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 Fenris244
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into my duvel tulip

pours a pale amber with a 2 finger off white head, starts to dissipate rather quickly but leaves a nice bit of lacing on the glass.

floral aromas, bits of spice and a syrupy sweetness is detectable, some citrus is present as well its a good blend of aromas

flavor is kinda meh, its got the hops, bits of grapefruit, little bits of the belgian yeast and some malt character but the flavor seems muddled to me, its pleasant but not great. Nothing really stands out for me

Lighter in body, crisp and smooth, the abv is hardly detectable, would have liked a little more carbonation but that could just be my bottle.

Overall? Not a bad beer but not entirely memorable, would have it again if it was offered to me but will certainly pass it over for other better options

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my bro for bringing over some refreshments for brew day on 07/17/11. Been quite sometime since I had anything from BBC and have always been interested in trying the Longshots.

*Bottle to pint
-I will add the disclaimer here that I am not a huge Belgian fan.

A: Friar Hop pours a light copper pale color and produced a great 2 and a half fingers high of soapy off-white foam. Clear and bubbly.

S: Bready biscuit aromas up front followed by some citrus florals and a little sour spice to it.

T: Tastes like a nice hoppy IPA that has some belgian spice in the mix. Honey sweetness. Nice bitterness with a citrus and pine dominant character. And a distinct belgian spice akin to cloves or mace or something similar. It's not overbearing and does not fight with the hops actually. Not bad. Some ABV warmth there.

M: Nice light body and slight sticky mf. Overall I would say has a decent creamy texture.

D: Again not bad. At 9% ABV it is a little deceptive. I was really not expecting to like this one since I am just not a big Belgian fan. But I would say the different flavors are melded well here and don't clash.

This brew falls more on the hoppy side which is probably why I found myself liking it. Would make for a nice straight IPA without the Belgian spiciness to it. I can do with out the clove like flavors but again they were not over the top here.

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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 HoustonTX
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very interesting and intriguing beer. For the style it's a fresh approach.

Amber orange body with a fringe of white lacing.

Aroma is spicy with notes of orange, coriander, all spice, nutmeg, banana, and dark fruit.

Taste follows the nose nicely. Sweet and juicy upfront. Hits some strong spiciness midway with a strong earthy malt base. Strong Belgian yeast blends together to provide a large amount zest and mouthfeel. Friar Hop finishes with some floral and citrus hops to balance to finish.

Strong example of a Belgian that blends several examples of styles into one.

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Photo of Apellonious
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber, with a one finger creamy head, that dissipates quickly into a thin lace.

S - Toasted fruit. smokey, semi burnt wood.

T- I generally have a hard time describing tastes of the beers that are of the Belgian persuasion. There's a definite sweetness of the carmel sugar variety. Some cinnamon notes? Plum biscuitness. Definitely spicy.

M - Good hop/malt balance and carbonation, though it seems overly sticky at times.

O - A decent beer if you like the style, the 9% makes it perfect for a one or two beer relaxer, but it seems to me it would be better suited as a fall/winter brew, rather than something I would drink when it is 99 degrees. Recommended.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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 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 philbe311
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A finger plus of moderately fluffy light tan colored head with an ever so slightly rocky top... Minimal retention gives way to a very thick color and a thinner uneven lace... The color is a deep rich amber... Sparse small bubbled carbonation rises throughout... A slight bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Apricot... Mango... Even some cantaloupe... Candied sugars... A whiff of Belgian yeast... Light caramel... Some orange zest... A very subtle spiciness lies beneath the surface...

T - Booze right off of the bat... The hops which were rather absent on the nose, hit right from the start... A spicy kick is there as well... Layered beneath the unexpected assertiveness is fruity notes of orange and apricot... A subtle yeasty component...

M - Medium bodied... Exceedingly dense... Light prickly carbonation... The warming effect of the 9% ABV is undeniable... A bit sticky...

D - An interesting brew... The nose and the palette are related, but are almost polar opposites of one another... Lots of nuance and complexity... One of the best Longshot offerings that I have had... My compliments to Mr. Roper (I'm sure Janet and Chrissy are proud too)...

