The Champagne of Beers?

Sam Adams Infinium
Monday, December 27th, 2010
I regularly peruse the wine aisles at Whole Foods and occasionally wander down the beer aisle.  On a recent Saturday I was intrigued and enticed to stop at a demo station featuring the recently released Infinium, champagne-style beer from Sam Adams.  It was still early, so they didn't have any of the bubbly beer chilled and opened.  I paid $19.99 to buy a bottle anyway.

Infinium is a collaboration between Sam Adams and Weihenstephan Brewery in Germany.  The beverage conforms to the standards of the German Purity Law, which dates back to 1560.  This law, known as Reinheitsgebot, limits the ingredients of beer to water, malt, hops and yeast.   Infinium is bottled in a 750ml champagne-style bottle and corked with a champagne cork and cage.

In the glass Infinium is a medium golden amber color and generates a full head of foam.  It has abundant tiny, fast moving bubbles.

It presents complex aromas of fresh baked bread, honey, lemon and hints of spice.  My college age son says "it smells like beer".

On the palate - flavors of caramel, honey, lemon, hint of orange zest and a bit of spice.  The college age son says "it tastes like beer".  And, you know, he's right!

I am a fan of Sam Adams beers - my favorite is SA Summer on tap - nothing better to cool down and enjoy on a hot day.  And, I enjoyed my glass of Infinum, but I don't think there is enough added complexity to warrant the steep price.  Image marketing is tricky; perhaps ardent beer drinkers will pay premium for the added bubbles, but I plan to stick with grape based bubbly for my New Year's toast!

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