Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bad Adams

I picked up a bottle of Samuel Adams Triple Bock at Batson Liquor the other day. It was really an imlpulse buy because Batson has some clearance items and showcase items up by the register. The price seemed right and I've never had the triple bock so I pulled the trigger.
I stored it downstairs in the bar for a good week until I had an evening where I just wanted to sip something all night long. That night was last night, Stella was busy getting all of our twin girls' old Gymboree clothes ready for some sort of Gymboree garage sale (we're seriously going to make about a grand off this sale). I'm kind of thankful we can combine the 4 or 5 Rubbermaid totes into one and gain some more space in out utility room. Alright, that's neither here nor there, the point is we were going to watch "Superbad" on DVD again. I was going to try and finish a book I've been working on reading this week so I didn't want to get tipsy or anything. Perfect opportunity to drink an 8 oz beer that is supposed to be treated like a brandy or cognac.

I poured about half the bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack Series glass. It was a real dark brown color with no head whatsoever (like an old married couple). I've never seen a beer give a glass a lacing like this one. It almost painted my glass, to the point that Stella asked me if it had iodine in it.

This beer really does taste good with vanilla, oak and maple notes well balanced. I tend to not like most oaky beers because it ends up being so overpowering but not with the Triple Bock. At one point Stella asked me if I liked it and I said that I did, but I didn't think I would get it again. As I was nearing the end of the bottle I started to notice the lacing on my glass had some specks on it. Then I took another drink and I felt a little chunk of something stuck on my teeth. I scraped it off with my finger, looked at it and it was a chunk of Triple Bock. In the picture below that is my finger with the chunk and you can also see the specks on the lacing in the glass.

The picture below didn't really turn out that great but I was trying to get a picture of the black specks in the lacing on the glass.

The picture below is a look through the bottle head as I held it up to the light. If you look you can tell where the specks and chunks came from. It looks like the beer coated the bottle and hardened somewhat and when I poured the beer the crusty beer chunked off and ended up in my glass and in my teeth.

It's pretty hard to come back from getting a chunky beer. I had to dump the 2 or 3 oz I had left. I'm going to chalk it up to being a really old beer but looking at the bottle doesn't tell you anything about how old it is. I wish that I wouldn't have had the bad experience with this beer and while I probably wouldn't have bought it again for myself, I would have been able to recommend it. But I certainly can't recommend it now and I would definitely stay away from the ones at Batson liquor.


  1. I wrote about my purchase a week or so ago. Haven't cracked it yet myself. But this beer is at least 10 years old!

  2. I know, I read your post and I happened to go to Batson right after that. Be careful with that stuff, beer chunks are unappetizing.

  3. Perhaps this beer is bottle conditioned. Bottle conditioned beers usually have a layer of yeast and particles that will eventually drop out of the beer. Some drink it all but I know a lot of people will not drink the last of a bottle conditioned beer.

  4. maybe you have a new consumer product on your hands- dried beer, beer crunch,beer crisps, beer chips or beer rinds.I want my portrait on the first batch.

  5. Have some Beer Flakes as part of your next well rounded breakfast!

    A prize in the bottom of every bottle!

  6. As much as I like many of their products, I've never liked Sam Adam's Triple Bock. I've tried every vintage for the past 14 years, and have had 3 to 12 year old versions of some of those no avail.

    Save your money and buy some prune juice (and then put it in a pretty cobalt-blue bottle). It'll also be a healthier thing to do.

    Happy trails,
    Bad Ben

  7. I will preface this by saying that I do like Triple Bock. I drank many, many bottles from 95 through 99. The last bottle I had was in 2002 and was a 97 vintage and it had the same issues you had. One of the bottles I opened had the cork nearly disintegrate in my hand as it had dried out so much. The taste of it was horrid. If I hadn't been exposed to a fresher bottle I would have instantly been put off by it. Unfortunately you've missed out on what can be a truly wonderful after dinner beer.

  8. Bought it and realized it was a great cooking bear. I used it to make a batter for shrimp tempura.