Jan 3, 2011

Sam Adams Infinium Ale

Like many of you out there, I skipped the champagne this year (yet again) and stuck with a craft brewed alternative. Last year it was Aspall’s Cuvee Chevallier. This year the collaborative efforts of Sam Adams Brewing and Weihenstephan gave me Infinium Ale.

Sam Adams Infinium Ale

Brewed within the strict restrictions of Germany’s Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), Infinium utilizes only water, malt, hops and yeast within the confines of this slick looking bottle. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the brewers couldn’t play with those items some. This 10.3% ABV Champagne Beer is brewed with malted barley, malted wheat and malted oat. On top of that, Hallertau Mittlefrueh, Spalt Spalter, Tettnang Tettnanger and Hersbrucker Noble hops were employed with additional dry hopping. Sam Adams proprietary ale yeast and a Belgian yeast were used, as well.

The result is something light, crisp and refreshing that reminded me of a cross between Schloss Eggenberg Urbock 23° and a Belgian Saison — a tasty combo that served us well New Year’s Eve.


First off, the corked let loose with an audible pop that surprised me with it’s volume. Luckily, unlike champagne, this brew stayed within the bottle until it was time to pour. Once poured, it looks very similar to champagne complete with a large white cap that faded slowly above a dark amber color and plenty of carbonation activity.


Bready malts, sweetness, light fruits, a subtle herbiness (clove maybe) and Belgian yeast mix together to give the beer a Saison character, but without the farmhouse funk the style usually conveys. There isn’t much of an alcohol presence at this point.


While still nicely carbonated, it’s not nearly as active on the tongue as I would have thought. The crisp mouthfeel carries bready malts, light fruits (apple/pear), honey sweetness, grassy hops and a bit of a warming finish. The Belgian yeast is definitely in the mix, but not as funky as a Saison.


There was a good deal of hype associated with this beer and while I’m not entirely sure it may have lived up to it, it’s certainly far from underwhelming. Infinium is an easy-to-drink brew that has plenty of flavor and served as a perfect surrogate for our New Year’s celebratory toast. I wonder how this one would age…

Rating: 4/5

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