May 25, 2012

Sam Adams Long Shot Derf’s Secret Alt

Derf’s Secret Alt is the last of the Sam Adams Long Shot winners in the mixed pack I purchased a little while ago. The altbier weighs in at a whopping 9.3% ABV which puts it more in the “imperial” range than most beers typically of this style. And you can tell right away that it’s potent upon the first wiff as a boozy character rises from the beer’s surface. It’s a little too overpowering at times which made this one my least favorite of the group.


Derf’s Secret Alt pours a dark, rich amber with a khaki colored head that dropped slowly.


Right away the scent of alcohol arrives, followed closely by rich caramel, dark fruits, a solid bit of sweetness, grain and a light roast malt.


The earthy character the malt backbone greets your first while a decent bit of lingering hop bitterness joins in on the fun. Grain notes, molasses, dark fruits and a good deal fo sweetness are also present within this beer’s depths. The alcohol is prevalent throughout the drinking process leaves a warmth in the chest that hangs around for a good bit.


All in all, this altbier isn’t too bad. It’s well balanced between the malt and complimentary hop bitterness in the finish, but the sweetness and alcohol presence are just a bit too much for my liking. I understand that this isn’t a typical example of the style and it was brewed to win a contest, but it’s still a little too strong for its own good. As a whole, the entire Long Shot six pack collection was pretty well rounded and showcased a variety of styles and interpretations of the styles. I look forward to trying out the next batch of winners.


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