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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 Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nicely enough, with a burnished copper color and a somewhat thin, slightly grainy head, but very nice lacing. Sweet and fruity in the nose, with a touch of yeastiness in the finish. A bit breadier than usual for the style, and a little light on hop and spice notes, but there is some citrus floating around there. The taste starts with more hops than found in the nose, with some fruity citrus and late bitterness as well from the hops. The sweetness is a bit more balanced here, but there is a bit of grainy sourness giving the slightest of tang too, and quite a honeyed note from the malt. A touch of banana and spice from the yeast rounds it out. Not bad, but not entirely integrated.

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Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light is good to this gorgeous honey-amber beer and it knows it; the summer sun's bright rays are cradled and seized in the form of blazing highlights that radiate like burning embers. Nearly all foam quickly evaporated and left no remnants. While the colour supports the IPA part, the shoddiness of its head leaves doubts about the 'Belgian' aspect.

First impressions aren't everything, but I think I'm going to like this beer just fine. While it under-delivers on the citrusy hop notes, it is unsparing with the zest and spice; they've used a firecracker strain of Belgian yeast, that's for sure. It's starting to feel like Chinese New Year up in here. The scent could be turned into a candle and labelled "spice route".

The mouthfeel, however, is where you'll find yourself wanting a little more of those promised hops and a little less of that lavish spice. Between the near double-digit alcohol strength and garish use of candi-sugar (which leaves a ridiculous bubblegum sweetness), the firecracker sensation is more pleasant smelled than tasted, especially as it warms.

While the rather plain, bready, lightly biscuity maltiness is one that I affiliate with many of this brewery's beers, it still tastes nearly indistinguishable from most Belgian strong pale ales. Advertise it as one of those and watch the scores shoot way up; for any kind of "IPA" this has a level of hopping as safe and conservative as a Super Bowl halftime show.

Assuming this beer really was among the three best out of thousands of entries, I can't believe Samuel Adams has done the recipe much justice. It is hotly alcoholic and considerably under-hopped - which, come to think of it, makes it a spitting image of many Belgian ales. Like I said: advertise it simply as that (or else up the hops) and watch the scores ameliorate.

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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 magine
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a hazy amber with a creamy fluffy off white head. Nice sticky lacing remains and a nice rim of lace around the glass along with the massive lace island in the middle. Very nice looking brew here.

Brew smells of big yeasts, dark fruits and spiciness. Caramel and some mild fruit hops. Good smelling brew.

Brew is smooth and malty; caramel, yeasts, dark fruits and some spices as well. Has a nice spice to it in the middle, a bit of orange and citrus hops are picked up as you drink. Brew finishes very smooth and a little dry. A different take on the style and a very good one at that. Alcohol is very well masked. Very good stuff here.

This is a very good brew; combines some good yeast, dark fruits and spices along with hops. I am a fan of this one. Very good stuff here.

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Photo of JTSbeerislife
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the 2010 production.

I have had this in a temperature controlled environment for two months, but before that it was at a distributor and under unknown conditions. That being said I have patronized this distributor for years and they respect beer as much as is economically possible.

Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass, rather thin head, but does have a very attractive amber color.

Yeast dominated aroma when first poured, then the spices come out, mostly coriander with a hint of citrus in the background. Ultimately as the ale warms the yeast takes over again with some distinct hops in the background. Nicely done and somewhat complex.

The flavor has a nice crisp entry, followed by a bitter hop flavor, yeast, citrus and spice. Full bodied. I would have to say that the hop/citrus component is the most prominent, with the orange coming out as the ale warms. Flavorful and enjoyable.

The carbonation is quite respectable and enjoyable, even if it does not reach the Champagne like quality of the better Belgium styles.

The finish is full of hoppy, candied, yeast flavors, with very good length.

Overall this is a very good brew, even if nothing really excites. The aroma is the most interesting component of this Ale. That being said this is a good effort and I appreciate the opportunity to taste this ale.

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Photo of rrski198
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright and vibrant amber colored brew with a big white head. Lots of lacing and small dancing bubbles.

S: Big time belgian yeast at first. Small scent of citrus hops and alcohol.

