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

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Longshot Derf's Secret AltLongshot Derf's Secret Alt
262 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 262 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of falloutsnow
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From: Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL
Date: Best by August 2012
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Derf's Secret Alt is a homebrew take on the altbier style, with Sam Adams producing this homebrew with higher than necessary ethanol and a slightly cloying sweetness that starts to become a bit tiresome after a while. The flavors are substantial brown sugar, caramel, and date, with a bit of banana, some cough syrup, and plenty of ethanol. In general, this came out a fairly average version of the style, relative to the Uerige version that has deeper depth of flavor and less alcohol.

Pours a 2cm head of dark tan foam, composed of medium to small-sized bubbles, which eventually settles to a thin ring of foam around the glass and a few wispy islands atop the body. Lacing is minimal to nonexistent. The body is a very dark amber brown, nearly black out of light, with luminescence bringing out burnt orange, red, and brown hues. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, but it is slow and sluggish.

Aromas are rich with minerals, some brown sugar, overripe bananas, caramel, dates, figs, and ethanol. In short, brown sugar sweet with some dried, brown fruit and alcohol.

Front of the palate is of brown sugar, caramel, date sweetness, and a bit of cough syrup. Mid-palate features banana and brown sugar flavors, with plenty of ethanol vying for space. Back of palate is more deep brown sugar sweetness, a bit of dates, some cough syrup, and slightly harsh ethanol. Lingering finish of brown sugar, cough syrup, and ethanol; rather cloying at times.

Beer is heavy to medium-heavy bodied, with fairly low carbonation levels. This results in the beer sitting too long on the palate, resulting in a slightly placid, but smooth, mouthfeel. Ethanol is readily noticeable in burning on the palate, on the back of the throat, and in the nostrils. At times, it can be distracting. Finish is dry, with residual stickiness across the lips from the residual sugars.

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Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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 tubeyes
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Bung
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Best by August, but it's a big beer so no problem. Fairly dark amber pour, thin layer of off white.

Aroma, some caramel and citrus. A bit too much orange liqueur. It's a bit boozy.

Taste, not as boozy. Some citrus, caramel, grape at first. Much stronger biscuity-bread, toast and some nice chocolate and molasses.

Medium bodied, nice and creamy. Maybe just a little warm, a sipper.

Actually pretty nice, an "amateur" version of the Uerige brews.

 455 characters

Photo of jlenik
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of bscalt
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Louski
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Mortarforker
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of RichardMNixon
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a seidel.

A: Beautiful ruby-red body with thin brownish head.

S: Sweet malt and honey with a touch of alcohol. Not a very strong scent.

T: The orange flavor they mention is there but accompanied by a strong medicinal flavor that's hard to get past.

M: Strong point of the beer. Smooth and thick leaving a tart aftertaste.

O: Not something I'd buy a 6-pack of. The Dunkel that came with this one in the Longshot pack was better but I don't have notes for it.

 486 characters

Photo of BucBasil
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of JackieTH
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 431 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a globe glass, showing a clear crimson with a light cap of foam. Retention is a bit brief but not too far afield.

Aroma is quite malt forward with caramel apple and some brown sugar notes. Bit of chocolate spice and a light hop profile initially, expanding with warming. More of a complex German lager at times.

Flavor is complex yet balanced with warming. Caramel and brown sugar arise again, clean on the finish and with a pleasant carbonation level. Aroma grows on you while the sweetness beats you down a bit. But at 9.3% that's not unexpected.

In the end a solid yet unusual take on the style. Sweet and strong, malty and hoppy. A bit tiring by the bottom of the glass.

 705 characters

Photo of YouSkeete
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with an orange hue. one finger pale white head with weak retention. Roasted toffee, caramel, coriander, orange and grapefruit are big in the aroma. Lots of thick malt and and yeast character. Wild mash of dark plum-like sugared fruits, roasted toffee, dark chocolate and orange peel with some hints of coffee and molases on the first sip. Quite boozy with a rich, hearty overall body. Mildly sour, fruity and sugary finish.

 434 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Dark slightly murky brown with a very sticky off white head in the glass. Sweet bread and brown sugar smell with a touch of citrus hops and a bit of a boozy character. The taste is very sweet upfront. Molasses, dark bready malt, brown sugar and alcohol are all evident in the taste. The alcohol definitely carries throughout this one and leaves a hot finish. Carbonation is lively but there is just too much unrestrained alcohol in this one, the whole second half of the sip is dominated by drying, stinging booze character that is a bit over the top. Overall I cant rate this very high it's just a bit too unbalanced. It would be ok for this beer to be so strong if only it was better masked by some real malt or hop character. Not one of my favorites but cheers to Fred on his Longshot win.

 827 characters

Photo of TTAmod
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle with Aug best by date poured into pint.

A: Dark, but clear, brown with a one finger tan head that keeps up most awhile.

S: Nose is mostly dark esters and caramel.

T: It's big...it's sweet...and it's alcoholic. It's a huge malt bomb that onslaughts the taste buds with caramel, plum, and pineapple nut bread. There is the slightest hint of hops on the back end to help battle the almost cloying sweetness.

M: Appropriately thick and creamy. Goes down easy enough, though. There is a hint of alcohol in the taste, but not bad for over 9%.

O: For a homebrewer, this is a highly complex and intricate brew. It's big, but not TOO unbalanced. I think a bit more of a hop bite would do wonders here. I don't know whether or not this guy will ever read this, but I think a nice dose of Saaz would be sublime.

Still very, very good, though. Kudos.

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Photo of GaryMarkle84
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of ToddT
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear deep amber with some ruby highlights and a good sized off white head. Head fades slowly and leaves some spotty lace on the glass.

S- Roasted malts, caramel, toffee, and hints of candied plums.

T- Bready notes of roasted malt, caramel sweetness, candied sugar, and a slightly medicinal aftertast at the finish. The finish is dry with some alcohol heat.

M- More that medium but not quite full bodied, carbonation is medium. Some sugars begin to build up on the palate as it warms and the medicinal notes at the finish become slightly off putting.

O- Could use a few tweaks here and there, a little too sweet and there are some out of balance hop notes in it, but it is a good attempt and a not often represented style. The 9.3% ABV shows up at the finish too, some barrel aging or just cellaring this for a short time might tame some of this.

 853 characters

Photo of JimmytheSaintPSU
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of ctwinne
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Pamola
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 479 characters

Photo of nrombes
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mattparsons
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of tophers
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very pleasant aroma...sweet, bready.

Taste is toasty with a significant amount of melanodins. Don't taste much of any hop flavor or bitterness. Strong alcohol profile and even more noticeable in the aftertaste.

Medium-heavy body with moderate amount of carbonation.

This beer was just to overwhelmingly alcoholic in taste for me.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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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Longshot Derf's Secret Alt from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 262 ratings
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