Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Beer Review: Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

When The Common Man was but The Common Boy, he and his brother, The Dentist, would always order the same drink, Cherry Seven-Up with extra cherries. You see, it was important that the beverage not taste like Seven-Up, but like bubbly cherry juice. And the extra maraschino cherries skewered by a plastic sword made for excellent hors d'oerves. Slowly, as their tastes matured, the brothers moved on to Cherry Coke (preferably with the cherries), until it was no longer socially acceptable to order a cherry-flavored drink with extra cherries. And, indeed, soon the appeal of the cherry-flavored beverage was squelched altogether.

When The Common Man first sipped Sam Adams' Cherry Wheat this evening, he was magically transported back to those days when extra grenadine and extra cherries were an integral part of any beverage. The cherries are frighteningly strong, and really overshadow the rest of the beer. Though it may have been exciting when The Common Man was still nine, sadly the overabundance of cherry goodness was a real turnoff to someone who was looking forward to a good beer. Instead, The Common Man got a bubbly mouthful of cherry. A cherry bomb. A veritable explosion of cherries.

This is surprising, since the Samuel Adams website claims that "The sweet fruitiness of the cherries is balanced against the crisp, cereal note from the malted wheat and the subtle citrus flavor from the Noble hops." Phooey, The Common Man says. This beer has the balance of a drunken Ohio State fan after a crushing and depressing defeat to USC. Or the balance of an inebriated Penn State backer revelling in another blowout win over a creampuff non-conference opponent. Just look at the logo there. Sam is surrounded by cherries. Like a football player (not a kicker) dragged to the ballet by his girlfriend, Sam just seems out of place. A real man surrounded by girliness. Baffled by a world he didn't make, and that has moved on without him.

And it's not like it's impossible to make a good cherry beer. Friend of the blog, Godfather to The Boy, and The Common Man's private brewmaster, The Deacon, has perfected a Cherry Porter that has a decent-sized cherry flavor but still tastes like a beer. Indeed, it's one of very few fruity-tasting beers manly enough for The Common Man. It may be, along with The Deacon's Drubble, The Common Man's favorite on a cold morning of tailgating, before the scrambled eggs and toast have been grilled on the barbecue and the Porembas have broken out the Taco Ring.

So, as wonderful as Sam Adams tends to be, the Cherry Wheat is a sad failure for them. Terribly disappointing for a beer that knows how to please a man. You might like it, you know, if you're a girl. Or if you don't like beer with your beer. If the latter's the case, you're not welcome at The Common Man's tailgate. If it's the former, feel free to stop by. The Common Man always has a fru-fru beer in the cooler for emergencies.

1 comment:

Kevin (ReturnToManliness) said...

OK, my friend, I have been absent for some time due to personal issues, but I have to say I love the memories of this beer. This was one of the standby's at our wedding and was a huge it. I have not had it since (10 years) but would like to try it again. Maybe I liked it because I don't know a good substitute, but I just do.

Don't bash me too bad for it, but I understand if you take a few swipes at me (for 1. being MIA for about a month now both here and my own blog and 2. loving a surely chick drink that brings back such fond memories.

I will be posting again this week for the first time since things have gotten a little crazy my house. Glad to be back reading TCM as well.