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The Mans Cave was a concept originated long before my time. The men in my family have always had their place of solitude where men could be men and there was no questioning. I now live the city life which means the man cave has been greatly reduced in size. That brought me to create an internet based man cave where all men can join in. Whether geek, gamer, jock, fitness, brewer, BBQ-er, or just looking for a place to read about manly news, you will find a home in the Man Cave

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed Beer Review: Special Release

Welcome back to all of our themanscave.org fans!
Hope you all had a relaxing weekend and enjoyed some great beer as well.  I was looking through the store for a beer to do a new video review on (Milk Stout Video Review will be coming soon!) and I happened upon a 12-pack from Sam Adams that I had never seen before: the Latitude 48 Deconstructed IPA.  The Latitude 48 IPA is a great beer from Sam Adams, so I had to see what this was all about.  Turns out that the brewers at Sam Adams wanted to showcase each of the 5 different hops that are used in Latitude 48, so in the 12-pack, you get 2 of each beer that has been brewed with the same recipe as the 48, with the exception that only one type of hop is used for each beer.  The base of each beer is identical, so each of these beers is similar in the malty flavor that is apparent.  However, the difference in hops has a remarkable impact on the difference in each of these beers.  While many homebrewers have done experiments like this, it is pretty awesome that a brewery the size of Sam Adams goes out on a limb to try something like this.

Base Review of Latitude 48 IPA-  The first thing that surprises me about this beer is its color.  It pours a dark, rich golden almost brown.  Unlike most IPAs and Pale ales, which are usually lighter in color.  The aroma is immediately hops, and a blend of citrusy, mostly grapefruit, piney, and a slight pepper type smell.  The head on this beer is pretty impressive, and it sticks to your glass the entire time you are drinking it.  The taste follows the smell.  Bright resiny and citrusy.  It definitely has that bite from the hops, but as the color shows, there are still some solid malt flavors behind it.  For those of you looking for something that is going to blow you away, like Hop Stoopid, this is not it.  But Sam Adams has become great at producing high quality beers that can be enjoyed more than once, without feeling like a trainwreck.  Rating 8/10

The Deconstructed Reviews:

Zeus-Intense piney, resinous flavor and aroma dominates this version.  These hops are clearly part of the original version, but in much more restrained fashion.  Almost too pungent to be likeable, but partly balanced by the malty flavors.

Ahtanum- My personal favorite out of these deconstructed versions.  The hops and malts are in better balance than the Zeus and Simcoe, and an orange flavor from the hops actually helps to increase the perceived sweetness.  There is still that nice bite from piney, American hops, but the orange helps to smooth this one out.

Simcoe- This is my second favorite of the deconstructed versions.  There is that same intense piney, resinous flavor and aroma like the Zeus hops, but there is just a hint of some citrus in there as well, with the citrus leaning towards orange.  This version makes me want to use some Simcoe hops in my homebrewing.

East Kent Goldings- This is bar far the most subtle of the hops.  In fact, this version tastes more like an amber ale than an IPA.  The hops are subtle, earthy, and allow the malts to take over the flavor more so than the other versions.  Hard to tell if you are actually tasting this one in the original Lat 48.

Hallertau Mittelfrueh- You can clearly tell that this hop is one of Sam Adam's favorites.  The spicy, earthiness is most recognizable in the Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but it is on overdrive in this offering.  The spiciness is nice, but it lacks some need sweetness.

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