Samuel Adams Brewing Co., Blackberry Witbier

Grade: C
Samuel Adams Brewing Co.

So why am I doing this again?

A Sam Adams beer? A Sam Adams fruit beer? Have I lost my last shred of sanity?

I guess it's just a masochistic streak, but I have to know. I just can't leave this on the shelf, unexplored. But that's the beauty of mix-a-sixes; you only have to drink one.

Appearance is a light straw, only very slightly hazy. Not what I'd expect from a wheat beer. The foam is pure white, forms a nice head but dissipates quickly. The nose is all blackberry, not cloyingly sweet, but immediately identifiable. Perhaps a little citrus as well, no hops whatsoever (which is appropriate). No yeast or spice noticable, which is dissapointing. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, the only indicator of wheat. The blackberry is present, but again not sweet. If there are spice notes, they are very subdued. The finish is fairly dry, which makes taking another sip easy.

While I wouldn't go out of my way for this beer, I can't say that I hate it. This is no Cherry Wheat or Cranberry Lambic, that's for sure. To call it a witbier however, I think is taking it a bit far. I understand it's a branding thing; they already have a Cherry Wheat, so a Blackberry Wheat would be redundant, but that's what this is. The easily identifiable characteristics of witbier, (corriander, orange peel, wheat tang and weizen yeast cloudiness and flavor) are not present.

As a good drinking beer, I would go to this. Perhaps when I'm mowing my lawn in the summer, or if I'm feeling a little un-manly. Or perhaps as a maintainer, after the long night of barlywines and double IPAs, this beer would cleanse the palate nicely and keep the buzz going. Besides, by the end of a night like the one just described, not many are going to care what you're drinking anyway.