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

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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.

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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 188
Photo of ADR
3.53/5  rDev 0%
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 smcolw
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, light brown; thin one-finger head, but very nice lace.

Dark malt aromas, very little wheat.

Surprisingly sweet flavor. Dark malts predominate, but the hop kicks in mid-taste providing decent balance. Fairly one dimensional, but flavorful. Nice body, light carbonation.

I consider this an okay dark beer. I can't really detect the wheat, but the head is indicative of some wheat. Not as unusual as the others in this "historical" series.

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Photo of shbobdb
1.4/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

The beer poured a rich amber with a HUGE off-white head that lingered and lingered and then poofed into nothingness all too suddenly. It looked pretty good.

Then I smell it. American Maco lager? What? I was expecting . . . something, but instead I get a very faint whiff of adjuncts. That mixes with caramel and a light smokiness.

The taste . . . if this is what our founding fathers had to drink, may God have mercy on their souls. Man. I have nothing constructive to say.

Mouthfeel: Thin. A wheat ought be thick in the way this one isn't.

Drinkability: Why would anyone drink this? Man, if I had to choose between this and Grog (Rum+Water), I'd choose the grog. Man. Dis-gusting.

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Photo of theo871
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks like grog! Very brown and murky appearance. The smell is sweet with some spices, maybe vanilla. Taste is slightly sweet but very mild, watery. The mouthfeel is very light and watery as well. While this collection is a neat time capsule of sorts, I don't think I would search this beer out again.

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Photo of Domingo
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After the infamous hard root beer, it was good to move on to a "real" beer in the Patriot pack
Pours a VERY hazy color. I've had dark what brews of all kinds, but I think this is the murkiest of the bunch. Not as dark as some others (it's a brownish red), but it's the thickest. A small head forms at the top, but the overall beer is thick enough to be a giant head.
Smell is actually rather weak. No bavarian hefe smells. Generally smells grainy and malty. If you were to drink this with a meal, I doubt you'd pick up any smell at all.
Flavor is of chocolate malt. VERY strong, but also very good. Even though it's a wheat beer, it reminds me a lot of a potent dunkel lager. Not a lot of other flavors really come out to mingle with it...just a lot of cocoa sweetness.
Drinkability would actually be rather high...however with only one, I doubt you have more on hand.
This beer is straight forward and has minimal complexity, however it's still really tasty and perhaps (along with the decent ginger and pretty good porter) reason enough to pick up this pack.
If you're a fan of a strong chocolate malty flavor - this beer has it in spades.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler. Like its brethren in the Patriot Collection this beer looked really good, especially the thick and creamy head. Unlike the others I've tried so far this one had a decent smell too, not too smoky.

The flavors were like a diminished wheat ale, kind of like Goose Island 312 with a little extra something added. Not as wiezenbocky as I'd hoped, but I guess that's not the style they were after.

The best of the collection so far, but I wouldn't be disappointed to never try it again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into weizen glass.
The color was browner where the glass widens and lighter - more orangish - where it was thinner. Rather than a head, it had a well-retained thick lacing.
The smell was subtle - hints of wheat, caramel and smoked wood.
The wheat, wood, caramel (and a touch of molassass?) blended with a smoky charater. A touch of alcohol became apparent at the finish. While the flavors were noticeable, they were a little too hidden under the smokiness, and didn't necessarily mesh as well as they could have.
The flavors - despite a bit of a syrupy feel at the start - thinned out a bit in the mouth, except for the smoky wood. Still in all, it was fairly refreshing.
It is the best of the four in the collection (though that doesn't say much for it). Unlike the others, I could see them changing the label, tweeking it a bit and selling it in its own six-pack as a regular, or even a seasonal/rotating release. I can't say it was a great beer or even something much above average in the end, but it wasn't bad - a good concept that works well enough in this case.

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Photo of hgrong
2.92/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This stuff looks like dirty dishwater. It looks nasty, muddy and rusted. The nose is almost nonexistent. I shoved my nose into the glass as far as I could and I could barely get anything. If anything I was able to pick up notes of yeasty rye bread. The palate is thin and a little watery. Hints of rye and yeast with almost no hop presence. Not offensive, which is saying something in this four-pack. The beer is definately drinkable, but I would not say that it is delicious by any means.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second beer in the Brewer Patriot Collection. The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer is a hazy mahogany coloration. The head was two fingers biege in coloration. The beer leaves major lacing behind on my glass.

Smell: The beer has a sweet wheat and rye combo. The beer has a hint of vague smokyness.

Taste: The beer has a ok sweet wheaty maltyness. The beer gives a pinch of smoke at the end.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is medium bodied. The beer has a very creamy texture. This was an easy beer to drink. The beer wasnt particularly exciting to drink.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with best before October 2006 date. Pours a hazy mahogony brown with a creamy 2 finger head, good longevity and very good lace. Roasted malt flavors with some chocolate and maple syrup. Roasted malt with chocolate and toffee. Sweet and a bit sour. Creamy and easy drinking. By far the best of the 4 beers.

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Photo of budgood1
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
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 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

 430 characters

Photo of medic25
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut colored with a thin, short lasting head. Lightly carbonated. Aroma is pleasant, malty and smoky. First taste is overwhelmingly dominated by smoke. Further sips seem more balanced, a sweet, wheaty flavor. Not something I'd drink on a regular basis; decent enough taste, but not something I'd make a habit of.

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Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a ruddy brown with a 2 fingers deep sand colored head with loads of effervescence. Good head retention very good lacing

Smell: Big time butterscoth smell& slight fruittyness

Taste: Yeast & bubble gum sweetness up front. Then fruittyness & slight smoke notes, plus bandaids. Finishes dry & tart

MF Medium, but spritzy

Drinks okay, these flavors are somewhat offputting for session drinking. Love the concept of this series of beers though

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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.

 370 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a very very cloudy dark apple cider color with half a finger of beige head, too cloudy to see any carbonation

S - hoppy wheaty aroma as was expected, very dark smelling, the rye/wheat smell is very evident

T - a wheat sweetness up front with a kind of sharp/sourish middle and a nice yeasty finish, a very smooth brew

M - smooth but light bodied, some more structure would make this beer even better

D - high, very smooth and palatable, a newbie would enjoy this beers flavor and smoothness

 512 characters

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 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 geexploitation
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous, half-murky dark brown with caramel highlights. It reminds me of how a dark tea looks in a glass. Candied apples, chocolate, and sourish yeast, a la Sam Smith's house character, show up in the nose. Smooth and light bodied on the palate, with wheat acidity biting early and often. Metallic flavors all over the place. All this adds up to a very quaffable, decent dark wheat ale. It won't replace the best of the genre, but it's worth trying and enjoying.

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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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