Samuel Adams Long Shot '08

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Edcculus

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I just picked up a pack of the '08 Long Shot pack at the liquor store. I have Tasty's Pliny clone chilling quickly right now. Can't wait to try it. I'm pretty excited about the bock too. I'm assuming the cranberry wit is going to be as much crap as all of their other fruited beer.

Anyone else picked it up yet?
 

scinerd3000

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didint know it was out....deffinitly going to go swing by and see if its in yet here
 
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Edcculus

Edcculus

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Neither did I. After I did a little research, I think its been out for 2 or so days.
 

nealf

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Nice, thanks for the heads up!! I've been waiting over a year for this one :)
 
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Edcculus

Edcculus

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Sipping Tasty's IIPA right now. This thing is beautiful.

"Can you brew it" should cover this one. They wouldn't even have to do an interview!
 
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Edcculus

Edcculus

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The Bock is nice too. Rich and malty, yet very drinkable. I haven't had too many Bocks to compare this to, but I like the beer.

I'm dreading the Cranberry Wit...It may take a few pints of HB to work up the courage.:eek:
 
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Edcculus

Edcculus

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Yea, I'm an idiot. I listened to that show last week.


Drinking the Cranberry Wit now. Not a big fan. Its wit bier...ish. The cranberry adds a cloying sweetness to the end. As much as SA is pushing it, I don't think cranberry and beer are meant to go together.
 

saq

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I picked up two sixpacks myself and did the Traditional Bock followed by the Imperial IPA. Both are excellent brews, McDoles IIPA is way better than the two times I've had Pliny the Elder in bottle.
 

ArcaneXor

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Finally got it in Florida - for a while I thought they didn't distribute it at all down here. One bottle of each is chilling in the fridge now.
 

thataintchicken

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Having tasted Alex's Bock at brewclub meetings and then tasting it in the longshot bottle... I have to say they got it right.
MIke's IIPA is spot on as well.

I did a taste test between a bottled Pliny the elder and The Longshot brew -- The longshot won. Pliny on tap is still the king.

If Sam Adams brewed something like the IIPA year round, they could easily sell it. With InBev looking to switch to Hops Extracts, this could be a positioning move for Sam Adams Brands.

I have 2 cases of Longshot bottles stashed. I'll use the crapberry whit for marinade, but the others are going to taste really good come July 4th and labor day.
 

ArcaneXor

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My impression was exactly the opposite of the previous poster. I was very surprised with the Cranberry Wit, which I thought wasn't much of a Witbier, but one of the best non-soured fruit beers I have had the pleasure to drink. Very refreshing, tart, and fascinating flavor complexity, particularly when served on the cold side. In my opinion, this deserves to replace that awful Cherry Wheat as a full-time Sam Adams brew and easily beats their recent Blackberry Wit release.

I have never been a fan of Bocks, so I can't fault the brewer for that one. It's just not my style. It's certainly not bad, but not very exciting, either.

I had the DIPA last - and what a disappointment it was to me after having heard so many great things about it. I thought it was an unbalanced, muddy-smelling and tasting mess with distinct cat piss notes. Maybe it's also a style thing, given that I was turned off by the Stone Ruination DIPA despite loving their regular IPA, but then I quite like the Dogfish Head 120-minute (although I think it's far from the best brew the generally overrated Dogfish Head produces) and call Bell's HopSlam one of my favorite high-alcohol beers. I don't know whether to age my second Longshot bottle or to simply drink it at room temperature to try and get some more balance into this beer. My guess is that I simply like IPAs more than DIPAs, and when it comes to DIPAs, I feel that they need a solid malty backbone to stand up to the intense hoppiness.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Tasty's IIPA is very good, but I actually think that the Bock is a more well rounded beer.

I got 4 sips into the cranberry wit then it got dumped. Damn Sam Adams and their crappy fruit wits.

ArcaneXor - cat piss aside, IIPA's are not *supposed* to be balanced. A lot of people drink/make IIPA's expecting or trying to get the malt balance of an IPA or an APA, but the style doesn't call for balance. It should lean heavily towards bitterness and not be very malty sweet at all. Anything else isn't an IIPA, it's a high gravity IPA.
 

ArcaneXor

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ArcaneXor - cat piss aside, IIPA's are not *supposed* to be balanced.
I think the BJCP will disagree with you on this. Let's see:

Hop flavor is strong and complex, and can reflect the use of American, English and/or noble hop varieties. High to absurdly high hop bitterness, although the malt backbone will generally support the strong hop character and provide the best balance. Malt flavor should be low to medium, and is generally clean and malty although some caramel or toasty flavors are acceptable at low levels. No diacetyl. Low fruitiness is acceptable but not required. A long, lingering bitterness is usually present in the aftertaste but should not be harsh. Medium-dry to dry finish. A clean, smooth alcohol flavor is usually present. Oak is inappropriate in this style. May be slightly sulfury, but most examples do not exhibit this character.

I just plopped my second bottle in the patented express beer-chiller to (tm) cool it to around 60 degrees and will try it again, this time in a Chimay goblet. I'll be reporting back shortly on whether or not my opinion will change given these perhaps more appropriate serving conditions.
 

ArcaneXor

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Thanks to the miracle of modern technology and the patented express beer-chiller (tm), I am doing my second evaluation of the Tasty DIPA now, and I am quite happy to report that the Chimay goblet and warmer serving temperature of just slightly below ambient does make a substantial difference in this beer.

The cat piss in the aroma and flavor is still apparent, but it is much better integrated into the bouquet, which has distinct floral, even perfumy notes. Likewise, it doesn't persist after taking a sip, but dissipates quickly as it gives way to a rather pleasant sensation of slightly sweet alcohol warmth that interplays well with the lingering hop bitterness - this beer is certainly more sensitive than most when it comes to serving temperature (my first evaluation was done at 45 degrees)!

