This week's Sunday Night Suds takes a final look at the Samuel Adams Latitude 48 Deconstructed series and reviews the Zeus variety.
As mentioned in my July 31, 2011 post which reviewed Samuel Adams Latitude 48 - Hallertau Mitterfreuh (found here - http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/07/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-latitude.html), the August 14, 2011 post which reviewed Samuel Adams Latitude 48 - Simcoe (found here - http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/08/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-latitude.html), the September 11, 2011 post which reviewed Samuel Adams Latitude 48 - East Kent Goldings (found here - http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/09/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-latitude.html) and the October 3, 2011 post which reviewed Samuel Adams Latitude 48 - Ahtanum (found here - http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/10/belated-sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams.html), one of the best new IPAs introduced during the last few years is the Samuel Adams Latitude 48. The name of the beer draws from the five types of hops used in the brew process which all grow along the 48th latitude within the "hop belt" of the Northern Hemisphere. Earlier this year, Samuel Adams introduced its limited edition Deconstructed Box which features beers brewed with just one of the five hop varieties used in the Latitude 48.
For this week's post I sampled the Zeus version of the Latitude 48. The back of the bottle indicates that the Zeus hops grow in the Yakima Valley in Washington State. The label further provides that the Zeus hops "contribute bitterness and an intense, pungent resinous pine flavor." The label further states that brew "leans strongly toward the hop character, but is softened by the malt's sweetness."
I tried the Latitude 48 Zeus on its own in a Samuel Adams tulip glass that I purchased at the Samuel Adams brewery a few years ago. I did not have this with dinner so the review is based solely as a stand alone brew.
The beer poured a rich copper with a fair amount of lacing that coated more than half the glass. The hop flavor was quite intense, even a little too intense for me. I did not find that the hops were balanced by any malts. I guess that you could say that the pine/resin is prominent but since the beer lacks balance it just stays bitter without any redeeming qualities.
In grade school our teachers ingrained the concept - acharon, acharon, chaviv - last is the best. Having tried the Latitude 48 which combined all the hops and the various single hops versions, I can honestly say that this version which I tried last was the poorest effort from Sam Adams. Oh well, even a solid brewery can have a skunky brew once in a while.
The Samuel Adams Latitude 48 Zeus is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K. Like many other Samuel Adams brews, this bottle does not have the Star-K certification mark on the label.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this version of Latitude 48, please follow this link - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/68403.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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