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

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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.

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 240
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.05/5  rDev -43.4%
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 cvoss
2.06/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Golden yellow with white head.

S - Citrus and sweet.

T - Terrible. It was everything I could do to finish the bottle. Horrible aftertaste that lasts.

M - A little like carbonated syrup

O - It looks good, smells ok, and tastes absolutely terrible. Will not buy again.

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Photo of edfish
2.46/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok Not to be a Negitive Nancy but I don't like Belgians.

This beer looks good but has the traditiional Belgian lemmon/peppery taste to it not overpowering , its just there.

Tried it in a glass

Tried it in the bottle

Sorry can't get past the Belgian..

At least I gave it a half a glass worth of try.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper color with a thin white chapeau. Le petit chapeau hangs around all glass long and leaves lacy sheets in it's wake. Very impressive.

Aroma is Ricola herbal cough drops, spicy bourbon caramel (not actual bourbon, but the distinctive caramel that's associated with it) and Grand Marnier syrupy sweet orange.

Eew. Sickeningly sweet herbal sweetness. Ghastly sweet like honey covered with Splenda. Bleh. Herbal spice and more bourbon-y caramel and orange syrup. Where's the promised "American hops?" Boo, hiss.

Mouthfeel is more Sam Adams than Belgian which is a bummer because SA ale yeast is slick, oily, and a hop killer.

More interesting than good, worst of this years Longshot.

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Photo of shand
2.57/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Ah, Belgian IPAs. We meet again. There's really nothing I've had to make me a Belgian IPA believer, let's see if this hits the mark. Appearance-wise, it's solidly average. An aggressive pour reveals a red-tinged mildly hazy golden brew with a finger's worth of head that doesn't retain well at all. The aroma is actually kind of nice, with Belgian sugars pairing with just a tinge of citrus hops. The sugars are really the star of the show here, and come through very strongly on the nose. The taste is just OK. The IPA part really doesn't come through here at all, this just tastes a lot like a strong Belgian blonde. The sweet Belgian sugars and yeast really overpower here, along with a hint of fusel alcohol that really isn't all that pleasant. If the hops are to be detected at all, it's on the long-end of the finish.

The mouthfeel is very highly carbonated for the style, and just a bit drying on the finish. The drinkability is alright for the ABV, but I just don't find the overwhelming sweetness to make a very drinkable brew. Overall, there's nothing IPA-like about this brew. This is just a strong Belgian blonde, through and through. And not a great one, I'd take two Leffes any day over one of these.

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Photo of wvsabbath
2.57/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Redish brown copper, no head and very little lacing.

Smell - Hops, floral, yeast, sugars, Has a lemonish orange aroma.

Taste - Man, Alcohol is really present. The whole beer is overpowered by this. The yeast gives a odd soapy flavor. The spices add some sweetness but really add some off balance flavors.

Mouthfeel - Bitter, strong and odd tasting. Mouth is all beat to hell with the flavors and booze. Nasty.

OVerall - Terrible, drain pour time. Cant enjoy the nasty spices and over boozed flavor. This cant even begin to touch a true belgian ale

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Photo of rowew
2.6/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, best by date notched. Label has a picture of the brewer, neck has a description of the beer.

Appearance: Amber in color, thin head is tan colored but fades to just a bit of lacing.

Smell: Aroma is all belgian spices and yeast funk, not getting any hops.

Taste: OK, the hop bitterness is here - but the hop flavor isn't. Bitter with lots of yeast and spicy notes.

Overall impression: Can't say I'm a fan - overly bitter, with rough spicing .. flavors just don't balance out.

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Photo of BB1313
2.76/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Best before September 2011. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent amber/burnt orange, decent head and nice lacing; pretty good looking brew. The aromas aren't bad, but I'd never guess it was a Belgian IPA. The aromas are dominated by the yeast.. the hops aren't detected in the aromas at all. I'm a little let down by the flavors.. lots of yeast and candied sugars.. the hops are present, but take a back seat. This just isn't a good example of a hoppy Belgian/Belgian IPA, IMHO. There are hints of caramel and lots of malts. I'm disappointed because the hops fall flat. The mouthfeel is very nice.. feels heavy, thick, smooth, and not over-carbonated. The alcohol goes unnoticed. Overall, this isn't a bad beer.. but not what I look for in the style. Taste is king, and this one is slightly off.

Props to Richard Roper.. I don't brew beer at this point, so it's better than anything I can brew!

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Photo of Shoegaze99
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Beer looks good, a nice, clear golden color with an impressive, frothy head if poured aggressively.

S - The hops and spices are giving me mixed signals. It's like there are two good smelling beers in my glass at once. The spicy Belgian wins out slightly, but the citrus-laden American hops fight for their spot, too.

