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 SirSketch
4.04/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clumpy, light khaki-colored foam and great lacing. Crystal-clear beer, with yellow to orange color.

S - Has all the great cut grass, lemony hop character of many IPAs, a saison-like yeast quality, heavy on the phenols, and a clean malt base.

T - Really wonderful yeast-driven flavor upfront, and a sweet cola-like malt and grape flavor. The hops play well with the other flavors, adding a lemon and herb component. Bitterness cuts through at the end, keeping any one flavor from being overwhelming. My only complaint is that the phenols are a little much.

M - Medium body that fills every inch of your mouth with sweetness and a sticky consistency.

O - I'm really glad this beer doesn't go overboard with the hops, but rather the hops compliment the rest of the flavors. Very deserving of the Longshot title.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Clear copper with a full white head. Very good cob-web lacing. 4/5

Smell- Grassy hops and clove. Some banana as well. I didn't expect the Belgian yeast character to it. Guess I should read labels more often. 4/5

Taste- Lots of clove and banana. Also some bready caramel with an alcohol bite. Very sweet on the lips after the sip. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied. It is a little on the thick and sticky side as it warms up. 3.5/5

Overall- I didn't realize this was a Belgian beer. It is not a bad beer at all, just not really my cup of tea. I rated this to style as much as I know. 3.5/5

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

Aroma is - well, hard to describe. There are tones of hops, barleywine, fruit, and even a little caramel. It pours a clear, slightly coppery amber with a fairly thick and fluffy off-white head that hangs around for a while. Flavor fills the mouth with fruit - mainly apple - and malt, with a touch of hops and quite the alcohol nip. Texture is lively and fizzy. leaving behind a nice tingle.

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Photo of adam42381
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Enjoy before September 2011 notched on label.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with orange highlights and a 2-3 finger frothy off-white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Belgian wheat, clove and banana and spices.

Taste: Belgian yeast and spices up front followed by black pepper, alcohol and mild phenols in the middle and ending with mild hoppy bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is mildly bitter and phenolic.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. The high ABV could be an issue with drinking multiples.

Overall: Good beer overall. I didn't have high expectations going in, but this one surprised me. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of aepb1
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear copper body with a small white head

S- Nice sweet spices... maybe some coriander

T- Malty sweetness, some spices in the middle and finishes with bitter floral hops

M- Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation but a syrupy feel

O- A decent beer, just not a fan of the overly sweetness to it

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
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 bum732
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

S: Spicy hops with prominent phenolics, apple, caramel sweetness.

L: Crystal clear amber, white head that dissipates, solid lacing.

T: Spicy caramel like malt followed by more caramel sweetness. Medium high spicy bitterness, leads to some coriander and perhaps cumin? Semi-dry spicy finish with a touch of pepper.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Ok, a little sweet for the style.

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

Dark gold/ ruddy orange with an off-white head that slims down rather quickly. Not that I want a 6 finger head that never goes away, but... Appears clear and filtered. Carbonation is moderate.

Big, round banana, a little warm alcohol though not much, and some soft, spicy, and floral characteristics.

More phenolic (i.e. medicinal) flavor than in the nose, though not overwhelming or anything. Give is much of the banana and is replaced with a tangy, toasty, and bubblegum ice cream notes. Bitterness is moderate/high. Alcohol is very well hidden.

A little dry, but not to sharp or harsh. Carbonation could have been a little more, but not much.

What can I say, this is a "good" Belgian IPA. I could have used more of a maltier taste to balance the bitterness, but not bad.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A -- standard golden amber, more gold than amber, very small head, like .25 finger, and dissipates quickly leaving lace.

S. -- Again, standard in my opinion, some belgium yeast and spices.

T/M This to me is where it goes non-standard, the taste to me is incredibly light for the ABV, Hits you with the same taste as the smell you get, yeast and spice, and finishes nicely.

Overall: Slam dunk to Richard Roper, keep up the good work!!

PP (Price Point) $12 for an assorted 6 pack of the Long Shot beers, definitely a fair price for the variety in ABV, style and overall thought.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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 emerge077
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass this beer pours a bright saturated orange. Long lasting creamy foam. A ghostly ring of lace crowns the glass, but otherwise nothing. Slight bit of carbonation visible.

