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

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132 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 260
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

All dudes in this years Longshot pack. Thanks for the extra sausage with my beer.

Clear copper color, dark ruby when held to light. Creamy layer of ecru head. Consistent blanket of retention leaves a foamy slug trail.

Grapefruit hops and nutty, sticky sweet hard candy malt. A lil' dark bread.

Smooth and creamy. Nutty bread crust with earthy citrus in back and plenty of alcohol all over.

A sticke alt is one of my least favorite styles but a pretty good one based on previous encounters.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I needed to catch up on some beer revies so I chose Fathers Day to take care of a couple of reviews. This is my second. I am not overly familiar with the Alt style, but I did read the description according to the brothers, and have had some of the style. Here is my take on this Longshot:

Pours dark and deep amber with large overtones of brown and mohagony (sp?). Light tan head forms but leaves the party and has wispy, ring-around-the-glass remnants. Pox of lacing.

Aroma is hugely malty, like a doppelbock, but with more spiciness and less caramel. Kind of like an old ale of sorts. Bready, dark fruits like figs and raisins, brandy, turbinado sugar.

I normally go for the hoppy beers but this one was satisfactory. Very chewy on the tongue; thick and viscous. Dark fruity in flavor with loads of bread, hints of caramel, and doses of toffee.

Some warm raisin bread would go great with this beer. A sipper for sure due to the thick body, but the abv was hidden fairly well. A perfect winter warmer; tough to drink in the summer. Got this in a mix sixer and this sixer may be the best Sam Adams has put out for the Longshot series.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into an extra large pilsner glass.

Appearance is dark reddish cola brown with some light coming in at the bottom. Somewhat hazy. Head was amazing looking, light tan and sticks around a while.

Smell is much lighter than I imagined. Light bready sweetness with a citrusy twang in the the back. Some caramel.

Taste/Feel: Creamy and velvety smooth. Slight cocoa in the back somehow, bready, with a hint of sweetness. Toffee? This is really interesting.

Great beer, but a little much.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a regular glass.

A: Pours a rusty copper colored body reminiscent of iced tea. There's a good bit of clarity considering how (relatively) dark the body is. The head is a two-finger heavy cream color with downright impressive retention and lacing.

S: Note I have little to no experience drinking altbiers, but its dark fruit notes (raisin, plum, fig) combined with the caramel and toffee are very reminiscent of a good dopplebock. There's also a good deal of both earthiness and zestiness, suggesting this is fairly well hopped.

T/M: Again, lots of caramel and toffee flavor is augmented with raisinesque fruitiness. At first, it reminds me of rum-soaked raisins without the alcohol flavor - quite an impressive accomplishment. Despite its initially heavy feel, the finish is crisp, zesty, and downright refreshing, with the noble hops helping to impart a pleasant dry bitterness on the tongue and the carbonation to help ease it down even more. I think it's well balanced and highly drinkable, but not the most complex brew by any stretch.

O: I like this one a lot. It's warming character betrays its refreshing drinkability. I don't have any witty quips about this one, but it's another hit from the Longshot pack.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a ruby red, with a one inch off white head, that leaves plenty of lacing all over the place. Smell banana bread, clove, carmel, nutmeg,and a hint of pine. Taste is all of that with clove and banana bread dominant, with some piny hops blended in the finish. Body is medium large, nice amount of life, fairly lush, and for its large ABV amazingly approachable. This is nice and unique. Reminds me of Long Trail Triple Bag.

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Photo of DrewV
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Other reviewers hit the nail on the head with this one, so I'll make it brief. This is a sweet, malty brew with a small amount of hoppiness to keep the sweetness in check. Creamy mouthfeel, could use a bit more carbonation. A very smooth quaffer for such a high ABV. You don't really even notice the booze until your head starts swimming. Muy bueno. I really think this Longshot 6-pack is a winner, and I'm certainly no Sam Adams fan.