T - The battle in the aroma was confusing but was at least pleasant. The taste is another matter. It's as if you took a big, sweet, spicy high gravity Belgian ale and tossed a hoppy, citrusy American IPA into it. The citrus hops fight with the Belgian spices and neither really wins. I applaud the experiment and creativity of the brewer, but this hybrid just doesn't work for me. All those hops beg for a crisp beer, yet they come attached to a big bodied, malty Belgian style. Major culture clash here.

M - Big body, smooth carbonation bordering on creamy, very full feeling beer. It's got the moutfeel a big beer like this deserves.

O - I honestly and heartily applaud the creativity that went into this experiment. But for me, it just wasn't a *successful* experiment. Glad I had my two bottles, but I don't imagine I'll ever desire to drink this one again.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
2.81/5  rDev -22.4%
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 csiewert
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear amber color with a trace of white head with a little retention and little lacing. The aroma is very spicy and is somewhat overpowering. The taste is also very spicy and almost hefeweizenish... But harsher. There is also a strong taste of alcohol. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth but the aftertaste is fairly rough. Overall a decent homebrew, but has some work to do.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear, amber color. Produces a white head. Average retention and nice lacing left on the glass. The aroma is sweet, full of fruit, citrus, spices and slightly sour. The taste of this Belgian IPA is sweet up front, fading into a fruit melody, caramel, and a sour citrus hop flair. The finish is a bit medicinal, but the spice and hop content dries it out. Medium body beer. Overall very good Belgian IPA.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Second of the lot that I'm trying. Poured into a chalice. Pours a dark cloudy orange with a thin white head on top. The nose is spicy, full of yeast, with a cut of orange zest on the finish. Not as floral or citrusy as I'd like. The mouth is decent. Alcohol level makes this one a bit heavier; carbonation level is bordering high. Typical for the style. The flavors are quite underwhelming. The melding of these two styles is bland at best. Neither aspect comes forward with much force. Plenty of yeast character, but not a lot of spiciness to back it up. And the "IPA-ness" of this beer is weak as well. Bitterness is low-to-absent, citrus/floral flavors are muted. I expected something to standout in this beer. It's not well-balanced, but neither do either of the two main characteristics standout. I wanted to like it, but I really don't care for it much.

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Photo of aerozeppl
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Super clear golden color. A touch of white head. A belgian IPA should have a massive head that is almost solid. This has good lacing but that really is a hallmark of the style for me. Also this has been filtered to death.

S: Super bready with just a touch of esters. Not bad but I really do not get any hops in the aroma. A little bit spicy but that is about it.

T: The belgian character is there but it is rather subdued. You get some bitterness in the finish but that is about it. No real hop flavors. Super bready again. Just does not hit the style guidelines.

M: The carbonation is way low. It should be off the charts.

D: This was a real miss for me. Not to style at all. Not a bad beer and not offensive but just not a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of tkepx182
2.96/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Although this beer is a unique beer with interesting flavor, I was not a fan. This beer seemed to have an unpleasant after taste that I was not a fan of. I would have enjoyed this beer if it was not for the fact that the minor flavors are over powered and not highlighted.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
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 PicoPapa
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a Best Before Date of Sep 2011. Pours a translucent orange color with a thin head. Some lacing. Aromas of yeast, banana, and bread. Smells a bit sour. Tastes bready and sour. Not really picking up on any hops. Slightly earthy with some cut grass as well. Lots of sour yeast flavor. High ABV but doesn't really taste like it. Not really digging this one. I taste the "Belgian" but not the "IPA" part. I tried it and I'm moving on.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.01/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber in color, very clear, a lot less carbonation and head than I was expecting.

Smells like candied sugar, with a bit of hops and spice.

Taste is syrupy sweet, with the sweetness broken up by decent amounts of clove-like spices and fresh American hop flavors. Finishes hoppy. The flavors don't really mesh too well, and the rather dank hop flavors and the spicy sweetness kind of melt into one.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected for the sweetness level present.

It's a neat concept, but I'd rather a beer built on spices or one built on strong American hops. Not both.

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Photo of mynie
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hoppy Belgian. K.

Smells like medium noble hops and then some yeast that's just a little off in a weird way. It's--it's kinda like Orval, actually, only fresher and much more medicinal. Not *bad*, just off.

Tastes the same, sadly. It starts with a very pleasant hint of orange zest, but then that gets blasted away by the medicinal yeast. The hops come in near the end, but are nearly blotted out by the yeast.

This is very similar to old vintages of Rabid Rabbit and Rogue's Festivale. I don't know what it is, but lots of excellent American brewers have trouble with Belgian yeast strains. Like those beers, nothing about Friar Hop is bad, it's just a little too weird and it doesn't ever all come together.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - It pours amber in color and has a couple inches of off white head.

S - I get bananas right off the bat. Clove and other spices follow with some caramel malt and a faint citrus aroma.

T - I get banana and clove as the predominant flavor. I get some weak caramel malt.