Sweet caramel, orange peel, Belgian yeast discernable in the aroma. Sweet tea leaf and citrus complexity, attributed to a nice blend of hops, yeast, and the added orange peel.

Full bodied, some Belgian spice and orangey citrus lead off, with a hefty crystal malt presence. Sweet toffee, earthy coriander, dry in the aftertaste with some lingering citrus and spice elements. Clean and dry. Can't fault this for anything, it's well put together.

If it's intended to be a Belgian IPA, and was released a few months ago, it's not the brewer's fault the hops have faded somewhat. For some reason this wasn't widely available in the local market...

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Photo of ToddT
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Clear copper color topped with a medium off white head. Head falls slowly and leaves some nice lace on the glass.

S- Bubblegum notes of yeast and floral hops.

T- Bubblegum, banana, clove, and mild spice notes to start things off. The middle becomes a transition to the bitter notes from the hops which dominate and overpower the other flavors. The finish is dry and somewhat clean with a bittersweet final note of the hops. Seems a little out of balance compared to the sweet and spicy beginning.

M- Medium in body and well carbonated, feels bubbly in the mouth.

O- Nice beer, the 9% ABV is well hidden, I would not have guessed it was this high, but the balance seems off to my palate.

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

-Yeasty spicy aroma. Some bubblegum...a little banana.

-This has some spicy alcohol esters on the taste...quite alright.

-Some light lemony citrus hopiness on the taste but in no-way does this strike me as a Belgian IPA.

-Carbonation is lacking. Medium to full bodied. Finishes spicy (alcohol) and tart (lemons)

-Good beer. Not sure what style it fits. Might not fit a style.

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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip. This entrant into the Sam Adams Longshot series was brewed with Belgian candy sugar, Belgian yeast, orange peel and coriander, with the added bonus of citrusy hops.

The slightly hazed dark tangerine hue of the beer is glorious in the sun. Look how it glistens! A one-finger head of foamy off-white fizzles away quickly, though there's a substantial ring of bubbles of varying size. Thick mountainous streaks of lace decorate the glass as I drink.

The nose is replete with Belgian esters. Pear juice, banana, citrusy orange peel, coriander and candy sugar dance around my nostrils. It’s bright and nice, though if this is supposed to be a Belgian IPA there need to be more hops.

More hoppy bitterness appears in the flavor. Pithy orange peel is offset by sweet candy sugar. Nice Belgian pear character. Coriander and spicy white pepper complement the floral nature of the hops. Very dry finish.

Peppery moderate carbonation amidst a medium-light body. The dry finish gives the beer good snap as it leaves the mouth. I’m flabbergasted when I see the alcohol content of the beer, as I don’t detect even a hint of the 9 percent supposedly there.

Well, it’s definitely Belgian, but it’s not hoppy enough to be a good Belgian IPA. Needs more hop flavor to match the bitterness.

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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 yesyouam
4.38/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Longshot Friar Hop Ale is a crystal clear, solid golden ale topped with a rich, fluffy, white foam that has outstanding retention and lacing. Fruity esters are at the forefront of the aroma. Grassy hops are present. It smells a touch sweet. It's full bodied and smooth. The finish is dry and clean. It tastes a little sweet and very complex. It's spicy and phenolic. There are notes of dark fruit, maybe raisins. There's just enough herbal bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Bitter coriander provides the aftertaste. Wow, this really seems Belgian. I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samual Adams Longshot : Friar Hop

Appearance: Golden in color with a decent lasting bubbly head and a good smattering of lace. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint, a steady stream of carbonation is released from the etching.

Smell: Very clean Belgian yeast strain, lots of bread, and some resiny pine hops

Taste: Peppery/estery belgian yeast kick, blends nice with a touch of spicy hop flavor. Solid bitterness. Alittle herbal, then gives way to notes of orange peel. Alcohol is hidden decently well. Bold spice character, and a well crafted balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth feel, carbonation is moderate to low, body somewhat thin yet creamy.

