I’ve continued my foray into Sam Adams’ 2011 Longshot series. I’ve always loved the premise, but this year’s batch has left something wanting from me (I really liked last year’s lavender and black IPA batches). I had another perfectly good, but not a knock-your-socks-off beer in Corey Martin’s A Dark Night in Munich, a Munich dunkel style. It’s currently got an 83 on Beer Advocate.
As my palate has changed, I suppose my overall appreciation for Sam Adams beers has changed as well. I still love nearly all of what they produce, but I often find myself wishing that their beers would have some more kick to them, whether in ABV or overall taste. Sam Adams certainly accomplishes a great balance, however, between something you’d want to have as a “unique” beer and something that will be enjoyed by the masses. I’ve found that this year’s Longshot series – while very good – falls into that category.
Dark Night in Munich starts off with a super-strong malt smell with maybe some yeast coming through as well. It’s mostly a light whiff, but if you really stick your nose in it’ll come out. Definitely some chocolate too. The mouthfeel was middle-of-the-road: not thin, but with some body to it that sticks around on your tongue.
The taste was easily more complex, but still led by a strong malt flavor. As the beer warmed it was a bit more balanced with caramel and also some bitterness at the finish. What I found most interesting was after I let the glass sit for about 20 minutes, the taste took on almost a barleywine-junior kind of flavor. Perhaps in the way that the big malt flavor was the star of the show. The difference in alcohol – Munich was 5.9 percent – gives you the “junior” side of that.
Here’s Corey Martin doing an interview with Austin Homebrew about his background and the Longshot process: