Really digging Sam Adam's IPL.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BladeRunner, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. Qwest_35

    Qwest_35 Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Call me crazy, but this beer is very similiar to 2 Hearted in aroma and flavor. Don't get me wrong, 2 Hearted is one of my top 5 favorite brews of all time, and by no means am I saying that it is better than it, but there are some similarities that i'm picking up on.. Maybe its just the hops they are using are the same. At 8.99 a sixer, well worth it, solid brew, but I will spend the extra 2 bucks and buy Bells.
  2. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    I really like the hop profile on this beer and it had the potential to be very sessionable if not for it's sweetness.
  3. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    Double Agent and Hoponius Union are in two completely different leagues.
  4. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (267) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    Had this in the spring variety pack. It was pretty good and definitely better than the Alpine Spring and White Lantern.
  5. Brad007

    Brad007 Poo-Bah (3,344) Mar 28, 2007 Vermont

    Yep. Just bought a 12 pack of it.
  6. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I had the IPL and Hoponious Union within 2 days of each other. I know it's not the popular opinion, but I thought the Sam Adams IPL was better than current BA darling Hoponious Union.

    I would suggest a blind taste challenge to naysayers, or to those who haven't had either.
    cowbird and MilkManX like this.
  7. ESeab

    ESeab Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New Jersey

    Agreed, thought it was great and always push people to try it
  8. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Zealot (532) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    Picked up a 6 of this yesterday. Not earth shattering but certainly good.

    However, I didn't really notice any similarity to two hearted other than it was hoppy. Didn't have that bells yeast taste our the same hop aroma.
  9. Greenlabel

    Greenlabel Devotee (443) Apr 28, 2003 New Hampshire

    I agree that Hoponious Union is an outstanding product. However, given the limited distribution area for Jack's Abby products, it's great to have another IPL that is easier to find in the stores. I think it's Sam's best new product since their introduction of Double Bock many years ago. Thankfully, since it's now out in 6-packs, it should continue to become more available to a wider audience.
  10. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,010) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Shouldn't the lagering period (which I assume is at least 5 weeks following primary fermentation) have deleterious effects on the hops? I mean, we hear all the time about 2-week-old (D)IPAs already being past their peak.... Would be interested in any insights here, as Jack's Abby -- and the IPL "style" -- has me very intrigued.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Scott, I can’t comment to the brewing process that Boston Beer uses for Double Agent but I will share my experiences with brewing hoppy Pilsners (yeah, I know this is not a favorite topic of yours). I dry hop my Classic American Pilsner and my Bohemian Pilsners (as per Ray Daniels’ recipe for a Perfect Pilsner) for a period of my lagering duration (6 weeks for my beers). The resulting beer has a nice aroma. Granted I dry hop using Nobel hops (Hallertauer Mittelfruh for the CAP beers and Saaz for the Bohemian Pilsners) so the resulting aromas are not as vibrant as for an American aroma hop (e.g., Centennial, Citra, Simcoe, etc.) but yet it works none the less.

    I had my first Double Agent this evening and it is indeed a very tasty beer. I very much suspect that this is not a beer that you would enjoy since I would describe this beer as being very much of the American Pale Lager variety but I really enjoyed drinking this beer and I look forward to drinking the next 5 beers.

  12. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    Bought a single to try and liked it. Very refreshing beer
  13. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Boston Lager is all American pale and crystal malt. No continental malts.
  14. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Devotee (471) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    Jack's Abby fo sho! I remember an incredible Sam's brew from a few years back called Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. Very hoppy, top shelf. Kinda wonder if Sam Adams, because they're big, get a bum rap. Or because folks like me pretty much lean towards ales. 'Cause they make some fine beer.
  15. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    We dry hop our pils at the end of primary fermentation and then pull the hops after several days and let it lager for another month after that. I really don't see any significant hop aroma degredation over that time, which I attribute to the lack of oxygen and cold temperature in the tank. Bottled beer has to go through some oxygen exposure and possible temperature changes that will affect the aroma stability. Lagering beer is very stable in comparison.

    Another way of approaching it is to dry hop at the end of your lagering period. Some ale brewers like lagunitas already dry hop in the (short) lagering period of their ales. Oil extraction is a bit slower but you do get that aroma in to the beer. If approached this way, there really isn't much difference from dry hopping an IPA.
    herrburgess likes this.
  16. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    A lot of their beers really aren't phenomenal, but when they do make a good one they do seem to get a bum rap on here because of their size. Chances are people won't admit it, but I personally feel it's the truth.
  17. GardenWaters

    GardenWaters Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Illinois

    IPL was good. Maple Pecan Porter (Spring Thaw pack) really impressed me though.
  18. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (4,607) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Not a big fan of SA either but IPL raised my eyebrows, they did a really nice job with this one.
  19. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,468) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Agree 100% about Double Agent vs. Alpine Spring. I was quite pleased with the IPL, but not terribly wild about Alpine Spring. I thought it had a kind of brackish quality to it, though it was subtle. I haven't had the Maple Pecan Porter.
  20. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I must get back out that way to try the Pilsner.
  21. BoneyardBrewer