Overall: Definately an interesting and unique beer. A pefect Longshot Beer. With alittle less spice, and the same clean-ness, this could be a crossover beer for many non-craft drinkers I think. The 9% ABV makes it fun to drink as well, clean flavors and goes down easy.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Short dense head covers a amber body of red and orange. Some full dripping lacing going on too.
Aroma is surprisingly big on yeasty spiciness (nice pepper quality) and short on Am. hops (largely faded into the background). Little shot of a fairly clean malt character too.
Pretty complex and rather tripel like with a mild hop flavor that develops to a clean extended bitterness with just enough dryness. Boy, that's quite good - can't say that I understand the lower scores on this one. Maybe having it closer to warm upon opening made the difference. A little alcohol in the flavor. I like the Am. hop flavor, the supportive malt character, the yeasty spiciness and the quick dryness. It all makes for an interesting drink and the little citrus, sour astringency at the end leads me to want another drink.
Appropriate light body and soft yet full carbonation. Smooth overall feel. Alcohol warmth slows the drinking down some.
This is really better than I expected. An enjoyable brew and easily the best of this year batch. I'd buy a 6er of this on it's own.

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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 prototypic
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
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 FickleBeast
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy orange color with one finger of foam. Aroma is spicy belgian yeast and spice aroma (coriander).

First sip is... a spicy belgian yeast with a nice malty backbone. Alcohol is decently hidden for 9%. However, I'm not getting much by the way of hops.

I'm not the biggest fan of that belgian yeast flavor in general, so I was really hoping the hops would be more assertive in this brew. Nothing really bad about it, just not my preferred style.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Clear golden-orange. Thick white head, modest retention, patchy lacing.

S: Chalky and spicy Belgian yeast. Some banana esters, banana bread. Dash of clove. Soft peppery spice. Toasted bread, burnt caramel. Tropical fruit esters hide in the background. Orange zest. This is all well and good, but where's the hops?

T: Sugary tastes up front, almost like candi syrup. Transitions to banana bread and burnt caramel. White pepper mid-palate. maybe a brief hit of oranges and white chocolate, or glazed oranges. Chalky Belgian yeast is downplayed. Again, where are the hops? Some herbal hop tastes and a bit of citrus, but certainly not enough at work here to call this a real Belgian IPA. Finishes dry with pepper, white chocolate, and bread.

M: Medium bodied, slightly slick and creamy. Crisp carbonation.

O: Disappointing.

Notes: Probably would've been a pretty decent beer if there were any hops to speak of here. Lacks the American hop punch I have come to expect from the style.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip glass. This beer pours a clear amber/copper color with a nice frothy white head about an inch thick when poured that eventually settles to a medium sized ring lining the inside of glass after a few sips. Very nice lacing here too. Aromas of caramel malt along with some nice spice and candy sugars, rounded out with a bit of a citrus hop aroma. Starts out with malty sweet flavor upfront with the tastes of the aforementioned candy sugars and spices (clove and black peppercorn for sure) nicely present, along with a bready and banana like flavor too, followed by a good citrus hop backbone. The hops certainly come out more as the beer warms up. Has a crisp, sort of chewy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way a well crafted beer should be. A very good effort from the Longshot Series here!


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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beer Crazy

It's a light copper color producing a thick white foam that hangs around and leaves some long-term lacing. The aroma is an interesting mix of fruity and earthy. There's banana with dry spices and orange. The taste has the same flavors with more emphasis on the earthiness. The hops add a nice touch with a little added kick. It's slightly acidic but just enough to add a nice little touch. This a nice brew and a great example of this countries home brewing ability.

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

Bottle shared by Bobby.

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with a frothy white head and some sticky lacing.

S: A nice hop aroma with plenty of citrus and fruits. The Belgian character comes through quite strongly and there is plenty of spicy phenols and a big time banana aroma. A fair amount of malt with some bread and light caramel.

T: Quite sweet and malty, but there is plenty of hop character to it, though mostly fruity in nature. The "Belgian-ness" of the beer is apparent. Lots of banana, clove, and pepper to be found. There is a slight chalkiness to it, though.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: Thought this was a really solid beer and after the poor showing of the Latitude series, this was a welcomed improvement from Sam Adams.

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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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