Samuel Adams Infinium
Samuel Adams Infinium
- Malty, very mild citrus
- Mildy sweet
A great American lager with champagne-like effervescence. Would be a top pick, except for it’s price.
I got to uncork an Infinium on the new year’s eve. Samuel Adams created a lot of mystery around their collaboration between themselves and the German Weihenstephan brewery. It was easy to miss the bottle in my local distributor, because it looks like a champagne bottle and the words “Samuel” and “Adams” are nary to be found. From what I heard from the distributors, Samuel Adams was only offering one case per store, and nothing more until the next batch. Samuel Adams posted 4 videos demonstrating the collaborative 2-year process, but, outside of craft beer news hounds, there was very little advertising of the new product. But it sold.So, Samuel Adams did a great job of building word-of-mouth excitement about Infinium, but how does it taste?
The bottle is corked, like a champagne bottle. Samuel Adams recommends serving the beer at 40°, as one would serve a sparkling wine. When poured into a fluted glass, the head and effervescence—constant ribbons of tight, small bubbles—and even the color are reminiscent of a dry champagne; although, the color is a bit more amber than most sparkling wines. Samuel Adams encourages the drinker to thing of this as a dry Champagne (note the capital C) in every way including the marketing verbiage.
So how does it taste?
Well, not like a dry champagne, capital C or otherwise. It tastes a lot like the missing, Great American Lager I was pining for last year. And this was, oddly, a let down.
Let me state, definitively, Infinium is delicious. It’s mild enough to be enjoyed by non-beer drinkers, and slightly sweet and cidery to please those who like softer flavors in their alcohol. It’s a great trick, because, again like a sparkling wine, Infinium is over 10% alcohol. I assume that, because of the higher alcohol content, Samuel Adams is advising us to drink it like a wine, so we pour it into a fluted glass instead of a pint glass. The citrus of the hops are there, subtly, and the spice is very subdued. It’s a really good American lager; it’s not at all like a dry champagne. Yes, it tastes great, but I was expecting something different.
The failed expectations and the price—I found an apparently cheap bottle for $18 (for 750 ml)—prevent me from rating this as “recommended,” but if I come across another bottle, I’ll get it again. It is a great lager, and Mrs. Ferment, not a beer drinker, enjoys it, so it’s has it’s value. But other than serving size and bubbles, I wouldn’t call it “Champagne-like.”