Tasting Notes with Jim Beauregard: A short run for Sam's 'bridal' ale

JIM BEAUREGARD July 02. 2013 10:09PM

Sam Adams recently released the new vintage of its Brewlywed Ale, a Belgian style ale "to celebrate marriage," as they put it.

As it happens, the word "ale" comes from the medieval world and is related to the word "bridal." The materials that accompanied the beer describe it as a "unique, beyond-the-registry gift." Can't argue with that — we didn't think to put beer on that list.

Only a small amount was brewed — 300 cases, according to the Sam Adams blog (blog.samueladams.com) — and it was only available in a one-day on-site sale at the brewery in Boston. Each 750-ml bottle retailed for $14.99, and a 12-bottle case was $179.88. If you weren't lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, here's what you missed:Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale, 8.0% abv. Golden in the glass, under a creamy-frothy white Belgian Ale style head. The nose is mostly citrus, bright and refreshing, with lemon, floral notes. The palate is dry, with an intense palate of citrus, spice, some hints of tropical fruit, clove, sweet spice, hints of pine, and some malt in the background. Bright and refreshing throughout.

Cooking with cider

Now, you have read about hard ciders recently in this column — an up and coming phenomenon. Angry Orchard is presenting its Crisp Apple cider, complete with recipes. Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider 5% abv. This one comes in a can, labeled "naturally gluten free." Gold, with rich Cortland apple aromas. You know how when you bite into a perfectly ripe apple and the juice explodes into your mouth and you say "Wow!"? That's what happens here. The palate is rich, and, as the title says, crisp, like a fall day at the Canterbury Shaker Village. There's just a hint of apple tartness at the finish, noticeable at the back of your mouth that serves to add character to the finish. Yum. You can check out their recipe for "Cider Can chicken" too.

And to the vine

Wine lovers, I have not forgotten you: 7 Deadly Zins, Old vine Zinfandel, Michael and David Phillips, Lodi, California, 2010, $17.99, 15.0%abv. Purple wine, dark core, noticeable red fruit and some berry on the nose. The palate is dry, with rich black and red fruit, pencil shavings, blackberry, medium-plus body, smooth, almost creamy, the palate moves from fruit to herbal at the finish. 86 points.

Wine event

Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth will host Vintage & Vine, its annual "wine festival in historic style" on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Vintage & Vine 2013 features fine wines from around the world, local and seasonal food from top Seacoast chefs, and an auction of distinctive activities and gifts.

The proceeds from Vintage & Vine support the museum's preservation efforts and its "History Within Reach" program, which brings more than 10,000 schoolchildren to the museum each year.

Tickets are now on sale at www.strawberybanke.org. Must be 21 to attend. Grand Tasting admission is $40. Reserve/VIP Admission plus Grand Tasting is $75.

Contact local beer and wine writer Jim Beauregard at tastingnotesnh@aol.com.


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