Reuniting With an Old Friend
A Review of Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
Posted on 10/11/2012 by Chops
                   
Good
To begin this review, I'm going to go on record as saying that wheat beers get a bum rap. These are the easy drinking, free flowing, tropically fruity ''girlie'' brews of the beer world. Beer geeks will often look down on wheats as anti-beers, those brews that claim to be beers, but have very little beery about them. I understand that not all wheat beers can stand tall next to gems like the Ayinger Bräu-Weisse, but I still believe they serve a very important purpose, primarily as bridge beers. I would say that the majority of craft beer conversions have come via wheat beers specifically because they are flavorful yet nonabrasive. Case in point: the Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.

I still remember this beer as one of my very first craft revelations. This is the beer that got me off of Michelob Ultra (yes, it was that bad). Many years later, I'm coming back to Cherry Wheat after a Samuel Adams brewery tour in Boston, MA. I'm sitting at Doyle's Cafe, a 130 year old pub that was the first establishment to serve Samuel Adams. I have traded my ''out of the bottle on the couch'' habit for a Samuel Adams ''Perfect Pint'' glass in Boston's most famous pub. And I'm here to tell you, the Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat is just as tasty as I remember.

In the glass, this beer has a semi-hazy coppery orange coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that has good retention. Two interesting things happened when I went in for that first whiff. First, I was instantly transported back to those days of regular Cherry Wheat consumption. That's the power of unique sensory data. No other beer smells like the Cherry Wheat and I could instantly recall several situations where I had one in hand. Second, I was amazed at how much the aroma resembled maraschino cherries. That's pretty much it, just sweet syrupy cherries.

This beer's mouthfeel is very smooth with no bitter bite, making it incredibly easy to drink. The sweet candied cherry flavor tends to overpower the base wheat, so there's not much to study about the base wheat other than a general bready malty character. The beer exits with a warm cherry-infused bready aftertaste. To be honest, there's not much else to talk about. This beer has a very simple concept that is very easy to grasp.

Overall, the Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat is a simple and tasty brew that sits happily in the middle of the wheat beer spectrum. It will never compete with world-class beers like the Ayinger Bräu-Weisse, but it isn't meant to. On the flip side, this brew is infinitely better than that watery Blue Moon nonsense. Cherry Wheat's easy drinking fruity nature makes it a fantastic bridge into better beer. Novices and non-beer drinkers alike can appreciate this beer's accessibility. Even seasoned beer geeks can enjoy it as a flavorful no-thinker drinker. To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting Cherry Wheat to stand up to the test of time. It was a reunion that I expected to go badly. But much to my surprise, we're still good friends.

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Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
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