This is one of those times of years where a bunch of new beers are available and I’m going to take a look at a few of them.
First up is the Boulevard Brewing Company’s 80-Acre Wheat, a 5.5 percent ABV wheat beer.
This beer is new to Massachusetts, but was previously released in other markets.
The 80-Acre Wheat is not your typical wheat beer. This is hoppy, similar to an IPA, or a hoppy pale ale. The smell of citrusy hops is fantastic.
The 80 Acre-Wheat has the body of a wheat beer, but the hops add a nice touch that you don’t get from your normal wheat beer. I think this will become one of my summer go to beers next year as an alternative to the boatload of flavorless American pale wheat ales that dot the shelves during the warmer months.
Next up is the Magic Hat Wooly, a 4.5 percent ESB brewed with spruce.
You can only pick up a little of the spruce in the aroma. Tastewise, you may not be tasting a Christmas tree, but I get some add flavor that kind of reminds me of ashes. I had trouble getting past that flavor.
The Wooly is part of Magic Hat’s winter mixed pack, which is still worth picking it up. The mixed pack features Magic Hat’s best beer, the Heart of Darkness, a wonderful stout.
I have not hid the fact that I’m a huge fan of the Mystic Brewery. One of their newest beers is the Three Cranes, a 7 percent ABV saison brewed with cranberries.
I actually enjoyed this with my Thanksgiving dinner, and just like the rest of Mystic’s beers, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The cranberry flavor does not overwhelm the rest of the beer. Rather it is a compliment to the rest of the flavors. The beer is extremely well-done, exactly what I expect from Mystic.
One of Samuel Adams’ latest beers is the Merry Mischief, a 9.5 percent ABV gingerbread stout.
The Merry Mischief smells phenomenal, like freshly baked gingerbread cookies. The one negative is the body. It’s not as full-bodied as you’d expect such a big beer to be, but the flavor is definitely there.
The Merry Mischief had the potential to be too sweet, but Samuel Adams did a good job of keeping it from crossing into the cloying category. It is definitely a dessert type of beer, but all of the flavors blend nicely. It tastes like a gingerbread cookie.
This next beer may be hard to find. I keep hearing of more and more stores selling out. The Stone Brewing Company Enjoy By IPA (Massachusetts’ version is Enjoy by 12.21.12) is a beer meant to be imbibed fresh. If there are any more left on the shelf after Dec. 21, it’ll be pulled.
No matter if you buy into the hype of the beer having to be drunk that quickly or not, the Enjoy By IPA is a fabulous double IPA.
It comes in at 9.4 percent ABV, and smells of pine and some pineapple. Those aromas become flavor when you take a first sip, and there is a little spiciness to the beer.
Although this is a beer for hopheads, there is more than enough of a malt backbone to keep this beer balanced. If you’re into hoppy beers, this is one to seek out. Look for it, and if it’s gone, just hope it comes back in the future.
Finally, the Wormtown Brewery’s newest double IPA, Buddha Juice is the brewery’s best double IPA to date.