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Photo of dfillius
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1/3 finger of tan head with good retention. Chill hazy brown with slight red.
S: Caramel, some citrus - orange julius.
T: Sweet with slightly hoppy finish. Delicious. A bit too hot/alcoholly for it to achieve greatness. Finish is bready.
M: Bright up front. Chewy center, pleasantly warm finish but a tad breathy on the ethanol.
O: Drinkable despite the strength. I'd order a second. I'm glad I drank it, but I won't bu again.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a wellington beer glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown but not opaque, head comes off tan white, rising to maybe a quarter inch.

Smell: Light alcohol, and scent of malts.

Taste: Robust and rich, feels nutty and raisiny at the same time. Came off a little sweet but the malts offset it.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and oozing with borderline perfection in this category.

Overall: Incredibly well put together, Mr. Fred Hessler my hats off to you for creating this great concoction. Grab a glass you won't regret it. Salud!

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark amber brown, clear in color with a solid inch of mocha colored head. Lacing is pretty excellent.

S - Agreed with others it smells kind of like a dopplebock with mild hops along side of strong malts and caramel.

T - Well it drinks like a Alt with chewy malts, a bit of grainy flavors and a caramel finish. Totally malt forward I am getting only mild hops in the finish that gives the beer an herbal like bitterness.

M - Body is smooth and medium with only a slight notable ABV.

Overall man two big beers in this years longshot and they both drink great! Flavors are big yet balanced so its good to see this brewery make a tasty big beer!

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Dark cherry cola appearance with vibrant carbonation. A half inch of off white head that has good retention and leaves a frothy layer behind.   Head stays the entire time and leaves sticky lacing behind. 

S:  Sweet dark fruits, cherries, granny smith apples, biscuity  malt, dates, spices, subtle bourbon notes and honey.  Sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cinnamon and sugar aroma arrives once agitated. 

T/M:  Chewy full body and prickly carbonation.  Cherry bourbon is strong followed by earthy and floral hops.  Sweet malts, dark fruits, smoked grains, a touch of banana bread in the background, red delicious apples andgranny smith apples.  Clove, cinnamon and and little dried herbs.  A nice warming sensation from the cherry alcohol and nice bitter balance. Finish is creamy but starts to gradually dry up and leaves a cherry NyQuil after taste with lingering apple peels.

O:  A great beer from a home brewer.  My hats off to this creation. The mixture is complex yet balanced and nothing seems to be overpowering.  The cherry alcohol is an odious front runner but given the ABV it doesn't diminish  the rest of the ingredients. 

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Photo of philbe311
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A tad more than a finger's worth of slightly creamy light khaki colored head... Solid retention... The color is a light to medium brown... Loaded with sluggish to medium paced carbonation...

S - Lots of malty goodness on the nose... Loaded with caramel... Toffee... Toasted malts... Banana... Some dark fruit notes as well... Light maple syrup... Very appealing...

T - Holy booze batman... This one has a lot more bit than expected... The heat gets you from the get go... It dominates throughout sitting atop a subdued sweetness... Lots of bready malts with intermittent caramel and fruit notes... A bit rough around the edges...

M - Medium to full bodied... Briskly carbonated... A bit sleek... A slightly charred texture as well... The finish is dry as the "booziness" lingers on the tongue...

D - An interesting brew... Excellent appearance and aroma... The taste and mouthfeel were a bit of a let down, but still more then respectable... A bit sweeter and definitely boozier that I'm accustomed to in at Altbier... This one is a bit rough around the edges... None the less, Mr. Hessler deserves credit for his endeavor, one that I very much appreciated...

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Longshot : Derf's Secret Alt
Boston Beer Co.

This review is my 1924th, and is dedicated to my grandfather who was born in that year. A Longshot to survive his battles in WWII, he still enjoys a good beer now and then.

LOOK: Pours a cloudy orange color, with a good bit of froth that laces a little then recedes to a ring. This looks the part of an imperial strength Altbier, an unfiltered one at that.

SMELL: Notes of caramelized malts, toasty bread, orange marmalade and some warming alcohol.

