Sam Adams makes some great beers, Boston Lager and Cherry Wheat immediately come to mind, so whenever I see a variety pack I spring for it. This is the 2011-12 version of the Winter Classics. I had no plans for the night, so what better way to spend it than sipping on some delicious Sam Adams in the comfort of my apartment while writing a running diary of my enjoyment. Bear with me if my writing grade level begins to decrease as I go.
8:25-Chocolate Bock- There were a few stalwarts in this variety pack, but I wanted to go with something a little different first, so I went with the chocolate bock, hoping it would be as good as it sounded. I started drinking and was very pleased, but then I put it down and was left with a dry, hoppy aftertaste. I’m torn on this beer, because I was not a fan of the aftertaste at all, but it was great going down, which probably was the reason why I drank it in under 5 minutes without noticing. Conversations-1 (explained below)
8:30-Boston Lager-After the sort of disappointing first beer, I wanted a sure thing, so I went with one of my personal favorites, Boston Lager. I don’t own one of their scientifically designed glasses, so I am forced to drink these beers straight out of the bottle. That didn’t hamper my enjoyment of this one, as its mildly hoppy flavor that stays with you after drinking it is just outstanding. If you like beer, you’ll love this beer. Conversations-2
8:47-Holiday Porter-Small delay after the Boston Lager, as I was too lazy to stand up and walk 15 feet to the fridge to get another one. I chose pretty randomly this time, and was very happy with the choice. It is similar in taste to the Chocolate Bock, but slightly less chocolaty, and with a much less pronounced aftertaste. It isn’t quite as smooth, but if you put a gun to my head, I’d take this one over the bock. Conversations-3
9:02-Winter Lager-I couldn’t wait any longer for this one. I was a little disappointed. This used to be one of my favorites, but as I’ve branched out and had many different brews, this somehow seems bland. Not exactly the most flavorful of beers, but it is very smooth with little to no aftertaste, an easy drinker for beer lovers and casual drinkers alike. Everyone will like it, but it will be hard to find people who really love it. Conversations-5
9:26-Black & Brew Coffee Stout-A major delay due to the lack of flavor of the winter lager, but mostly due to facebook chat distractions. The more beers I have, the more people seem worthy of talking to, and the more likely I am to talk to people. Back to the drinking. This is a very smooth beer. Very dark, as you would expect a stout to be. You can taste a mild coffee flavor. Overall this is a good, not great beer. Lighter than most stouts, but not as full-flavored. Enjoyable for beer and coffee drinkers, but nothing to write home about. Conversations-4 (not for lack of trying)
9:45-Old Fezziwig Ale-Another delay caused by one of my conversations leading to the discovery of this story. http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/06/world/asia/new-zealand-balloon-crash/index.html, and the following discussion. Him-why the **** don’t people have parachutes in these things. Me- I don’t know. Riveting stuff. It’s Friday night after a long week of work and I’m almost 6 heavy beers deep, give me a break. Anyway, I chose this one last because it sounded the least appealing. It turns out to be a very good beer. Smooth, tasty, and very little aftertaste. Conversations-1 (its 10pm on Friday night give me a break)
10:05-Chocolate Bock- You know you’re starting to struggle when you have to set goals for when each beer needs to be done. I decided 19 minutes a beer will be easily doable and still let me eat some late night food and be in bed by 12:30. On to the beer. Still very smooth, and the aftertaste is quite a bit less pronounced now. It doesn’t go down quite as easy as this is a heavy beer. Conversations-2 (I’m making up for it with comments and likes, and one managed to start and run its course before the end of the beer)
10:30-Boston Lager-The 19-minute rule clearly failed me, but hey, it can’t take me that long to drink a Boston Lager, can it? I guess I’ll find out. This is one of the few beers that tastes the same sober, buzzed, and drunk, always enjoyable, always awesome, Jim Koch knew what he was doing. 10:42-Only halfway through it isn’t looking good for the rest of this pack, but an outstanding burp rejuvenates me, and inspires me to make some popcorn on the stove, take a small break, and restart my quest. Conversations-1 (it’s looking bleak)
11:05-Holiday Porter-Welcome back. If you’ve never made popcorn on the stove, it makes your house/condo/apartment smell like a movie theater, and as long as you put on enough salt, it will taste like you’re there also. Butter also helps, but the key is the salt on the freshly made popcorn. It takes about the same amount of time as cooking popcorn in the microwave, but it tastes a lot better. You have to actually pay attention, which is especially hard after 8 Sam Adams winter classics, but it is worth it. Anyway, despite my state, for a fairly heavy beer, it was surprisingly easy to put down. Conversations-2 (texting people you expect to be drunk apparently works great)
11:30-Winter Lager-Another long break, this time because of a laziness/bathroom break. I am rejuvenated though, especially knowing that I’ve got 2 lighter beers left out of 3. Honestly I drank this entire beer without noticing that I was drinking, there is no flavor to this at all. Conversations-2 (do you have any idea how hard it is to sound coherent after this many beers?)
11:54-Black & Brew Coffee Stout-At this point I can’t really tell you what the beers taste like, but I can tell you that I was enjoying this so much that I actually slowed myself down while drinking it, and, at least for those of you who have experienced extreme drunkenness, is very hard to do. That means it is a hell of a brew. Conversations-5 (Either it’s a miracle, people are all shitfaced, they feel bad for me, they think I’m hilariously drunk, or a combo)
12:10- Old Fezziwig Ale-Yeah I managed to keep it inside the 19-minute rule for the first time since I created it. So what? You wanna fight about it? OK we all need to calm down, especially me. I should have planned this better so that I had a beer I really knew the in’s and out’s of to make my last entry. O well, I’m just going to go on a rant anyway. Old Fezziwig Ale really gives you no indication as to what it is going to be like, so if you really love beer, just buy it, it is very good.
12:30-Somehow I managed to finish this 12 pack-I don’t recommend this to anyone, especially not the casual drinker (real drinkers, you know what you can do). This is going to sound pretty sad but I had a great time sitting here by myself writing about these beers. Granted I talked to about 20 people (of about 30 that I attempted to talk to) so I wasn’t alone all night. Despite never leaving my apartment, this was one of the most fun nights I’ve had.