Longshot Friar Hop Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Longshot Friar Hop AleLongshot Friar Hop Ale
240 Ratings
Longshot Friar Hop AleLongshot Friar Hop Ale

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

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by silentjay on 03-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 240 |  Reviews: 185
Reviews by Nerudamann:
Photo of Nerudamann
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an over sized wine glass.

Look - copperish in color, clear, with about a finger or two of pale khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell - spiciness in general..and a little more malty. Some citrus tones, but I definitely smell the coriander.

Taste and Mouthfeel - definitely more hoppy in the taste, although I can't identify the kind of hop. I can still taste the coriander strongly. The citrus comes out much less. Bittersweet, but actually sweet at the initial step into the tasting, and then bitter throughout the rest of the process...strongest in the middle. Texture is very well-balanced.

Overall - a little more bitter than I usually care for, but still a very good brew. Not a terribly innovative brewing combination, but very interesting in the taste and definitely intriguing throughout the taste.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color, small white head.
Sweet, bready aroma. Citrus, mostly orange. Herbal and spicy. Peppery in my nose.
The citrus, while still present, is not as noticeable in the taste. Coriander present. More hherbal hops late. All with a sweet caramel malt background.
Very smooth and sweet, just this side of being too sweet.
Nice beer.

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Photo of warnerry
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a beautiful clear copper with two fingers of creamy tan head. Head persists and leaves some nice lacing.

S - Smells of Belgian yeast, a bit of candy sugar, citrus, caramel and some spices. Alcohol is also apparent.

T - Spices and citus hops are more pronounced in the taste than smell, even after several months. Otherwise similar to smell. Quite a bit of harsh alcohol presence diminishes the taste somewhat.

M - Medium mouthfeel finishes with a combination of bitterness and sticky sweetness. Okay but not great.

O - Decent Belgian IPA, but the harsh alcohol diminished my enjoyment of this one.

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Photo of 40451
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of orm56
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear copper color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the perfume and flowery hops with some bready malt, candy sugar and grassy notes. Quite complex. The flavor is similar. I get a lot of bread and toffee notes from the malt. as well as some grape notes. From the hops I get some grassy notes and the bitterness is about low. The beer also is quite sweet and has a lot of the candy sugar notes in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Longshot Friar Hop Ale begins with a nose full of distinctly Belgian notes, including bananas dusted with cloves and peppery spices. These are joined by a heavy sugary aroma, likely the result of the candi sugar, and a good runnel of toast and bread crust.

On the tongue, the beer begins with the Belgian banana and clove notes, but hints of coriander quickly join the fight, and the spiciness is supported by the not-inconsiderable backing of heavy raw sugar artillery. Oranges do come into play, though quite subtly so, as do faint touches of anise. Hops lend the beer a good tongue buzz, and do contribute slightly to the citrus notes. The aftertaste is heavier on hops, as many of the sugars have by then died off, but a few orange and banana flavors still linger. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-high, adding to the buzzing.

Overall, this is quite good beer: far more Belgian than IPA, but supported by a well-planned addition of spice, and very drinkable. The sugars might be slightly too high, but I doubt many will notice, especially since they result in a 9% ABV that is almost entirely hidden by flavor. Well worth trying.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good glow to the amber pour, belgians usually seem so dull. Aroma was a mild belgian yeast strain, hops remain subtly hidden behind the yeast.

Taste, not bad, hides alcohol well, just a slight warmth, hopping becomes evident and accompanied by a gentle spiciness. Soft cushion of a malt base to it. Even some citrus flavors come out, giving it a lot more complexity than most of SA's offerings. Key to this beer seems to be a mild strain yeastwise that doesn't overwhelm the other, sometimes delicate flavors in the profile.

Couldn't see drinking more than one of these in a setting, but drinking that one was nice.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.05/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear copper amber hue with a bright off white khaki beige head forms fine even lacing. Aroma has a deep fruit layer with hints of cherry/apricort and an evident citrus note as well. No alcohol hits the nose very well hidden, and a bit of Belgian yeast phenolics going on. Flavor is extremely sweet, like toothache and diabetes inducing sweetness. Cloying spice levels makes you instantly want to brush your teeth, there's no way on earth this is a Belgian IPA I'm not getting any alpha hops. Just loads of citrus peel, spice addition bitterness that is just downright unpleasant on the palate...a touch of heat comes through as well in the finish. Carbonation overdone along with the spicing this finishes dry and spicy with absolutely disgusting levels of spice additions, so perfumey and floral. Drinkability is poor and overall horrible beer experience I hope this doesn't turn anybody off to craft beer because it's possibly that bad.

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear amber.

Aroma says "Belgian", although the odd fruity aroma from yeast is largely absent. Predominantly spicy (*coriander) with hints of citrus and a notable toasted malt.

T - light some actual Belgians, this beer is a bit too heavily spiced for my preferences. Also has sweet caramel and citrusy hop, but not as hoppy as expected from an IPA; better to think of this as a Belgian pale ale. Rich flavor throughout tasting, becoming less sweet and more bitter as one goes from initial taste to the finish.

M - medium body and medium/light carbonation.

