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Samuel Adams Little White Rye reviewed

Submitted by tresero on Fri, 03/29/2013 - 09:17

Here is my review of Samuel Adams Little White Rye.


Welcome to another edition of "Ask The Beer Guy." This is your host, Jon Griffin, the beer-drinking professor.

We're going to discuss the new Samuel Adams Summer Variety Pack that came out. The first beer we're going to talk about is the Little Rye. I haven’t had that yet, so we will try it for the first time. It's basically what they say is a take on a Belgian wheat beer, except made with rye, and they also added some sage, so let's get started and not play around anymore. It's spring and it's time to drink.

All right, here we go. This is the Samuel Adams. Little White Rye is what they call it. Ale brewed with orange peel and coriander with sage added. Innocent, yet beguiling. This hazy golden brew appears to be a classic wheat beer with its bright notes of orange, citrus and coriander, but there's a bit more mischief up its sleeve. Behind its sweet exterior lies an intriguing blend of white sage and rye for an earthy, spicy and thoroughly refreshing brew. Cheers.

Let's pour this in a shout-out to Big Dogs, a local Las Vegas brewery. If you're in Vegas, make sure you visit. Great beer. A lot of good ale, especially if you like hoppy beer. They are known for their hop beer so go ahead and try it, but that's the glass I have in hand, that's what we're going to see it in.

All right, so here we go. This is supposed to be cloudy. We're going to pour this baby in here. Nice head retention. Good carbonation with the bubbles there. All right, so let's get some aroma on here. My nose is much better than the other day when I was doing this. The allergies are still there, but that's springtime in Las Vegas.

The main thing I'm getting is sage, a little kind of spicy note, but it's mainly sage. Appearance we talked about. It's a little bit hazy. I wouldn’t call it wheat-beer hazy. I certainly don't see any sediment on the bottom. Definitely has a lot of carbonation, which is typical of a Belgian-style beer. Just get some flavor out of this thing now.

Initially, I get the sage. Sage pervades throughout this. I do get some rye, some maltiness. I also get the spice from the rye. I don't get any orange, which they say they have. If it's there, it's barely at the bottom kind of a fruity thing. More sage.

I would say, unfortunately, like many of the Sam Adams beers, and I'm not going to lie to my listeners, viewers, and blog readers, that this is the greatest beer that was ever made. I actually don't think it is because, as most spice beers happen, there's too much of one spice. In this case, it's the sage. I know they want to feature that, but to me it's just overly medicinal and not one of my favorite beers.

Mouth feel on this is actually medium. It doesn’t dry out other than the yeast character. I can definitely get that yeasty dryness in the finish here, but I'm still … all I get is sage. All I'm getting is sage and to me, that's a beer that's not balanced at all. Even if that's what they were looking for, it's not to me a beer I want to drink 12 up sitting in the lake.

To me, this is a 25 out of 50, certainly not a great example. Not the worst beer in the world. If that was all there was, I would probably drink it. My overall impression is drink one or two, try it out. Learn why not to have a bunch of spices in your beer, unless you really know what you're doing.

If you think you want to add an ounce of spice to your beer out of half and you'll find out that's probably half too much, so put a quarter. That's for you to learn if you're a brewer. If you're not, please beware. When you buy spice beers, many of them are very overspiced, overhopped and they try to compensate for that. In this case, again, not a great beer. Not that I'm throwing it out, it's not a great beer.

I hope this beer review helps you and I know Sam Adams isn’t sending to me a case of this in, but I'm not going to lie to listeners so that's my review and I'm sticking to it.

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