Sam Adams is launching a new beer this summer, an India Pale Ale called Latitude 48. The beer takes its name from the northern hop growing region located around latitude 48°. The press release for the beer touts a blend of German, English, and American hops that create a “distinctive, yet not overpowering, hop character” balanced by a sweet honey malt blend. I am unclear whether this means they used honey or honey malt. [EDIT: They used honey malt, not honey.] Here’s my notes:
Sam Adams Latitude 48
Boston Beer Company, Boston, Massachusetts
Style: India Pale Ale
Serving Style: 12 oz. Bottle
Aroma: Citrus and grassy hops with undertones of sweet berries and pineapple. Lightly sweet and biscuity English-style malt. English yeast fruitiness opens up as the beer warms. Balanced.
Appearance: Amber and crystal clear. Moderate off-white head that persisted only moderately.
Flavor: Kicks off with medium-high bitterness that lingers long into the finish. This bitterness first had a harshness that smoothed out as the beer warmed. Hop flavors present an interesting mix of earthy, floral, and spice, with hints of lemony citrus. Sweet caramel and biscuit malt balances the hops and claims top placement mid-palate. Finish is dry, lingering on hop bitterness and flavor that sticks around long after swallowing.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.
Overall Impression: An interesting take on a classic English IPA. The malt character and yeast fruitiness definitely reflects the English style. The hops present a blend of European, English, and American flavors that lend the beer some interest. Not the best IPA out there, but definitely one I would be happy to drink again.