The Brew Site

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

Every good brewer has a miss now and again, and unfortunately, that’s how I’d rate Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic.

It’s tough to do lambic well, even tougher when you’re not actually located in Belgium. So I’ll give Sam Adams props for trying. And, they were brewing this beer as early as 1990, largely before the notion of "lambic" was even in the American consciousness.

This was one of the beers that came in their seasonal holiday pack; all of the others I rather liked (particularly the Black Lager), but this one, while not undrinkable, is certainly not a lambic. It’s different.

Appearance: Very clear, golden honey color. Rising bubbles remind me of champagne, though there’s not much of a head.

Smell: Sour cranberries. Almost a musty fruit. Hint of wheat; lactic sour dominates.

Taste: Definitely character of musty—almost moldy—berries. Slight sweet over the sour… could be maple. Neutral wheat. Not bad as a standalone cranberry ale, but definitely not a lambic.

Mouthfeel: Light, like a cider… bubbly. Odd feeling from musty character.

On BeerAdvocate, this only scores 75 out of 100, with reviews an even 50/50 split on approval. On RateBeer, it scores 2.52 out of 5 and is only in their 18th percentile.