Longshot Derf's Secret Alt | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
261 Ratings
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Longshot Derf's Secret AltLongshot Derf's Secret Alt

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

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AmericanGothic on 03-16-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 261 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You love them or you hate them, but its fun trying all of the longshots. A brown coloured body, it sweet and malty and rich, with a dry finish.Some chocolate malts and a drop of anise.Appropriately carbonated.Decent drinkability.Thats for bringing John.

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Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: thin head on a clear deep amber body.

S: fairly boozy with caramel malts and a sour and terpentine note.

T: caramel malts, banana tropical fruit, mollasses, medicinal grape and cherry notes, slightly boozy.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: little too boozy for the style but I think that is the point of this one.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 8/2012.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Thick foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is super malty with some caramel and toast aromas. Taste is of hearty malt, toasted caramel, and some slight citrus zest hop flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. I am also picking up a slight metallic flavor. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with only a slightly crisp and medium to full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but this one smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a clear looking red color with a cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer has a bit of booze on the nose mixed with some citrus and caramel. The flavor of some sweet grains start this one off the finish is with some light amounts of floral hops. The mouthfeel of the beer was thick, lightly carbonated and kinda creamy. Overall this beer was pretty good I think. First time having a big Alt like this, very interesting.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears to be a dark mahogany until backlit, then it has a dark crimson glint to it. Ample head of creamy foam, receding to a cirrus skim across the surface. Sheets of lace adhere to the opposite side of the glass.

Dried fruit and nuts in the aroma as it warms up a bit, almond and walnut with some dried cherry or figs. Big on the malty and yeasty notes, slight sweetness present. Caramel sauce.

Pretty smooth and creamy, the abv begins to make itself known slightly but it's not distracting. Rich caramel toffee, dried fruit, and a savory nuttiness round things out. Better than the Uerige beers, imho.

To be honest, the first time I tried this it wasn't too exciting, but letting it sit and warm up seems to make all the difference.

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Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, off-white head. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with some strong sweet malt aromas.

T - It tasted very sweet and malty with caramel and toffee flavors. Some mild bitterness with some boozy alcohol.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied brew with a somewhat sticky finish.

O - This is an okay alt. I could use a little more balance in my altbier.

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Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with half a finger of white foam on top of a medium brown body with perfect clarity. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves only traces of lace in its wake.

S - A brown, malty aroma with notes of brown sugar, caramel, and toasted bread.

T - Dark brown sugar and caramel up front. Some dark toffee and a bit of cinnamon in the middle. Spicy hop notes come out in the finish with fairly strong bitterness to balance the sweet toffee.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Really nicely done, this is a bit over the top compared to any other Alt, (sticke or otherwise) that I have had, but it works really well. The malt is thick and flavorful but never becomes cloying and the hops are there to keep things balanced while also providing a little bit of spicy character. One of the better long shot beers.

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Until a few minutes ago I had no idea this beer was this big.Poured into a becker a deep rich well defined amber with a tightly formed slight off white 1/2 finger head.Fruit abounds in the nose along with some roasted nut wich is more apparent as it warms,sweet alcohol as well.Unlike any Sticke Alt I have had with it's intense fruitiness and warming alcohol but I like it,some peppery/leafy hops play a bigger role as the beer warms with again a bigger alcohol presence.Fred did a great job on this beer...again like no Alt I have had but it's great.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent creamy 1/2 finger dirty pale colored head that fades at a med pace leaving just a bit of lacing, with a crystal clear mahogany slightly reddish brown colored beer.

Nose brings plenty of coppery malts, toasty brown malts, hint of biscuit, with some caramel, light toffee and molasses, a light booze quality brought out with a bit of esters, and hints of earthy hops underneath.

Taste starts with biscuity malt flavors again, slightly toasty with plenty of brown malts. This time more of the earthy flavors come through with some interesting esters, and a bit of warming slightly tingly booze. Sweeteners come with that, bringing some caramel, hint of nutty toffee, and molasses, but the beer isn't too sweet, but it does have a decent sweetness to it. Copper reddish toasty brown malts come back again but quickly give way to light earthy and slightly herbal hops, a bit grassy, and slightly medicinal. The finish is still semi sweet, a bit sticky, decent amount of bitterness coming through towards the end, with more of the earthy hop flavors, a bit of booze, more molasses and caramel, and some nutty malts.

Mouth is med bodied, a bit rich and creamy, quite a bit of carbonation that helps break it up a bit, and some warming and even slightly tingly booze here and there.

Overall not bad, interesting malts, yeast additions, sweetener flavors, the bitterness of the hops blends well with the sweetness of the malts, and the carbonation helps both, the booze cuts through a bit more than I expected, but still a decently drinking beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, maple, bourbon, spices, some fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of bourbon, caramel, spices, honey, maple and seems very barleywine-like. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, well-disguised strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid stronger beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery ruby, with a couple fingers of light tan colored head. This stays frothy in the glass, drenching the sides with thick and sticky swathes of foamy lacing. The aroma has some thickness to it, with ripe and slightly dank citrus, caramel, a touch of cocoa, and some darker roasted character mixed in. A smidge of alcohol heat singes the back of the nose a little as well.

Roast and hops have some stiffness to them up front, with gives way to a sticky blend of caramel, cocoa, and overripe fruity citrus. Spicy alcohol sweetness on the backend finishes this dry and warm. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a firm creamy crispness that then pulls up with some sharpness on the tongue. You can feel the alcohol in the body here, as it has a bit of a sting to it that starts to wear on the palate after a while.