I still think the hop flavor is quite muddy, i.e. there is too much going on without producing a synergistic effect. My guess is that English and Continental hops (or their domestic equivalents) as well as "traditional" American hops all contribute to the flavor, which renders the overall sensation to something akin to a massive orchestra in which the instruments are just slightly out of sync with each other, creating a very loud but dissonant performance.

I can appreciate this beer now, but wouldn't pick it over a HopSlam. Over a Ruination DIPA, possibly.
 

ohiobrewtus

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I think the BJCP will disagree with you on this. Let's see:

Hop flavor is strong and complex, and can reflect the use of American, English and/or noble hop varieties. High to absurdly high hop bitterness, although the malt backbone will generally support the strong hop character and provide the best balance. Malt flavor should be low to medium, and is generally clean and malty although some caramel or toasty flavors are acceptable at low levels. No diacetyl. Low fruitiness is acceptable but not required. A long, lingering bitterness is usually present in the aftertaste but should not be harsh. Medium-dry to dry finish. A clean, smooth alcohol flavor is usually present. Oak is inappropriate in this style. May be slightly sulfury, but most examples do not exhibit this character.

I just plopped my second bottle in the patented express beer-chiller to (tm) cool it to around 60 degrees and will try it again, this time in a Chimay goblet. I'll be reporting back shortly on whether or not my opinion will change given these perhaps more appropriate serving conditions.
I'm very familiar with the style guideline. The style guideline for an IPA reads mostly identical, sub "medium-high to very high bitterness" for "high to absurdly high bitterness".

I'm not implying that there should be no balance at all. IMO, high bitterness + malty sweetness = Barleywine if it's high abv, or IPA if it's mid-abv.

The very line you put in bold to try to prove a point to me is certainly open to interpretation as is the case with most styles:

although the malt backbone will generally support the strong hop character and

It absolutely should support it. A beer can never be devoid of a malt backbone to support hop character. The question is to what extent?

provide the best balance

So what exactly is the 'best balance'? Is it an equal balance between malt and hops? Is it leaning more towards hoppy? is is leaning more towards malty? I know my take on it, you (and others) may disagree and that's cool - I'm sure a lot of people do.

but should not be harsh

High bitterness doesn't have to be harsh.

When we type here we're stating our opinions, and that's just what I was doing. In my opinion, an IIPA is a showcase of hops. It needs enough malt backbone to help it stand, but should lean more towards bitter than malty.

If you disagree, then that's cool - I'm sure that there are plenty of others who disagree with me as well. I certainly don't need BJCP style guidelines quoted to me to tell me what an IIPA is 'supposed to be' though.


EDIT - I wouldn't pick Tasty's IIPA over HopSlam either.
 

saq

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High to absurdly high hop bitterness, although the malt backbone will generally support the strong hop character and provide the best balance.
A malt backbone in an IIPA is of course important to support the high to absurdly high hop bitterness but that doesn't mean the flavors balance each other. A malt backbone in an IPA means there is a little bit of action there but its mainly the hops.

McDoles IIPA is fantastic.
 

lamarguy

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I brought a 6-pack to a local homebrew meeting last week and, overall, no one thought any of the three beers were great. Perhaps we were expecting more...But, I remain unimpressed. :(
 

ArcaneXor

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Any beer, no matter what it is, is supposed to be "balanced" in a way such that disparate flavors and aromas support and accent each other, as appropriate for the style. This applies whether or not a beer is supposed to showcase a single ingredient or how a vast number of different ingredients can interplay to produce a product that is better than the sum of its parts.

When I first drank the Tasty DIPA, under conditions which as I now admit was likely inappropriate for the beer, that balance seemed to be missing, i.e. the hops appeared to stand completely on their own and clashing with each other, because they were lacking the anchor that represents the malt backbone. That is not supposed to imply that I expected maltiness or strong caramel notes - not at all. Its simply that my original perception was that the hops were unsupported, and the beer seemed out of balance for the style per its BJCP definition. Again, I have since revised that impression.

My remaining criticism of the beer pertains to the hop flavors alone, which my palate discerns as muddy, i.e. the various hops distract rather than complement each other. Further, I was disappointed because my expectations were sky high because this is a clone of a beer rated #8 in the world by BeerAdvocate and #13 per Ratebeer, and I generally like the family of styles that it belongs to.

To clarify, I have retracted my criticism that was based on perceived stylistic flaws, have revised my overall opinion of the beer towards the positive, but continue to perceive some flavor problems and find it overrated - per my palate. This perception departs from BJCP and other guidelines and is simply a matter of personal preference and palate - as so often, the final judgment is in the mouth of the beer holder.
 

scinerd3000

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for the record their cranberry wit was not their worst fruit endevor. By far better than the cherry wheat which seriously tasted like satans anus...The other two were pretty damn good though...just saying
 

Evan

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i love the IIPA, haven't had the bock yet, my girlfriend loves the cranberry wit. so the six pack is a winner in our house, haha.
 

saq

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Mike McDoles IIPA is roughly based on Pliny the Elder/Younger, but from my personal experiences improves on it greatly. If you want to talk about a beer with no malt backbone (and the hop flavor suffers from it IMO) then look no further than PtE. Mike McDoles IIPA provides a more solid, albeit subtle, malt backbone.

The hop flavors are intense and delicious, but I think I might agree with you that they don't necessarily complement each other. I think one of the best IIPAs where the hop flavors really compliment each other is Port's Hop15.
 
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