TASTE: Fully malty, with a small citrus and warming alcohol. Nutty malts, roast, mild licorice and grains are all detectable. Had a subtle fruity yeast note and a slight vinous quality. Hops lend a citrusy, solidly bitter flavor. Alcohol is felt more than tasted, but lingers around

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated, surprisingly light for the alcohol range. Drinks with some heat, and has a hop/alcohol bite to it which dries it out a bit.

OVERALL: A solid strong lager that drinks smoothly and provides a good kick. The hops are a good touch, but I would have gone with a more noble variety here. Still a fine brew, made broadly in the vein of a strong German Alt. I thought this was a well made version of an Altbier with an American notion of extreme abv that could not be denied.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the third installment of the Longshot 6 pack. So far, Imperial Stout was somewhat disappointing, the Munich Lager was solid. Lets see how a good ole Altbier stands up. Poured in to SA sensory glass. The appearance is a deep mahoganey with a thick creamy off white head, heavy lacing is left behind. Nice clarity. The aroma leans heavily towards the malty end of the spectrum with lots of grapes and candied fruits. Hints of molasses and caramel come through as well. The taste starts of with the grapes and dark fruit, this is followed up by rich malts. Almost has a BSDA flavor to it in regards to the sweetness. There is a bit of alcohol presence towards the end. This beer tastes big. The body matches... very heavy and slightly sticky. Carbonation is moderate to high. Overall, very interesting brew. Again, there is a striking resemblance to a Belgian dark minus the presence of bubblegum and banana. Worth a try.

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Photo of liamt07
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by johnsense on RB, cheers. 12oz into a tulip.

Reddish brown with a beige head. Light film for retention and good lacing. Nose has some toasty malts, dark breads, caramel, toffee and some dates/raisins. More toffee in the flavour, nuts, dark fruits, dark breads and a light bitterness. A touch of alcohol, with a pretty big body. A nice altbier, but not as dry or hoppy as some I've had within the style, quite on the malty side of things.

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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 JackieTH
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

Amber pour with a medium creamy head, not much lacing. Smell had a rather juicy sweentess much like a watermelon jolly rancher, caramelly malt and some orange hop elements as well. Taste was caramel and chocolates, dried dark fruits..plums and cherries, and molasses. Medium body that holds together well. Decently carbonated, somewhat creamy. Somewhat sweeet, but enough bitterness so the finish is clean. Enjoyed it.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

A firm pour yields just a faint ring of foam. Dark brown in color. Aroma is very malty, sweet, with toffee undertone, and a hint of sour apple fruitiness.

First sip is tremendously viscous, with a syrupy sweetness. This is a huge malt bomb, for sure. Bitterness is present, but any real hop flavors take a back seat to the huge body of this beer. I still pick up some apple-like flavors, along with molassas and maple.

I think this is another quality beer from the Longshot line. You really have to been in the mood for a big, sweet, beer such as this, but it is done very nicely.

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

Served in a Sam Adams glass because I'm a grown-up. At the time of this review, this is #21 on the "Top Beers - Altbier" list.

Beer is dark brown, clear with a nice one finger head of off white bubbles, some lacing on the glass, nice carbonation, decent retention, some lacing.

Aroma is really sweet, short in the nose, bright, very malty. Nice yeast presence and character.

I don't drink enough Alts I think. This beer is far on the malt only scale, nice, a little high in alcohol for my tastes, it shows up late in the palate but a decent beer throughout. It is like an ale that is also a bock. Interesting in construct and a nice finish on the beer. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours clear and dark amber in color. 1 finger of tan head.

S - Graham cracker sweetness, yeasty pie dough, dates, caramel covered nuts.

T - Figs, dates, and raisins soaked in alcohol, there's a good amount of spiciness as well. Thin molasses and nutty caramel malts ride the middle of the fruit. Finishes with spicy alcohol bite.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, slick feel, mellow, mellow warmth.

