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 Westsidethreat
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: You can say a lot of things about Sam Adams, but one thing they are is masters of carbonation. This is a real cool looking a murky caramel/brown sugar color with a nice mashed potato like head. Lots of little streams forming from the bottom of the glass.

S: Toasted eggo, minor cafe mocha, cashews and a bit of soap.

T: Subtle caramel, toasted nuts and some brown sugar. Just a bit of smokiness under the surface. Finishes very grainy with more caramel. Pretty much subdued and sort of watery.

M: Medium body with a full

D: Booooring. Not a bad beer but nothing worth seeking out.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange-dominant tawny on the coaster, lucent reddish orange when backlit with sunshine. The cap is large in size, whipped creamy in consistency and lightly toasted marshmallow in color. A better than average lace display is beginning to appear now that the head is finally beginning to relent. JMDWA looks at least as good as any beer of this style that I can recall.

The nose isn't quite as wonderful. Part of the reason why it isn't a standout is that there's very little smokiness. I know that BBC had no intention of brewing a rauchbier, but if they're going to claim that it's 'brewed with hand-smoked malted barley', the least they could do is give it some semblance of smokiness. The aroma is still pleasant in a mildly sweet, mildly toasted wheat sort of way.

After reading the general descriptions, I suspected that this beer, of the four in the Brewer Patriot Collection, would be my favorite. While it doesn't exactly wow me, I'd have to say that my prediction was correct (I doubt that 1790 Root Beer Brew will be my cup of tea, although I'd love to be proven wrong). Most of the reason, I'm sure, is that it's the least 'experimental' beer in the 4-pack.

Dark Wheat Ale tastes like a dark wheat ale ought to taste since it's dark and it's wheaty. I much prefer dunkel weizens because their clove-like yeast adds much more to the flavor profile than does the neutral yeast of this style. I can appreciate caramel, overripe apples and a barely toasted nuttiness to go along with the tanginess of the wheat. Still no smoke.

The body/mouthfeel is such that drinkability is enhanced at the expense of pleasure. That's not to say that the beer feels bad in the mouth, just that it isn't a standout. It's no bigger than light-medium while still managing a mild creaminess that pulls it comfortably above average.

As noted above, James Madison Dark Wheat Ale is almost certainly going to be my favorite beer of this collection. I wouldn't mind a bit if the brewery decided to make this one a regular, or at least a seasonal, release.

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Photo of
3.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle. Slightly hazy, light brown in color. Medium size light tan head. Hops were very mild initially, but seemed to come out more as the beer warmed. Bread and yeast were the malt characteristics, perhaps some honey. Salt? Taste was like a mouthful of somewhat sweet bread. Hops showed up slightly in the finish, and I did seem to pick up a hint of smoke in the aftertaste, although this could have been suggestion from reading the label. Mouthfeel was light to medium, carbonation was low, and the texture was almost slick. This beer was OK, but nothing I would seek out again.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a weizen glass the beer rose to about the half way point of the glass and two fingers of head rose above that. The beer is a light brown, unfiltered color. Rather still in the glass, save the head, no other outright signs of carbonation.

The nose a malty with hints of fruit. Some banana and slightly yeasty.

Taste is well balanced, rich, and malty. Estery with fruit flavors pronounced. banana and clove are present, slightly yeasty. Also detect some apple and pear in the taste with hints of bubblegum and more banana. Very highly carbonated; almost prickly going down.

Medium body, sturdy for the style, a bit too much carbonation I thought.

This one is quite good from the four-pack. Perhaps more convential style wise, and therefore more familiar and palatable, the beer's taste is balanced and enjoyable. A bit too highly carbonated, the beer is still quite easy to drink.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
2.96/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another selection from the Brewer Patriot collection ... Pours a hazy dark amber color with a shallow off-white head and some lacing. Nose is not pleasant to me ... wheat malts, and slightly smoky. Maybe a burnt element I don't like. Palate is better than the nose lets on ... roasted malts, chocolate, and toffee. Almost porter-like in a way. Mouthfeel is light and has a light and dry finish. Drinkability ... okay, I guess. I really didn't care for this one. To me, it suffers froma bit of an identity crisis. Not really a wheat beer, not a porter ... I don't know. It's okay.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.13/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. #3 of 4 from the brewer patriot collection.