    BoneyardBrewer Initiate (105) Apr 24, 2005 Michigan

    too sweet for me
    SenorHops likes this.
  22. sefus12

    sefus12 Aspirant (216) Sep 7, 2006 Kentucky

    Flame away, but I had this side-by-side with the Founders All Day IPA (i know, not exactly the same style) and I have to admit I liked the Sam Adams more. Both are good, but I liked the IPL a bit more for some reason. If I could find it in sixers around here (only seen it in the spring sampler 12-pack), I'd probably buy a few.
  23. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Well to be fair, it does seem like its a wannabe ipa. ;-)
    steveh likes this.
  24. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yes it is. The point is there are those here that always say "I don't like lagers". They just haven't tried the right ones!
    steveh likes this.
  25. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    I give them a bum rap due to quality - and I'm not talking about beer geeks desires for big, bold flavor kind of "quality" either. To me sam adams lagers are just not clean, crisp, or drinkable and leave a cloying finish in the back of my throat. Too estery and muddled hop/malt flavors for my taste in lager too -on a few occassions I've detected diacetyl and vegetal flavors. Yet every time I've had their lagers at the pilot brewery in Jamaica Plain, they are impeccably clean with bright flavors - I've had Boston lager there (and once at the bull 'n finch) that were very hoppy and left me burping up hops the rest of the night. Wish that would translate to the beer made at their big production facilities.

    Pretty interesting to see that their non-seasonal beers are declining in sales, and the new packaging change hasn't helped to reverse that trend. Right now, seasonal beers, twisted tea and their cider brands are overcoming that issue for them. So what's their next move to restore their flagship brands - price decreases? That would have a huge effect on the craft beer industry.
  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,010) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    I know you mentioned picking up on that muddled (or "brackish" as another BA glibly put it) quality in Jack's Abby. How would you say Sam Adams compares?
  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    But is this really right? I finally had the chance to try the Double Agent yesterday and I was just a little put off that BBC is advertising an APA (or IPA) as a lager. Doesn't taste like any lager I've ever had.

    So, are they just trying to reach Ale drinkers with a lame marketing trick?
  28. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    If bottom fermenting yeast is used, and it is stored cold, is it not a lager?

    A local place makes an IPL, which I really like. They also make a DIPL, but have not had that. They make a barrel aged lager. They also make some good classic lager styles. Its all good as far as I am concerned.
  29. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Technically? Probably.

    But if you sat this next to APAs and IPAs in a blind tasting, would you be able to discern any lager characteristics? That's the real bottom line, isn't it? What to expect when you see the label and take your first swallow.

    And yeah, I know -- this is supposed to be "new and creative," but is it really?
  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Which was my position in another thread. A Baltic Porter, a RIS, or a American BW will taste pretty much the same with a clean top fermenting yeast like Chico or bottom fermenting yeast.
  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Don't think I could disagree with that.

    But I also don't believe I'll be buying the Double Agent again, too many APAs or IPAs out there already for this to be anything special -- no matter the yeast or aging process.
  32. DrunkethWizard

    DrunkethWizard Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2012 California

    Every single one of their beers tastes like that to me, man.
  33. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    I think most "hop heads" who love IPAs would select Hoponius Union hands down over Double Agent and those that like a less hoppy, lighter, sweet lager would prefer the Double Agent.
  34. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I had it on draft at my local. It had an odd finish that I did not care for. The kegs were fresh and a lot was being pured for charity that night. The owner has the lines cleaned regularly. Something that I did not like, others did enjoy the beer.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    This is how Boston Beer Company describes Sam Adams Double Agent IPL:

    “Double Agent IPL™

    Full of the bold grapefruit & piney character of an American IPA, this brew also reveals its smooth lager side creating a balanced, flavorful brew.”

    I think the above description pretty accurately describes this beer.

    I also took note of the hops listed:


    Zeus, Simcoe, Citra, Ahtanum, Cascade, Centennial, and Nelson Sauvin hops”

    That is an interesting and extensive list of hops!

    It is listed as being 5% ABV (which is the same alcohol as Budweiser). I am a bit perplexed why this beer is classified as being an India Pale Lager since it is only 5% ABV. It seems to be more like an American Pale Lager to me. Maybe Boston Beer Company went the IPL route to emphasize the hop aspect?

  36. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Sounds dynamite.

    I've been keeping an eye out for this stuff outside the Spring Thaw pack. Hopefully some turns up soon.
    palmdalethriller likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I just saw the Double Agent in six-packs this past Sunday while doing grocery shopping at my local Wegmans supermarket.

    FWIW, the Sam Adams website lists Double Agent as: AVAILABILITY
    Year Round

  38. JimKal

    JimKal Devotee (473) Jul 31, 2011 North Carolina

    I, too, liked DA better than All day. I really wanted to like All day but just wan't impressed with it. I don't think Dbl Agnt will be a frequent purchase for me but I could see getting some again when the warmer weather gets here. for my money, Alpine Spring beat both of them. But then , taste is such a subjective thing.
  39. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Devotee (471) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    I pretty much agree with you - the small batch stuff at the JP Brewery is always very good. And they are really spotty on the mass produced stuff. But I've had some truly excellent Sams. A year or 2 ago they put out a variety pack with 4 (or 6?) single hop IPAs. All were top shelf. And all were better, in my opinion, than their Latitude 48 IPA.

    PS - Perhaps there's another point, and I believe this, that quality control is more effective in smaller batches.
  40. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Devotee (471) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    Hey, it's subjective. I happen to like both.
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