The Samuel Adams beers are from the Boston Brewing Company, originally of Boston, Massachusetts, but now also brewed in Cincinnati, Ohio and Breingsville, Pennsylvania.This IPA is made with five hop varieties all grown at latitude 48, and Sam Adams has released a series of five different IPA's, each made with only one of the hop varieties. They are each 6.0% ABV.
Latitude 48 IPA - First tasting: The beer pours a dark copper, with a bit of amber, in color, and a small off-white head. For an IPA, the aroma seems very malty. The main aroma to me is a spicy rye bread, with a bit of tea and tobacco. The taste is rye bread, a bit of floral tartness, grapefruit peel, with a very bitter finish. I guess I was expecting a more American style IPA. This is not hop forward.
Another taste on July 8, 2011, preliminary to trying the Latitude 48 IPA "Deconstructed" series: The beer pours brown-orange-ruby in color, medium dark, but clear. There is a half inch of thick and creamy head that is off-white and leaves medium lacing down the glass. The aroma is a bit fruity, red plum jam over a caramel malt. The taste is light fruit, slightly sweet, a solid, but subtle, malt base with a blisteringly dry and bitter grapefruit peel finish (more bitter than citrus). This is much better than the one I tried previously, but it is more of an English-style IPA (bitter over malt base) than American style IPA (citrus, tropical fruit, pine, hop forward).
Zeus variety Latitude 48 - The Zeus variety's growing region is the Yakima Valley of Washington state. This beer pours orange-brown-ruby in color, a shade lighter than the regular Latitude 48. It has over an inch of thick, billowy head that is off-white in color that leaves light lacing down the glass. This is supposed to be a piney variety of hop, but the aroma is subdued, mostly fruit over caramel malt. The taste is massive bitterness, the pine is apparent in the bitterness although not strong, over a light fruity malt base. The bitterness here is extremely strong, and leaves a tonsil curdling astringency at the back of the throat that is vaguely grapefruit peel.
Hallertau Mittelfrueh - The growing region for this variety of hops is Hallertau, Germany. This beer pours a clear orange-brown-ruby in color similar to the Zeus variety. There is a half-inch of thick, creamy, off-white head that leaves medium lacing down the glass. Not a very aromatic beer. The taste is lightly fruity, citrusy, and floral on a bed of caramel malt with a relatively lightly bitter and dry finish.
Simcoe - The growing region for this variety of hops is also the Yakima Valley of Washington state. It pours a ruby-orange brown in color, medium dark, but clear. There is a tall half-inch of thick foamy head that is just off-white in color, and leaves medium lacing down the glass. The aroma is tropical fruit and cantaloupe with a slight musty, earthiness on a firm malty, caramel base. This is the most hop forward aromatic wise of the varieties so far. The taste is a grapefruit bitter tang, fruity, malty and slightly sweet, but with a bracingly dry, bitter finish.
East Kent Goldings - The growing region for this variety of hops is East Kent, United Kingdom. This pours a bright and clear orange-brown-ruby. There is a tall inch of thick, foamy yet creamy off-white head that leaves sticky lacing of medium density down the glass. The aroma is fresh, clean, grassy, flowery, with some plum-like fruit and some light caramel malt followed by a spicy rye note. The taste follows the aroma quite closely. This is bitter, but lightly and refreshingly so. This is a really nice and very drinkable English-style IPA. The Simcoe was my favorite hop, but this is my favorite beer overall of the Latitude 48's.
Ahtanum - This variety of hops is also from the Yakima Valley of Washington state. It pours a bright, clear orange-ruby-brown in color. There is a half inch of thick creamy head that leaves medium lacing down the glass. The aroma is fresh and clean, light grassy and floral notes and light apricot-like fruit. The taste follows the aroma, sits on a bed of somewhat sweet caramel malt, and finishes with a medium bitterness. This is fairly similar to the East Kent Goldings, but has a more bitter finish.