Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack 2011

Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack
Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack

Samuel Adams has once again announced the arrival of winter with the release of this year’s Winter Classics Variety Pack.

In the pack, there are 2 bottles each of:

  • Boston Lager
  • Holiday Porter
  • Black and Brew Coffee Stout
  • Chocolate Bock
  • Winter Lager
  • Old Fezziwig Ale

Again this year, Samuel Adams has kept the spices low to ensure drinkable, non-cloying beers. Chocolate Bock is back, and I hope it’s only a matter of time before they make it available in 6/12-packs.  This year’s addition to the mix pack is the Black and Brew Coffee Stout, which replaces White Ale in the pack.  I had my first experience with Samuel Adams’ coffee stout several years ago (2008) when it went up against the Blackberry Witbier in the Beer Lover’s Choice where, sadly, it lost, even though it received my vote.

Have you tried the Winter Classics Variety Pack for 2011? Which ones in the pack do you like? Which ones don’t you like?

New Belgium Clutch

New Belgium Clutch
New Belgium Clutch

New Belgium has introduced several new beers to the Lips of Faith series.  One you may remember I mentioned tasting at the Iowa City Brewfest was a sour brown ale, Clutch.  I had the chance to try it in a more controlled environment over the weekend.

With the first taste, Clutch has a nice roasted chocolate and coffee flavor, and leaves a slightly sour, not over-the-top, taste in the back of your tongue.  The finish also has a slight coffee flavor.  I thought it was a great beer that’s very drinkable, and reminds me of New Belgium’s 1554 with slight sourness.

Have you tried Clutch?  What was your experience?