Samuel Adams is proud to announce the launch of their first three Nitro beers in their Nitro Project. After countless experiments and three years in the nanobrewery at the Sam Adams Boston Brewery, replacing carbonation with nitrogen, they crafted three brews—Nitro White Ale, Nitro IPA, and Nitro Coffee Stout. Although Nitro beers are commonly associated with stouts, Samuel Adams wanted to break into this beer area of expertise and do something a little different. When they replaced the carbonation with nitrogen, they could get a creamy texture, smaller bubbles, and less acidity. In addition, Samuel Adams wanted the consumer to be able to experience their Nitro beers at home, so they designed a special can with a nitrogen widget at the bottom. The result is a perfect pour of a cascading Nitro beer. The cascading is spectacularly dramatic with the Nitro White Ale lasting about 90 seconds. For something a little different while still keeping with the quality and ethos we expect from Sam Adams, these Nitro beers are worth a try.
First we sampled the Nitro White Ale. Upon opening the can, it was suggested to us to tip the can upside down and pour into the specially designed Samuel Adams Nitro glass, a shorter glass with a rim wide enough so you can stick your beer can in upside down. The wider bulb of the glass helps to dramatize the cascading effect. The result is a dramatic golden cascading on the sides of the glass. You are left with a creamy white head that settles nicely. Having not had the experience of tasting many Nitro beers, we were surprised at this pairing of creamy head and golden medium-bodied wheat ale. The texture is velvety, and the taste is spicy and citrusy. You can taste the orange and hints of Grains of Paradise. Suggested food pairings with this beer are lighter fairs like salads and fish, but it also can complement dishes with heat like tacos or chili verde.
The second brew we sampled was the Nitro IPA. Upon pouring this can, you can notice how clear this deep amber beer is. This Nitro IPA is smooth and bitter. The hops are made from a special brew of Amarillo (orange, grapefruit and notes of tangerine for sweetness), Centennial (medium citrus floral), Galaxy (Citrusy, spicy and herbal with hints of green fruits and red berries), Polaris (intense floral, fruity, subtle mint), Simcoe (strong pine character), and Zeus (Earthy and spicy with soft hints of citrus). This beer leaves you with a strong piney taste. It was a little bitter for our taste, but suggested food pairings would be fish and chips or cheesy nachos. The hop bitterness would pair well with these pub favorites as the bitterness helps cut the fattiness.
Lastly, we sampled the Samuel Adams Nitro Coffee Stout. This beer is the one we would expect to be a Nitro brew. Upon pouring from our can, we got a nice velvety cream cascading into a jet black robust brew. The taste of this stout is of dark chocolate and smooth roasted coffee beans, think mocha. The dark roasted malts give it a bittersweet chocolate flavor, and the Sumatran Mandheling and Indian Monsoon Malabar coffee beans give the deep roasted coffee flavor. Sumatran Mandheling coffee is grown in volcanic soil in Indonesia, which gives it its chocolate and earthy flavors and a mild acidity. Indian Monsoon Malabar coffee beans develop a lower acidity when exposed to monsoon rains and winds. The result is a rich coffee stout with mild acidity. This stout would pair well with a variety of foods including chocolate desserts and steaks or game meats. Oysters are also a classic pairing with stouts because of their briny characteristics.
We would pick the Sam Adams Nitro Coffee Stout as our favorite for the rich coffee and chocolate flavors, smoothness, and lower acidity, followed by the Nitro White Ale for its citrusy taste and creaminess, and lastly the Nitro IPA for its creaminess, piney and bitter flavors. Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale, Nitro IPA, and Nitro Coffee Stout are available in February 2016 in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans for a suggested retail price of $8.99-$10.99. Overall, we say the Nitro Project is a success, and we love that you can bring home these three Nitro beers to the comfort of your own home and still get a perfect pour.