O - good beer, but significantly less appealing than another similarly hoppy Belgian sampled recently: Ommegang BPA.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a goblet. The freshness date reads September.

A: Orange brown (copper) with a little head that quickly turns into a ring around the glass with a patch (almost like ice in Alaska during the summertime) floating in the middle of the brew. It is clear, and has steady carbonation. It also does leave some lacing.

S: Citrus from hops, sweet bread malt, dry fruit, brettanomyces, spice, and candied sugar.

T: Starts with sweet bread and spice then moves into piney and citrus notes that dominate the beer until the finish. The finish is also quite bitter but some candy, warming alcohol, and a bit of biscuit are also noticeable.

M: Heavy and dry.

O: Longshot Friar Hop ale lacks the large head and retention that many BIPA's have in abundance. However, it does have nice balance. It begins with sweet malt and then proceeds to dry, pleasing citrus and pine. The finish can be a little heavy and clings to the back of the throat. The beer becomes better as it warms.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear slight dense aged copper body with a slight red hue to it. There is a matrix of microbbbles that slowly glide to an antique white head that last a good bit.

S- the perfumed yeast aroma fills my nose with some circus peanut esters that blend with clove and a faint banana hint that turns more laffy taffy as the beer opens up.

T- The alcohol bite gives way to pear flavors and yeast esters with some spun candy flavors. The finish has a nice green grapefruit hop flavor. The candy notes and alcohol taste linger a bit after the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz that boost the alcohol heat moreso as the beer warms.

O- This beer has some great yeast character and some nice support from the sweetness with a good hop character in the finish. The alcohol was a bit sharp but it did help keep the sweetness in check.

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Photo of timellison
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice copper color, medium amount of head that dissipates quickly leaving a good amount of lacing.
S: Sugar and spice. Not a lot of hops but very pleasant.
T: Really good belgian yeast notes, lots of candy sugar, mild bittering hops. This is a really delicious beer.
M: Medium mouthfeel, very drinkable for 9.00 abv.
O: Fair or not, I am choosing not to dock this points for being different than what I would expect out of a Belgian IPA. Its not a style with a lot of history or strict guidelines so I don't mind that its definition is stretched here. This is a really good beer.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear honey color with a sudsy off white head. Bubbles immediately form and stream to the top of the brew. A very picturesque start to Friar Hop Ale.

Nose is very Belgian with loads of biscuit and spiced fruit and crisp yeasty twang. I wish there was more from the hops here. They kind of come out in the background but don't really make much of a name for themselves.

Taste is good for a Belgian ale but a Belgian IPA. The crisp fruity yet peppered and toasted, caramelized sugar flavors you'd expect a there but almost no hint of hops. This is a fine beer but it doesn't fit the style in my book.

The mouthfeel is up there with a Belgian beer. Fine champagne like carbonation and a sweet yet dry finish. A touch of bitterness from those previously nonexistent hops paired with a toasted bread wondrfulness. A good beer but not a BIPA. Worth trying out but not anything to help with that hop fix.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a quarter-inch of white retained head. Significant yeasty aromas. Creamy mouthfeel with understated carbonation, yeasty with some fruitiness and some spice as corriander kick in finish. Bitterness is in the secondary, good drinkability.Bottle from Premiere.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
2.81/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, New Belgium globe, best by September 2011.

Here I am trying a Belgian IPA for the first time. It's a mighty orange beer, perfectly clear with a color more like a sports drink than an amber hued IPA. The head is a decent light tan, creamy affair.

For something with hop in the name and IPA in the style name, the aromas are seriously lacking. Banana or bubblegum esters and toasty malt are mainly what I get. It definitely smells Belgian and way too much like a Wit. A little orange peel, which isn't necessarily from the hops.

The bitterness hits more like an IPA; alcohol, IBUs, and some coriander/orange peel contributing. Finally some citric hops do come through, toasty malt, and still too much like a Wit.

It's a pretty heavy beer. A bit viscous with decent carbonation.

I don't understand this beer. Why is it 9%? Why the coriander and orange peel in an IPA? Why no friggin hops? To me this drinks much more like an imperial Wit.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich, clean amber. Large white head. Lovely lace.

Nose is fruity, yeasty, herbal. Quite nice. I get some Belgian yeast.

Taste is a heavy mix of fruit and spice. The hops character seems dialed back a bit, as I get dark fruit and clove much stronger on the palate.

This is a weighty ale, and a unique and complex one. Enjoyable.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluffy tan head over a gradiented amber body. Laces nicely.

Some Belgian yeast on the nose; a trace of honey.

Taste explodes on the front with a harmony of several different flavors; this breaks off and a rather clean hop finish. I get some light honey with floral notes and some tangerine/apricot hop tang, with a bit of black pepper in the mix. Quite varied, quite balanced. Just a trace of the alcohol is present in the taste. I'm not really getting the "orange and coriander" not the "toasty caramel sweetness from the malt" that the label proclaims, but this is probably more a semantic difference than anything else, because I found a lot of flavors close to those.

Mouthfeel is standard; well-textured and neither over-carbed nor thin. Keeps a big flavor from being syrupy.