Great job by the home brewer. This one has a very nice nose on it. A good drinker too but not as put together as the aroma. I did like the fruit esters. Well done.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a dark amber color with a medium-sized tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Mostly a caramel aroma. Some sweet fruit.

Strong taste of caramel. Raisins and dates, with a hint of orange. Sweet finish.

This was a really nice beer to drink. Very sweet, maybe a tiny bit too sweet. Still, I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown with a very large, thick, brown head that has great retention

S - light caramel, doughy, citrusy

T - malty, doughy, caramel, bitter some faint citrus, very faint pine; spicy alcohol finish when the beer warms

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, warming alcohol

This is an enjoyable, malty offering. Just a tad more balance from the hops would make this a really good beer. I enjoyed it. If it were slightly more hoppy and the alcohol was more subtle, I would buy a few more bottles.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the Longshot series from BevMo in Mission Valley, San Diego, Calif. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. About 2 ½ fingers of head. Color was a malty reddish brown. Heavy tan lacing on the top that had average retention.

Lots of different flavors on the nose that came together nicely at the end. Got the malts up front that reminded me a bit of a Rogue Dead Ale or a more wintery beer. Newcastle comes to mind quickly. Toffee, caramel, light chocolate and some candy.

The taste was a bit different than the smell and what I was expecting. Basically an even thicker, maltier version of the smell. Malty is the theme of this beer. Toffee, caramel, light chocolate, light coffee and a bit of roasty nuts.

Medium-to-full body. Creamy, sticky texture. Below average carbonation. Dirty, grimy, smooth finish.

Good first beer for me from this six-pack (two beers each of different kinds). Like I said earlier, malts dominates this beer. Very strong and I already feel it about ¾ of the way down through a pint.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - garnet amber hazy with 1 finger khaki bubbly head with moderate retention and good lacing

S - sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, a lot of booze

T - sweeter than maple syrup, this caramel sweetness hit you hard and lasts till the break of dawn. The caramel and molasses malts dominate and never seem to diminish. The dark fruits and citrus hop notes chime in ever so briefly and are overwhelmed by brash warming booze that almost ruin the experience rather than complementing it. Great effort with malt however.

M - medium light body with low carbonation and a ton of warming etoh. Sticky.

O - tastes like a barley wine but has the embodiement of caramel malt all the way. A good spring and winter beer or a dessert brew.

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Photo of beagle75
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, dark amber color with one finger of diminishing parchment-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Heavy caramel and spirituous dark fruit dominate. Booziness becomes more obvious as the beer warms.

T: Begins sweet, with intense dark fruit and bready Munich malt. Acidity is mild but distinctly citric into the middle where malt becomes more roasted. The finish is very spirituous and fruity, remaining sweet throughout.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: A strong ale to rival Belgian quads and English barleywines; this alt is a very big beer with an origin grounded in experimentation. Flavors are focused and they resonate well on the palate. The only limiting feature of this beer's appeal is its over-9% abv. All sides considered, this one is good enough and strong enough to see the inside of a barrel.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One thing that has lingered since Sam Adams proved my gateway into craft beer has been my love for the Longshot Series. Super stoked to snag a six pack!

A: Pours a wonderfully clear, dark, ruby brown color. Two fingers of light brown head that recedes to a half finger but lingers nicely. Pretty good lacing. Really like the color on this one.

S: Not what I was expecting. Lots of green apple, citrus, bready malt, brown sugar, and hints of other dark fruit - cherry, plum.

T: Follows the nose exactly. Apple skin, biscuity malt, citrus zest, and molasses. Nice roasted quality on this one. Party foul on the finish though as booziness becomes very apparent. Hot finish.

M: Medium body, slightly thick and very sweet. Pretty nice balance between malt, hop, and residual sugar. A bit boozy, but good.

O: I'm liking it. A malty, hoppy, and sweet beer with all kinds of interesting spice notes. The drawback is that it is rather boozy, but not so bad for 9.3%. I enjoyed this and will definitely enjoy my second bottle soon.

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Longshot Derf's Secret Alt from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.76 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
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