T: Spicy hops upfront followed by a huge creamy rush of belgian yeast and malt.
The alcohol is hidden extremely well.

M: Full, average carbonation, and a little spicy. Hop bitterness doesn't linger long. THe sweetness sticks around longer than the bitterness.

O: A very nice offering. I enjoyed this more than other belgian IPAs i've had as I am not all that fond of the style. However, this was quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
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 BDIMike
4.41/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a good light copper color. A nice cloudy look with no carbonation and no head.
Smell is exceptional. Great belgian spices coming out strong in the nose.
Taste is very good. A very strong belgian ale taste. THe spices are very strong, but not overbearing. Really good.
Mouthfeel is good. A very refreshing crisp taste. More than the usual Belgian.
Drinkability is very nice for a spiced Belgian IPA. There are a lot of good spices and sugary hop tastes, but it balances out so well that you can drink a good amount of these. Nice selection I would check out if given the chance.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a copper color, with a small head, but one that didnt go away to quickly. There are alot of visual carbonation. The smell is infused with spices, a bit of oranges, alot of Belgian candi sugars can be detected. The taste is strong with belgin spices, and orange. May just be overwhelming. Finishes with a very nice dry aftertaste. Good strong flavor, very bold, great carbonation. Overall I felt this a fantastic belgin pale ale, nothing fancey, but very bold.

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Photo of nukem5
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Great pour , nice copper color with a rich thich tan cap.

S: Intoxicating from the first sniff, banana clove sweet carmel malts and some floral hop as well.

T: Sweet like banana bread with some carmels and spicey floral hops taste.

M: Like drinking slik, smooth and medium to full bodied. Great carb level and also some very good lacing.

O: Would love to and on my second case of longshot and realized I had not reviewed this fantastic beer yet. To think it was a homebrewer that made this recipe makes me all the more supportive of the system, I would love to send mine In some day... keep on dreaming the dream. Great job to Richard Roper ,GA. This one was best in case this year.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated best before september of 2011 poured into a goblet.

Pours a clear amber orange with a thick steady off whtie head.

Smell is yeasty sweet with floral hop.

Taste is pretty floral chalky. Not much citrus hop presence as advertised. Maybe it has quickly faded. Some bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is not a bad beer. Not too hot for 9%, but some booze is present. Nice work Richard Roper.

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Photo of bmwats
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Orval chalice.

A: Amber hue. Medium light carbonation. Pours a very slight, foamy, white head which disappears very quickly. Leaves just a slight beer ring around the rim.

S: Pungent malty nose with a bit of butterscotch, raisin, and licorice.

T: Malt is robust, woody, and pungent. Bittersweet licorice and an earthy planty flavor.

M: Hearty, robust, and pungent. Syrupy feel. Dry, bittersweet finish.

D: Sipping brew.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Decent appearance and a great nose with a nice combination of malt, fruit, and bittersweet components. Flavor is a robust malty base with some strong pungency, a strong alcohol profile, and dry finish. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer has a nice dark amber look; clear and well carbonated; less than one finger white colored foam formed; some lacing forms but doesn't stick on the glass and goes away rather quickly; head appeared oily as drops of beer rolled off the top in tear form

S - Clean and crisp malt notes; some hops but not much; subtle hint of citrus but its very, very faint; caramel sweetness; honey; yeast fruitiness

T - Quick taste of caramelizes malt notes; yeast; some fruit and hop flavor; not to heavy with the hop bitterness; you can kind of start to feel the burn of high ABV after the beer has warmed up a bit; some bitterness and alcohol bite sits right in the middle of the tongue

M - Solid body with a good blend of malt and hop ingredients; small hint of bitter hop aftertaste; kind of buttery

D - Good drink; well brewed and kudos to Richard, seems like a tough beer to make; malt scents and hop flavor are hard to say 'no' to; solid beer

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a one-finger khaki colored head of foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of orange, yeastiness and some fruitiness.

T - It tasted very fruity - almost like a saison. It had a good hoppy, piney bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty good beer. So Sam Adams keeps up their tradition of selection two really good beers and one average beer for their Longshot series.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
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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Longshot Friar Hop Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.62 out of 5 based on 240 ratings.
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