Pours cloudy amber with a tanish head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is caramel and light wheat.

Flavor is slightly sweet, toffee, caramel, with a mild wheat background.

Light dry finish.

So far the best of the bunch.

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

12 oz bottle best by October, pours a a murky reddish brown, finger of head which quickly subsides to a ring of lace. Nose is a fairly strong wheat malt, somewhat toasted, and a slight smoky edge. Taste is nice and bready malt, the rye definitely coming through, a slight cocoa edge, finishing with a lingering malt sweetness and just a touch of smoke. Light bodied, smooth gentle carbonation and a rather dry finish. This is a really solid beer, a good interesting taste, a much more of an every day beer than the root beer or ginger ale.

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Photo of orfeu
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Weird murky burnt sienna with a thin grey soapy dishwater head that disappears quickly. Sweet, slightly citrusy and rather caramelly aroma. Caramel maltiness with a faint hint of smoke in the flavor with a sweet and chewy wheat taste. A bit under-carbonated, almost flat in fact, with a medium body and chewy mouthfeel. I just realized that this reminds me of a low-abv wheat wine. Really not that bad of a beer, particularly if one is looking for something both rustic and palatable.

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Photo of ReDave
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second foray into the Patriot Collection. Much more drinkable than the root beer. [guess I'm drinking them in reverse order]
Very thin head, off white. Interesting light lace on the glass.
Brown colored with some amber yellow highlights.
Spicy wheat malt aroma [similar to some home brews I've had/made.
Nice light wheat taste, some very light vanilla. This could be a session beer. Some light spice aftertaste.

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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 BradBLR
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very hazy dark brown with a slightly brownish white head. The head lasted about a quarter of the beer and had a fair amount of lacing. The smell was a very faint malt smell with a slight hint of tartness.

The beer tasted slighty bitter with a nice taste of rye and a slight lemon flavor. It was also very crisp. The mouthfeel was ok, the CO2 was a little strong and the thickness was about right.

Another interesting beer from this collection, worth buying at least one of these boxes.

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Photo of cameraman
3.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark amber color, very cloudy, with a quater inch white head. The scent of malt is very strong with a touch of smoky fragrance. The taste has a mild smokiness with the wheat being very mild and smooth. Medium bodied, with a coating feeling from the carbonation. Drinkability is so-so, the flavor is good, the rest of the beer is a let down. Still another solid experimentation from Sam Adams.

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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 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 RedChrome
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour produced a cloudy medium brown colored body. Minimal white head dissapeared almost instantly. When held to light a moderate amount of carbonation bubbles can be seen. Thick rings of lacing.

A decent aroma of malt with a nice bread finish. A decent hops quality helps this one from being too sweet on the nose. A light scent of dark fruits, including plum and date, was barely noticable.

Flavor of smoked malts blends with a wheat bread taste. An aftertaste of plums hangs around between sips. A slightly noticable taste of alcohol detracts just a bit from the taste, as it is distracting to the flavor, instead of highlighting it.

A light watery feel. Tons of carbonation bounce on the tongue and move flavors around.

A decent beer. I would recommend this to accompany a nice late night snack of a few slices of table cheese. I would love to see Sam Adams add this to the rotating brew schedule between Summer Ale and Octoberfest.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light bodied head on top of a caramel colored beer. Strong malty base with fruity esters, raisons, and alcohol in the nose. Light body for the beer, maybe a little watery, but doesn't really detract much. It has a slight creamy smoothness from the wheat but a rye kick on the back of the mouth. Nice combination, and it mitigates the often harsh bite of rye in a beer. Enjoyable and I wouldn't say no to another one.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured with a big, thick, medium-tan head that reduced to a light film pretty quickly. The color was a deep amber/light brown and the nose was sugary and lightly smoky. The mouthfeel was thin and I got a number of flavors on the tongue, including caramel, chocolate, and a rye bite. The finish was dry, with a lingering rye bite, as well as a light smokiness. It seems interesting that this is the type of beer that would have been produced in colonial America. I would probably drink it again, but not as a session beer - I like more hops.

