Boston 375 Colonial Ale

You gotta love traditional/historical beers (I do, anyway): here’s a review of Samuel Adams Boston 375 Colonial Ale, on draft only in Boston, that aims to emulate the kind of colonial beer that Sam Adams himself would have brewed.

Pouring cloudy and deep-glowing amber, this unfiltered ale immediately imparts a richly sweet aroma, tinged with a pleasing, earthy acridity. The first pull reveals a smooth and viscous beer, almost chewy, that splits the difference between smoky and sweet, with burnished notes of caramel and brown sugar. Well-hidden, too, is a faint bite of dark rum. That’s no accident.

"In colonial days, a significant portion of fermentable materials came from blackstrap molasses," says Sam Adams founder Jim Koch. So while Boston 375 uses two-row Harrington, Munich, and caramel malts, about a third of the fermentable stuff comes from molasses – hence the rum flavor. The subtle smokiness comes from a fourth type of malt, which Koch smoked lightly to approximate what early American brewers would have used.

BeerAdvocate has a more detailed article about the beer. Sounds good… now I only need an excuse to go to Boston. :)