We’re well into fall and quickly approaching the holiday season. And the brewers at Samuel Adams have brewed up a six-pack of seasonals I am confident you will enjoy. Herewith reviews and recommendations:


Samuel Adams Octoberfest (5.3% ABV 16 IBU)

Octoberfest celebrations may be in your rear window but this fine Märzen style beer should still be in your front seat (that’s a metaphor; I don’t mean of your actual car). It is a pleasant, easy drinking, deep red amber brew with malt and wheat tones. It’s Tettnang Tettnanger, Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops tread lightly, while and its malts – Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Munich-10, Samuel Adams Octoberfest malt, and Caramel 60 – dominate providing a smooth palate and finish.


Samuel Adams Harvest Hefe (5.4% ABV 14 IBU)

This deep golden beer uses Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend and White Wheat with Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Spalt Spalter Noble hops to achieve a malty profile with a touch of caramel followed by spicy citrusy and lightly earthy qualities that finish fairly dry with some bitterness. It puts a seasonal twist on a traditional hefeweizen with the addition of warming fall flavors. Aromatic notes of cinnamon and nutmeg complement the slightly sweet and clove flavors characteristic of the style, making for a bright, spiced beer.


Samuel Adams 20 Pounds Of Pumpkin (5.7% ABV 14 IBU)

Dark reddish amber in color, this one begins with Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, Special B, and smoked malt, which presumably is responsible for the malty flavors that compliment a mildly fruity beer. I don’t pick up the East Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops but they likely are what lift this nice drink to excellence, ending with a very spicy finish. Critically, it is brewed with real pumpkin – about 20 lbs. of it per barrel – and a blend of classic pumpkin pie spices – clove, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. It yields a rich pumpkin pie taste (not sweet, though) accented with those brown spices.


Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen (5.1% ABV 13 IBU)

This amber wheat beer (pretty dark amber brown color) combines the spicy, fruity flavors of a traditional Hefeweizen with the sweet, toffee-like notes of roasted malt. Chinook hops compliment Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Wheat, Dehusked Carafa malt varieties. Aromas of creamy caramel and cardamon anticipate similarly spicy flavors with a creamy texture and a crisp finish.


Samuel Adams Honey Rye Pale Ale (5.8% ABV 33 IBU)

With a base of Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Rye Malt, Honey Malt and Simcoe, Cascade, Ella hop varieties, this deep amber drink satisfies with peppery, creamy, malty aromas and a light, crisp, citrusy palate finishing with a slightly bitter herb (maybe from the rye?) finish.


Samuel Adams Maple Red Ale (6.3% ABV 18 IBU)

A smooth, rich maple character (Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Special B, Naked Oats malt varieties) rounds out this deep red beverage’s hints of malt, pine and vanilla. With a fresh impact, more mapley malt and pine, leading into a spicy, crisp ending. Chinook hop varieties add a note of complexity.


So, pick up a mixed six pack including each beer or maybe six six packs, one of each beer. They’re a fine way to ease into the colder weather of the season.

NOTE: Featured image is courtesy of Samuel Adams.

About Rich

I first became interested in wine while I worked in numerous liquor stores during college in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In the years following college, I researched, tasted, traveled to vineyards in California and Europe, participated in countless tastings. I began writing about wine in 1995 with a column in Out Front Colorado. For me, wine is more than a drink. It is food. It is a connection to the earth. It is culture. There is just something amazing, even magical, about the transformation of grapes into wine. It is also remarkable how drinking wine with food enhances the taste and enjoyment of both. Appreciation of wine has become an integral part of my approach to life, which emphasizes balance, respect for nature, physical and emotional health, and an appreciation of our nature as social beings. In 2006, I was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.