I actually enjoyed the range of flavors in this but it’s the high alcohol that I just didn’t get, as it takes away from the crisp smoothness that I usually associate with an Alt. An Imperial Alt I guess? I don’t know, but dial the ABV back and this would have been a really nice example of the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite beautiful orange brown color in the Leffe chalice. Plenty sudsy in the mouth. Decent head.

The licorice flavor is really strong at first sip. Some buttery flavors, then massive amounts of sweet malt. Toffee, dark caramel, and apple butter. Then that fruity weirdness. Ends with a buttery taste and a slight burn of hops. Doesn't taste much of alcohol. Slight sharpness, but more of the mellow malt powerhouse.

A more drinkable, though powerful, style of Altbier. It's just silly to compare this to Alaskan Amber, Grolsch, Long Trail Ale and others that show up in the category. From the 2012 Longshot six pack.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.69/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of the Longshot 2012 six-pack - $9.99 at Total Wine & More in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, very dark amber-red body with a tallish, foamy, off-white head. A little smear here and there of lace.

Smell: Lightly sweetish, spicy, boozy nose with notes of dates and figs and citrus peel tossed into cooking brown sugar and grain spirits.

Taste: Bread crusts, brown sugar, and a little layer of molasses. Moderately sweet in a syrupy way. Slight grapefruit with a bite of chewing gum. Spicy hops but there're also some pops of clove buds. Medium-light bitterness. Ends with a kick of hot alcohol on the drying, malty finish. Singe of alcohol even well beyond the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: The secret in the Secret Alt is not the conspicuous alcohol presence, it's how this thing made it into the Longshot pack.

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Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent brown with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Bready, caramel notes, plus woody hops

T: Brown bread, toffee, booze & leafy hops up front, with some orange peel up front. Brown sugar, more citrus to include grapefruit & toffee as this warms. Finishes with major malt backbone dryness/sweetness & some grapefruittty & woody hops

MF: Chewy, subtle carbonation, boney dryness

A legit dopple sticke, better than any of the bottled versions I had from Dusseldorf (albeit all had to travel far & God knows how old they were...). Kudos to Fred for picking out a very underrepresented beer style putting his stamp on it with an American flair! Drinks fairly easy considering the ABV

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Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Clear and bright tawny hue, ample suds

SMELL: Brown bread, leafy, dried plums, alcohol, faintly peppery, earthy, toast, grassy

TASTE: Sweet, slightly thick, bready, toasty, treacle, sharp alcohol, warming, mild twang, floral, dried grassy finish

Decent Double Altbier, I had expected this beer to open up a bit more. Sweetness was a bit much, after taste fades pretty quick. Worth a shot.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I stumbled across this during a recent visit to The Foodery (N. Liberties) and thought, "What the heck, I'm a bit of a long shot my dang self!" I have certainly bought beer for lesser reasons in the past.

From the bottle: "Fred Hessler"; "Fred wanted to go big or go home with his homebrew and decided to brew a unique Sticke Alt. This full-bodied ale has a big, malty characterbalanced by subtle orange and grapefruit notes from the the hops. With a light amber color, this brew has a sweet finish."

My pour produced two dense fingers of deep-tan head with great retention. In fact, as it fell, it ended up creating some really sticky lacing. Color was a deep cola-brown with NE-quality clarity. Nose was really sweet with notes of toffee and caramel evident. At 9.3, I may be going for a lay down after this one! Mouthfeel was thick, viscous, hot, sweet and sugary. Man, this was like liquid syrup! Phew. As some of the intensity began to abate, I got a hint of the citrus flavors mentioned on the neck label, but I am not going to lie and say that I could separate orange from grapefruit, at least not initially. The finish was still intensely sweet but I was reminded of the Brach's Orange Caramels from when I was a kid. I think that this one could stand a little aging to make it more drinkable. Sorry, Fred, but the intensity could have been left at the door.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is dark amber in color with an off-white head. Toasted malt with a surprising hoppiness, mostly citrus peel. There’s a nice sweetness to the nose and quite a bit of white grape, which I seem to get in most alts. Some caramel and toffee maltiness, maybe a bit of chocolate, too. The flavor is a bit boozy, unfortunately. Some citrus hop flavor, a lot of toasted malt, white grape, and toffee sweetness are also present. The booze really lasts throughout the entire sip.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is copper colored with amber / ruby highlights and a half inch of tan head. The aroma offers candy, sugar, malt - smells sweet. The flavor brings sweet malt, candied fruit, and booze. A bit hot and sweet for my tastes, but I suppose the style calls for this, at least to a certain degree. Some plum and raisin characteristics emerge more as the beer is allowed to warm. Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, this was pretty good.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dark brown color with a smallish off white head that dissipates quickly but leaves some sticky lace on the way down. Smell is heavy on the brown sugar and caramel. Hints of almond, ethanol and dark fruit come into play, but this smells like a sweet syrupy mess. Taste is definitely sweet with a bit of an alcohol presence. Syrupy caramel and brown sugar abound with hints of prunes and plums up front. I can feel the alcohol next and long after every sip, it is a bit too present in this beer. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet sticky syrupy mouthfeel. I'm not sure how a 9.3 abv beer can be called an alt, but that's beside the point. This beer is too big, too hot, and too sweet. Reminds me more of a sweet old ale, and might cellar fairly well. If I liked the beer more I would try that.

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Longshot Derf's Secret Alt from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.76 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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