A double-decker today. It never hurts to start the work week with a tasty beer, so I thought I’d review two brews I recently tasted, because it is that good of a Monday: Samuel Adams Noble Pils and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale. These two beers are very different in their own rights, but they both keep me coming back for more.
Samuel Adams Noble Pils (5.2%ABV)
When people say a beer is crisp and clean, it elicits an image of a warm, sunny, summer afternoon. Birds chirping, the orange glow of the setting sun, a warm breeze gently rustling the trees. When I take a sip of Samuel Adams Noble Pils, a relatively new seasonal from the Boston Beer Company, I’m immediately transported to summer evenings spent on a porch with friends. Seems strange for a beer that’s only released January through March, but those are the images I get from this traditional Bohemian Pilsner that’s brewed with all five Noble hops.
On the nose, Noble Pils is light and crisp, with some citrus notes floating around in the bouquet. Its golden color denotes something a bit richer and fuller, but Noble Pils surprises with a nice, complex bite from all five Noble Hops, balanced by the sweet honey taste of the Bohemian malts. At 5.2% ABV, there isn’t much of an alcohol burn as a pleasant warming in the throat enhanced by the hops. The description on the Samuel Adams website says there’s a “piney” taste to the beer, but I didn’t get that. It does however elicit a strong feeling of sunny days, fun barbecues, and warm breezes.
Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale (7.2% ABV)
If you’re looking for a heartier beer than the Noble Pils, the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale is like a thick juicy steak on the grill. In fact, it might actually pair nicely with one. A deep brown color characterizes this triple threat combo of American Brown, Scotch Ale, and India Pale Ale.
Starting on the nose, it emits an awesome sweetness, caramel wafting out of the creamy head. The Indian Brown Ale (IBA) has a nicely rounded mouthfeel, and a sweet, warm, toasty taste on the tongue. The Dogfish Head website describes it as having the characteristics of a Scotch Ale, which is apt. Dry hopped like an IPA (it’s rated at 50 IBU) but malted like a Scotch Ale, and flavored with brown sugar, this beer has the best of all worlds, which is great for someone who is generally not a fan of super hopped beers. Available year round, the Indian Brown Ale has quickly become a favorite of mine, with a fantastic balance of sweet and bitter.