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
188 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of SuperSpy
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
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 -44.1%
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 +2.5%
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 +19.2%
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 -1.1%
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 +30.5%
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 +9.6%
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 -5.9%
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 +12.1%
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 +15.3%
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 +15.3%
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%
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 +7.3%
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 -0.3%
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%
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 -5.9%
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 +1.7%
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 +7.3%
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 -23.2%
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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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.91/5  rDev -17.8%
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 +8.2%
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 -11.9%
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 +11.6%
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 -16.4%
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 -11.6%
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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Brewer Patriot Collection - James Madison Dark Wheat Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 188 ratings
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