottle) color. It has a glorious 3 finger creamy off white head that fades to a frothy cap. The lacing is sticky on the sides of the glass.

Smell: A bit of a toffee and grain aroma with hints of coco and fruit rising from the depths.

Taste: The flavor is a well-balanced sweet tart that has a smokey grain flavor along with a suggestion of honey and cloves, with a dry rye character showing up in the finish. In the aftertaste; after the sweet fades from my gums, it left me with a hint of tobacco leaf.

Mouthfeel: Almost creamy but certainly smooth with a little nip in finish.

Drinkability: Of this collection, this is the one I would drink twice. Not a bad brew. Well-done BBC!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
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 Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
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 OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very cloudy rusty orangish brown with a thick, fluffy, tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a malty sweet aroma. It has a slight smokey aroma. A slightly spicy aroma is also present. Some fruity hop notes are also present.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Sweet caramel malt upfront. It tastes smokey, with a mild spicy background. The hop flavor is low, but slightly noticable.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It goes down smooth, leavinga slight spicy aftertaste. This beer is carbonated well.

This beer might make a decent session beer. It dosent seem to be too high in alcohol, and the flavor is quite mild.

Overall: I think this might be the best beer from the Patriot Collection. I would never buy the 4 pack for $10 just for this beer though.

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Photo of alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice-looking, murky, milky, dark orange-brown with a thick, dense, clingy, cream-khaki head. Nose of sweetish wheat malt, like sugary beer bread. Spiced apple fruitiness, caramel, and yeast as well. Tangy, chalky graininess up front, accompanied by unripened pear and yeast. Mid-palate is sweet bread, toffee banana, and smoke. Finish is wheat bitter. Moderate, proteiny body and feel. Not bad at all. I would have drunk this 200+ years ago no problem!

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Chestnut brown and hazy with a small tan head that eventually becomes a thick collar and readily comes back with a swirl. Some nice lace is left on the glass.

S - Nutty (almond and chestnut) with some milk chocolate notes. No real hop aromas to speak of. A bit roasty and very English brown-esque.

T - Roasty, nutty, and mild with some big caramel flavors and some light chocolate notes. An orange citric wheat flavor is there too, and would almost seem out of place but it reminds me of those little orange-marshmallow stuffed chocolates that come in an assorted box.

M - Mild and sweet at first, with a very tart and citrusy acidity at the finish. A bit confusing, but unique.

D - Like the others that I've tried from this 4-pack, it's very interesting and unique, but a bit too bizarre to be highly drinkable. This one is the most drinkable of the pack so far (I haven't tried the porter yet, and something tells me I've probably saved the best for last).

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Photo of silver0rlead
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brownish amber with a thin tan head. The aroma has some caramel and cocoa notes upfront, along with some tart citrus, toasted bread and a slight smokiness. The flavor also has caramel and cocoa upfront, along with tangy wheat, toasted bread, some dark fruits and some smoke. The mouthfeel is light and crisp and drinkability is very good. A very solid historical brew, probably the best out of the patriot collection.

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Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an enjoy by Oct. 06 bottle into a pint glass after being refrigerated for 3 hours.

Appearance – Hazy brown amber in color with a very nice amount of creamy light tan head. This beer retained its head for a good amount of time.

Smell - Toasted wheat and the sweet, smoky sent of malt. A hint of coffee.

Taste - Starts off with big malt flavor followed by roasted wheat. Both coffee and toffee are there through its finish. Almost no bitterness at all.

Mouthfeel – Creamy. Medium in body with good carbonation. A very smooth finish leads to nice a nice aftertaste. Only complaint was I thought it was slightly watery.

Drinkability – I’d purchase a second box if I could get my hands on another Brewer Patriot Collection. I enjoyed all them with the exception of Root Beer Brew. I can’t decide on wither I liked this Dark Wheat Ale more then the Porter.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice, hazy light brown color with a 3 finger head that persisted a while, then died to a thin film that refused to go away. I liked that.

The aroma was of lightly smoked malts, some molasses, a hint of cloves, and a little bit of a rye bite waaay at the back. I like multigrain beers.

Flavor was mild... slightly smoky, a good slug of wheat malt, a slightly roasted malt flavor, and a bit of the flavor you only get from a multigrain blend. That somewhat layered feeling of the malts.

Mouthfeel was good and creamy, very smooth. I drank it a little warm... hard NOT to these days. But damn it still went down fine.

Drinkability was pretty good. I lucked out, found the 4-pack for $8.99 at a little hole-in-the-wall place I never would have expected to have good beers. If the other beers in the pack are as good as this one, I would definitely consider getting another one.

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Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.53 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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