Overall, this thing won a contest, and I'd tend to agree that it deserved to do so. It's a really neat hybrid between American strongs and barleywines, which can be overpowering with hops, and Belgians strongs with yeast and spice (which I personally prefer) and the result is very natural, not forced at all.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Friar Hop Ale is another good creation by a finalist in the Sammy A contest. The appearance was good, a light copper hazy color. Thin to no head, but had some carbonation. I expected more from the scent. There was subtle orange and spice, but not much in the form of hops. The taste was ok...I tasted the high ABV immediately, followed by Belgium spices & malt, oragne/citrus flavors. As my mouth got used to the ABV and the beer warmed, the orange and spices really started to come in. The mouthfeel was downgraded slightly beacuse the malt/spice/citrus couldnt quite balance the ABV. Overall, I would not go out to buy a 6-pck of this beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle 

A- Poured into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Pours a golden orange color with a nice off-white head.

S- The aroma is fruity with some spices and Belgian yeast with some hops as well. 

T- The taste is malt and sweet caramel with a good amount of spices and hops with some warmth from the alcohol in the finish. 

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I enjoyed this one. Good job on this beer, worth a try. 

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Photo of prototypic
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Friar Hop Ale is copper in color. It’s crystal clear. Light gives it a nice reddish-orange tint. A soft, off-white head covers it and rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It recedes to a surface covering quickly, and holds there for a bit. An attractive, thick web of lace lines the glass.

The nose is okay, but is quite light on aromatics. More strength would probably bolster its performance easily. Caramel malt hits first. Smells pretty sweet. Light spicy phenols are noted. A little pepper, maybe some clove. Belgian yeast is subtle. Too subtle. More would be much better. Alcohol is easily noted and smells a tad strong. Eh. It’s rather average, especially given the style.

The flavor is a little better. Caramel malt is noted first. It’s sweet and a little sugary. Belgian yeast is more notable here, but isn’t as strong as it should be. It certainly imparts spicy phenols. Pepper and clove add some depth and work well. Light citrus hop notes emerge. They’re mostly orange flavored. They add a touch of bitterness and character. It’s all working well, but then a rush of boozy, warm alcohol rushes in and throws it off balance on the tail. That’s where it ends. Not a fan of the finish.

Friar Hop Ale has a medium body that’s pretty smooth and well done. Carbonation is dialed in nicely. Its feel is easily one of its strongest points.

Overall, Friar Hop Ale is pretty good. It’s a bit mediocre in the sense that finish puts a damper on the flavor score. The alcohol is too boozy and warm. Otherwise, the flavor’s pretty good. I wouldn’t mind more Belgian yeast, but I like the hop presence quite a bit. I’m honestly not sure that I’d call this a Belgian IPA. It’s more like a lightly hopped Tripel. In any event, it’s worth checking out.

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Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber honey color. Thin white head an ok lacing.

Aroma of a Belgian triple. Little bit of malt and some hops.

Taste is good. Solid Belgian yeast flavor that isn't too intense. Nice hip bite and a bit of flavor. Nice bit of maltiness.

Mouthfeel is malty a bit to start and finishes off dry. Nice carb.

Overall a tasty beer. Not super special but good. Would buy it if it was a regular. I think it deserves a little better than a B on here.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, topped with 2 fingers of thick, slightly off-white head. This retains with a frothy ½ finger cap that coasts the sides of the glass with a latticework of sticky lacing. The aroma smells grassy with a sharp spiciness and some mingling alcohol warmth. Notes of soft fruit, light toasted grains, and even a smidge of caramel sweetness help soften up the edges of the nose.

The taste has a lot of bright citric fruit flavors going on with it, balanced by more malty notes of sweet sugars, caramel, and doughy grains. This is enveloped in a bold spiciness that pulls into the finish, leaving this with a dry, yeasty, and spicy feel that lingers with some leftover bitter fruit character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with an effervescent sharpness to the carbonation that blows up in the mouth. This is maybe a little too prickly feeling overall. There is some warmth to the body but it mostly hangs in the back of the profile, where is emboldens that dry spicy finish.

This wasn’t too bad but the emphasis on those bitter citric flavors and spiciness from the yeast left this a tad too aggressive for my tastes. Maybe a bit more of a sweet fruitiness from the yeast or hops could have worked with those malts to soften this up some more. I will say that I was a bit shocked to see that this was 9%, as it does drink like a good bit less than that (I was thinking more like 7%), which earns this some redemption points with me.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I pour the Friar Hop into a wine glass for good sport. The pour is a translucent golden orange and showing a half inch of light foam.

Offers a decent Belgian Pale nose with a good yeast character. though there are no hop notes to speak of so this surely has no roots in the IPA kingdom. In fact I'm a bit at odds as to why they would put the word 'hops' in the beer name. Not that a good Belgian style brew would need any mind you but this is rather void of hop notes. A pleasant yeast character does exist throughout the pour but it is a bit too sweet to gather much here.

Overall quite sweet and Tripel like in nature though not really. Some yeast notes but never hoppy by any means..

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Longshot Friar Hop Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 240 ratings