Sam Adams Merry Mischief
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”]I actually wrote up my notes on this brew back in January. It was 79 degrees out. I saw a crabapple tree blooming out on I-20. The red buds were showing up here and there. Figured it was time to finish up the Winter brews before it got hot. Then we got hit with a cold streak and I kinda forgot. When the azaleas on Greene Street started blooming in late February I thought I better get this one done. Usually the Greene Street azaleas peak about 10 days before they do at the Augusta National. The high today will be 56 and I predict this is the last day of Winter for Augusta. It will hit 60 degrees or higher every day from here on out. (Little comfort to the folks in the midwest and up north shoveling out for the 3 or 4th time in the past month).
I bought this brew at Summerville Ace at Christmas. I believe they’ve might have a few left and if you haven’t tried it and like dark slightly sweet and spicy ales you need to grab one.
This is part of Samuel Adams Small Batch series. This seasonal comes, like others in the series, in 22 oz. bottles. At 9.0% ABV I wouldn’t drink one while out at a party. This is a beer to savor. I’ve had some “gingerbread” brews before and they had a very dry mouthfeel. This one has a nice smooth rich feel to it. This is more like gingerbread than a ginger brew. The spices are obvious: ginger, cinnamon and cloves. The nutmeg hides with the malts and hops. I enjoyed this beer over about an hour when I was making dinner for Mrs. Dan. I was experimenting with eggplant stuffed bell peppers. It was a rather frustrating recipe but the nice smooth flavor of this brew helped me through it.
Here’s what their website says about this brew: “This rich dark gingerbread stout entices with the aromas of the holidays. The flavor of gingerbread comes alive, beginning with the smooth sweetness and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat. But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief.This rich dark gingerbread stout entices with the aromas of the holidays. The flavor of gingerbread comes alive, beginning with the smooth sweetness and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat. But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief.
Now, back to this damn weather. I think that the greatest contribution that the Augusta National Golf Club could do for mankind is to develop an azalea that only blooms when it hits 80 degrees. There is a myth that the Augusta National created cooling systems under the azaleas to control when they bloom. Back when I covered the Masters for the Chronicle one of the wise leaders of the Club told me you can’t fool mother nature. Heating the greens and using grow lights at night on No. 12 during the winter is one thing, Trying to control when I flower is going to bloom is another. Where they plant the azaleas is not by chance. They planted them in various north and east exposures so they don’t bloom at the same time. That way depending how warm or cold it’s been something will bloom. That’s common sense. But with the warm spells starting 2 months early, rather than a couple of weeks in March as it did not so many years ago the azaleas are long gone by the tournament.
So in order to help mankind I think they need to turn to their greenhouses and start doing what horticulturalists have done for centuries, keep crossbreeding until they discover both a warm and hot weather variety. Face it. It’s going to be warm in April. In 5 years it will probably be hot in April.
If they don’t then I suspect that my son will never see an azalea bloom during the Masters. He’ll just have to suffer through his old man repeating for the 100th time….. “I remember back in the 90’s I actually photographed an azalea during the Masters.”