Beer by the Grill: Samuel Adams Rebel Raw Double IPA

Beer by the Grill: Samuel Adams Rebel Raw Double IPA

Another one in the series, in which I talk about a beer that has been sent to me for comment by the brewer or their PR people. Because one should never turn down a free beer.

I thought I was going to be grilling every day this Memorial Day weekend, but everyone was too filled up with the food I made before. Besides after 3 hours of gardening, sitting around trying get the pink out of another piece of meat just didn’t have any more appeal. But I can still sit by the grill while I’m soaking the grate and the brand new “Flavorizer bar” (also known as the heat shield). So with this in mind…

rebelRaw0-2I got an email about 2 weeks ago from Samuel Adams‘ PR people asking if I had received their shipment of chilled Rebel Raw Double IPA. Well, this was the first I had heard about this at all, so I asked them to check their shipping data. Sure enough, they sent it to the Tribune Tower, because that’s the only address you can find on Chicago Now’s front page. Surely they knew we bloggers work out of our basements? So they tried to send a new package, with a caveat that I should be prepared to drink it cold as soon as it came. When it finally did come it had been in a UPS truck or warehouse for the better part of a week.

It was an impressive package of two 16 ounce cans in a freezer bag with their logo on it, and several Uline “freezie” packs, but of course, they were well past room temperature, so I popped the whole bag into the fridge to re-chill.

This picture shows that the Rebel Raw pours very hazy into my regulation Sam Adams glass. Some bubbles are acting up, feeding the spongy head like an imperial IPA ought to be. This can has a “best before” date on the bottom of June 14th, there are admonitions to”Drink Now” on the can print. That is the proper timing for a strong IPA. I tend to shove some of those things into the cellar for too long and I live to regret it.

The beer’s smell is pretty heavy on hops, mostly with the floral and tropical fruit of exotic hop varietals, and the nose also gives me a fair idea of the 10% alcohol by volume as listed on the can.

The Malt seems a little light, considering it’s supposed to be backing up a very hoppy brew,  but these hops are not especially bitter. It’s more like a basic English IPA recipe that’s been overwhelmed by American pale ale style Hops and to my mind it might need a little more bitterness to counteract all the tropical fruit flavor but that’s just me and as we know the Rebel IPA is the brand that the Sam Adams is trying to use to break in to the hoppy beer market after many years of its traditional Boston Lager.

It could use some tweaking to make it stand out a little more, now that Boston Beer Co.is trying to stake out a spot among all the other  Imperial/Double IPAs. Being as this is a new specialty beer from Sam Adams it’s going to be available pretty widely around the country I believe so it would be worth picking up as a beer to have after ALL of your work for the day is done.

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    Mark McDermott

    Writer, trivia maven, fan of many things. I thought to learn all there is to know about beer as a way to stay interested in learning. It is my pleasure to bring Chicago's craft beer scene to you.

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