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

169 Reviews
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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 objectivemonkey
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively unattractive cloudy brown though with a huge head and good lacing. Aroma is simply dark wheats, sweet malts, maybe nutty, a little timid but pretty decent.. Taste is kind of the same, dark wheaty malt, caramel sweet, toasty malt, any hopping is gone by now if there ever was, with a thicker than expected body, smooth and slighty carbonating, pretty nice overall, wouldn't have know this to be a 'historical' brew at all, something like the rest Ive been having.

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Photo of kernalklink
3.09/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was hoping for much more from Sam Adams on this one. Probably the ugliest beer Ive ever drank, crap cloudy brown with no head, some lacing. There was a promising scent of malty sweetness, but there was none upon tasting. What can be tasted is gone in an instant in this watered down brew. No presence of smokiness or toffee, quite flavorless except for the slight alcoholic burn. Not impressed, but at least it went down light.

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3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very large fluffy head at 2 inches almost jumps off of this hazy amber brown body that almost looks lide swampwater. Wheat and malt balance on the nose is soft but nice, even a hint of hazelnut. The first thing that wakes the taste buds is a slight sour twing but it quickly yields to a nutty fuzzy hue on the palate. Long syrupy sour sweetness finishes out the palate and runs into the mouthfeel. Not bad overall. Quite drinkable. And probably the best in the series of four.

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Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer with "best enjoyed before" dating of october 2006 ( 2 months ago...) oh well, anyway it pour cloudy, caramel amber, with a long lasting thin creamy head, leaves moderate stringy lacing and the nose is of some lightly smoked malts. Notes of caramel, more light smoke and some biscuity malts. Smooth, easy drinking dark wheat. Nothing amazing, but a respectable ale. Love the style in general, this one is not bad, too bad I don't think they are gonna brew it again any time soon.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled during a home tasting of the Brewer Patriot collection.

A - Murky brown auburn orange with litte carbonation or head.

S - Not potent at all, but a burnt malt predominates.

T - Midrange and aftertaste is flat and unimpressive. Rest of the taste is slightly smoky with a good blend of hops and malt sweetness.

M - Carbo bite yet smooth.

D - Most drinkable of the 4, so much so that I would consider a 6-pack for average quaffing needs (if they existed).

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Photo of RedHaze
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark brown with a one finger head that fades slowly to a thin soapy cap, leaving behind a pretty nice sheeting of lace behind.

Smell; there's some wheat like aromas, but on the subdued side. Some sweet malts are also present, but once again on the weak side. I think that about sums up the aroma, thin and weak.

Taste; as with the smell, the wheat is there, just not as prominant as I would have expected, since this is labeled a wheat beer. There's a bit of a sweet toffee maltiness, as well as a bit of apples, which makes this a little interesting, with absolutely no hop bitterness to speak of. The flavors are actually not that bad at all, it's just not a very complex, or exciting.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; Mouthfeel is light bodied, and in no way resembles what I expect in a wheat beer, but it does have a nice drinkability that would make it easy to knock back a few of these in a row.

I went into this one with an open mind (even having read some of the reviews), but this one was not a very good wheat beer. I actually expected to like this one a little more than I did.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy brown pour with a 1-inch off-white head that disappeared within two minutes and no lace.

S - Hints of maple syrup, caramel, butter and apple.

T - Apple and raisins. Almost an apple butter flavor without the sweetness. The finishing taste is a delicate whole wheat bread with a hint of smokiness. Leaves a smoky aftertaste. As it warms I can pick up grape and molasses. I'm really enjoying this one the closer I get to the bottom of the glass.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation that makes this very tingly and refreshing.

D - This could make a good session beer. I enjoy the flavor and the uniqueness of the fruit and smoke. SA may want to make this one a regular, at least then the price may go down and make it affordable to drink a few.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.98/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of the Patriot 4-pack. Unlisted ABV, 12oz bottle, best before October 2006. Brewed with malted rye, roasted barley, smoked barley, and I assume malted wheat. Pours out to a cloudy dark brown, forming a modest light tan soapy head which quickly recedes, leaving only a speckling of lace. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is quite average...a bit like a Berghoff dark lager...caramelized sugar, butterscotch in bits, a very faint wisp of smoke, that unrefined yeast odor. Mouthfeel is light bodied and kinda watery, though flavorful. Begins with caramelized sugar, wood, a touch of crackery wheat in the middle, roasted barley cocoa, and some earthy moss in the finish. Herbal bitterness is mild and leaves a mild sweetness in the aftertaste. A touch sour throughout, like sour milk. I'm not getting any smoke at all in taste. A rather neutral (neutered?) yeast with a touch of Ringwood butter.

Overall, a sour milk Berghoff Ringwood without smoke. A very crappy beer. I think most people are giving this higher ratings because it has "Sam Adams" attached to the name and notoriety, but in a blind tasting I think you'll agree it sucks. Gives me a headache.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy reddish-brown color with massive creamy tannish head. Nice lacing.
Smell is very light, with only a sloght sweetness to be found.
Taste is also very light with only a touch of light summer fruit present.
Finishes with a light dryness, that is nice and enjoyable.
Nice to drink, but my taste buds must be dead tonight, because I just can't detect much taste, either good or bad.

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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 ybnorml
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy copper/brown beer. Has a small creamy head. There is a light sweet nutlike charater. With a cereal grain note in the background. That same light nutlike character holds sway over the taste. But the beer seems to be more about mouthfeel that distinctive taste. Ok if this were on draft at a pub I could knock a few of these back.

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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 Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale pours a mahogany brown with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. A little bit of citrus in the aroma, also some cocoa. This is a pleasant tasting ale, some caramel is noticeable in the flavor, and the lightest touch of citrus and a little bit of cocoa in the finish. Not bad, better than I expected.

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Photo of scottum
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep hazy clouded brown with a huge light tanish headske that doesn't quit. Quite sweet with limited hop balance. Grainy and fruity with a slight touch of smoke. Very light body that goes down smoothly. Drinkable certainly, but nothing extra special.

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Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
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 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 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 Stimack
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew pours to a semi dark brown color with a haze to it and a nice sized light tan head that breaks down somewhat quickly leaving a fair amount of lacing. The aroma is mostly of caramel malt along with a slight wheat scent. Has a very sweet taste to it, which I notice first, then it breaks to a nice caramel like malt flavors with a velvety smooth cream texture. Also you can notice some other flavors in the background, fruit and nuts. In truth, I really like this brew, it has a nice flavor and is extremely smooth, wish that this could become a normal offering? This has turned into a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Shaw
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy brown with a foamy light brown head that reduces to just a hint of foam in my glass with a thicker ring of foam around the edge.

It has a nice smell of toffee and roasted malts.

The taste is robust and sweet. I may detect the smoked malt SA mentions on the beer's label. But then, it could be wishful thinking. Still, the taste is good. I believe I can detect the flavors of the rye malt, it gives the beer a bit of dryness and a twang.

It has a fairly light body. This beer is far from chewy, but that's not what this style is going for. It's fine for a wheat ale and quite creamy.

Overall this is above average. This is the third Brewer Patriot brew I've had and so far so good.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 12oz bottle.

This beer pours a hazy rusty color with a fluffy off white head that holds nicely and laces well. The smell weak but of is of wheat, yeast, and a little bit of dark berry fruits. The taste is also a bit weak but is very similar to the smell. The mouthfeel has a medium body with a decent carbonation. Overall, a nice beer, the best of the Brewer Patriot Series. Its not necessarily great but not offensive at all.

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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 Reidrover
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark ,extremelly hazy brown, with a luscious creamy tan head. Very toffee/cream fudge aroma, a little smoke. Semi-sweet malts dominate the taste, , slight ashiness/smoke, some pear and thats it. Pretty average on the palate, a little on the thin side, low carbonation. Nice little sipper, not bad.

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Photo of Budlum
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours quietly with about half an inch of tan head that leaves a thin blanket on top of the beer. The body is cloudy, deep brown and copper in color. Not much head is produced but it is retained nicely.

This brew presents a nice malt sweetness on the nose followed by a characteristic wheat malt aroma. Vanilla and sweet cream describe the sweetness perfectly.

The first flavor of this beer is a very quick burst of malt sweetness followed by a quick hop taste. A rich, toasted flavor follows displaying quite a bit of complexity. The finish is nicely balanced with notable hops, toasted malts and toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and produces a filling, viscous feel. It is a touch oily.

Drinkability is very nice. I wouldn't mind seeing this added to the regular Sam Adams line-up.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA, as part of the 4 btl Brewer Patriot collection.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1" beige head over the murky light brown brew. Frothy head fades way slowly (put the wife and kid to bed, still a head here), with heavy coating lacing. Aroma is dark grains and wheat, which hits their target description. Taste is less dark, with more plain old wheat flavor than anything else. Mouthfeel and drinkability are best of any of the Patriot Collection brews, by far. Might not quite be what I'm looking for in a dark wheat, but not much detracting either. I'd mark this one a try, but it still doesn't make the four-pack worth buying...

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Photo of dbalsock
2.72/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: White foamy head on a mehagonay(sp) body. The head was actually quite minimal, despite being poured into a weizen glass... how dissapointing.

Aroma: Wheaty and malted barleyish with a slight rye smell... this is straightforward.

Taste: A conglomerate of malty tastes with none particularly sweet. This gives it a sense of balance, but also makes it kinda bland.

Mouthfeel: Watery and bitter in a bad way. It had a smokey characteristic which could be nice in other brews, but took this one down some more.

Drinkability: I'd call this pretty weak overall, but it wasn't a drain pour.

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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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