Now and again we feel we should mention a Sam Adams ale. Why? Mostly because we feel they don't really deserve all the crap they get. OK, so most of their beer is pretty average. But average beer is better than many, and sometimes, just sometimes, average has a place.
Sam Adams's Summer Ale, for example, might not be something to write long, loving poems about, but it's pretty solid. It's a perfect sipper on a warm summer evening, which allegedly might happen sometime this year.
The beer pours a cloudy yellow, with just a bit of head and lacing. Sniff, and the wheat and lemon hit straight up and... Well, that's about it. As a 5.3% ABV session beer it's hard to expect much more.
The flavor follows the nose pretty much straight out. There is a vague hint of vanilla and pepper in there, and, really, this might not be your thing if sweeter wheat ales aren't your thing. That's pretty much all it is, but it's executed well, and the mouthfeel is surprisingly decent. The body isn't exactly a heavy weighter, but it's fuller than I had expected, right on the medium level.
In that sense this isn't a beer to age in the cellar (literally don't, as it'll go bad). It's a fridge beer, the type you buy when the six pack is on sale, and that's fine. The overall vision for Summer Ale might not have been one that was too ambitious, but there's little reason to complain as long as the execution is good. And, frankly, Summer Ale is well executed.