M - Moderate to watery

O - Not that good. The malt characteristics pull through at the end but it was not what I was looking for nor expected.

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Photo of eclaycamp
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The last of my Longshot 6 pack, I’ve been holding onto this for about a month and it probably needs to go ahead and be drunk. Was expecting this to be bottle conditioned, but from the appearance it’s been filtered. Head disappears quickly. Color is a reddish-tannish, let’s call it mahogany. Aroma is of spicy Belgian yeast, with the usual characteristics of clove and banana. There’s a disappointing amount of hop aroma with this beer. By that I mean there really isn’t any. That kind of translates to the taste, where the only real hop character that I get out of the beer, at least initially, is in the bittering, which really isn’t all that pleasant. The second sip reveals a little bit more of the hop profile, with orange and tangerine notes up front. Those flavors are fleeting, however, as the heavy ABV and ester profile sweeps in and pushes those flavors away. Mouthfeel comes across as somewhat light, which is fine for the style, but there’s not enough carbonation to complement the body of the beer. I’m okay with a thin style Belgian, but in most cases these should have a moderate amount of carbonation to help keep things lively. With this beer it’s both thin bodied and has a relatively light carbonation, which kind of breaks things down and makes it come across as watery, especially after you get through the hops and ester characteristics in the front of the beer. I feel a bit disappointed by this beer. As a straight up take on the Belgian style, it’s certainly not bad. However, as a Belgian IPA it just falls flat. There’s little to no hop character – you really have to search for it – and that’s disappointing.

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Photo of samie85
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a very clear orange color with two fingers of white, thick head that leaves behind some thick lacing.

S-Clove-heavy Belgian yeast with some very light citrus notes.

T-Cloves upfront with some orange-y hops and a slightly bitter and peppery finish.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a crisp mouthfeel.

D-Pretty easy drinking but largely unimpressive. When I think of a Belgian IPA, I think of a better balance of the styles rather than leaning heavily on one of the styles; this is essentially a slightly bitter Belgian ale.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a perfectly clear, tawny amber. A nice, thick puff of foam forms on the pour, but quickly dies down to a loose collar atop the brew. Some spotty lacing sticks around. Definitely filtered, but it's pretty. No head whatsoever on the last 1/4 of the glass, but I can't find fault in that at this strength.
The aroma is much sweeter than I expected. Good soapy hop presence with a peppery, floral note, but it's evenly balanced with sugary, toasted belgian maltiness. A little bit of butterscotch diacetyl as it warms. Some fruit and lots of belgian ale yeast character, with that familiar, spiced banana thing going on.
The flavor follows the nose much of the way, with the malty sweetness being even stronger. The hops are left way in the distance. They assert some floral flavors to the finish, but stay pretty mild on bitterness. Unfortunately, it seems the hops were added late(r) in the brewing process, which does not equal IPA to me. Lots of candi sugar, gooey caramel and spicy belgian phenols. Estery banana and pear, with a little peach nectar. Full bodied, kinda syrupy, with robust carbonation charging it enough to remain drinkable. The alcohol is well hidden. Pretty straightforward for a tripel or something of that nature. A little flat footed in terms of complexity. I bet this is much better bottle conditioned, allowing some flavors to mature. Gets a bit cloying on the last 1/3 of the glass, as it gets warmer. Getting very sticky and the hops are basically out to lunch.
Not my idea of an IPA in any way, shape or form. This has all the bitterness of a malt liquor. It gets more and more tiresome with each sip. I liked it much more in the beginning than I did on the last sip. I cracked this with the expectation of hops, which is the main problem. Had I wanted something in the vein of Duvel or Tripel Karmeliet, this would have satisfied. It's a pretty nice beer, for a belgian strong pale. Maybe a bit simplistic, but the real fault is the expectation of the packaging. I can't help but wonder if something is lost in the translation to a large, professional brewing system.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.15/5  rDev -13%
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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Photo of budgood1
3.17/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours out a clear dirty gold colour with a fairly frothy eggshell white head. ample lace. low carbonation. sweet malty aroma, candi sugar with a blast of spice...it's even a bit boozy in the nose. taste is a seemingly muddled combo of earthy, herbal, grassy hoppiness vying with chewy/dirty maltiness. classic yeast spice and sweet belgian candi sugar really get lost in the mix. coriander and orange peel notes sit on the sideline, not really getting to show any character. for a such a high ABV it doesn't drink too hot although it certainly has a warming effect in the belly. a full, sticky body needs some lively mouthfeel, and this lacks the classic tongue tingling dance attack that defines the style. even though this isn't supposed to be too drinkable per the ABV, it lacks even more for the shear lack of any discernible, style defining character. overall this belgian IPA is a mess. and although nothing stands out as being horribly bad, nothing stands out for this offering as being memorable in any shape or form.

not recommended.

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Longshot Friar Hop Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.62 out of 5 based on 240 ratings.
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