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Photo of taez555
3.18/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a murky, yellowish, brown opaque body with a white head.

Nose is very dull and muted. Faint wheat, cocoa powder, some light grain and just a mild mild mild mild mild touch of smoke.

Light to medium bodied and very slippery from begining to end. Very milk chocalately almost like drinking chocolate milk at first taste. Nice toasted grain, wheat, some rye touches, raw very non acidic lemon juice, toasted brown rice with a mildly course bitterness. Some very dry woody notes come through with a very slight tannic touch in the finish.

Very much tastes like a sweet candy bar mixed with rice crispies. Reminiscent of a dunkelweis, but misses the boat. Overall a nice beer.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This and the George Washington Porter are easily the two best offerings in this package of four. This poured a cloudy dark caramel with a lovely khaki coloured head that lasted for several seconds before fading into a thin haze of frost across the surface of the liquid. One can certainly smell the wheat, a bit of caramel, and definitely the smoke from its description. The taste, as with 100's of other wheat based beers, is very light and refreshing. Taste is sweet with caramel dominating. The body is a bit heavier than I was expecting from an ale of this sort. The finish is very nice with a bit of a smokey wheat dryness that is faintly noticeable if you're paying attention. Certainly not extraordinary, but I seemed to enjoy it, nevertheless.

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Photo of DESTRO
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dumps a dark amber, cloudy and with a decent head that dies to a small ring. light lacing. smells light with some dark malt. hints or earth and bread. taste wise its not bad, some mild dark malt is the main stage. simple and a bit medicinal with a nice tangy finishes. somewhat creamy in the mouth with some nice carbonation. overall its a bit non-eventful, safe and unoffensive. easy drinkin.

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Photo of Damian
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a part of the Sam Adams Brewer Patriot Collection from Mall Discount Liquors, Cambridge, MA

Poured a deep, murky, copper-amber with a medium, foamy light tan head that lingered. Some lacing.

Smell was sweet. Malts and caramel came through strong.

Taste, however, was quite uneventful. Mild hops were noticeable from start to finish with no other real discernible flavors. The hops actually seemed to fade as the beer moved along the palate. No noticeable aftertaste.

Thin, watery mouthfeel.

This beer was unquestionably the least impressive and least distinctive beer from the Sam Adams Brewer Patriot Collection.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very cloudy, amber/orange sort of color. No real aroma-sort of a spicy, citrus smell to it but very low key-almost not even there. Malty enough flavor-rather crisp and dry. Very one dimensional-its just "there". Reminds me of a low grade Fat Tire amber. Ok mouthfeel. Nothing really stands out here to call it a wheat beer or even a beer.

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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 aluskungs
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nicely. A little sediment in the bottle, but that's good for flavor but gives this beer a muddled brown yellow color, not very appealing. But taste is what counts and this beer has lots!

At first this dark sourness floods my tongue, a bit of bitterness and then a salivating smoke flavor at the end. Crisp finish. Rye taste. Drink more. Nice complex flavor. Not much bitterness, on the malt end of the scale but the smokiness balances well.

I would by this again and will! Should make this a 6 pack. Relax by campfire and have this nice dark beer.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

muddy looking hazed brown with a thin white head.
this beer has a nice aroma. it's got a light but rich caramel and wheat aroma, with slight hints of smoke and maybe some rye.
the taste produces more of an earthy wheat character than the smell, with the caramel fading a bit, you can taste the rye in there too and with it some tang. got a little more smoke here than in the aroma.
i really enjoyed the mouthfeel it's a got a sligk medium body with carbonation that seems to foam in the mouth a little, making it smooth, but unique.
a decent quirky beer, and definitely the best of the brewer patriot collection.

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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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