Beer Review 0422: Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA (2013, with Mosaic Hops)

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Mosaic hops are all the rage these days — the hop, developed by Hop Breeding Company, LLC, was released in 2012 and is prized for its floral, tropical, fruity, and earthy characteristics. Officially, it’s the daughter of a combination of Simcoe and Nugget hops.

Most new IPAs hitting the market seem to containing Mosaic as brewers experiment with a new spectrum of aroma and flavors. And Boston Beer Company are no exception — they’ve taken a beer that has been in their portfolio for some time and have updated it for 2013 to include Mosaic.

Latitude 48 IPA also contains Hallertau Mittelfrueh, East Kent Golding, Zeus, Simcoe, and Ahtanum. All the hops used in this brew are grown close to the 48th latitude. Coming in at 6% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 60 IBUs (International Bitterness Units), Latitude 48 is available year-round in six-packs, so no searching out those Sam Adams variety packs for this one.

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The pour drew and average size, creamy and lasting head atop a orange-amber beer that seemed a little dark for an IPA. The body was exceptionally clear and translucent, featuring no particles or sediment, obviously a filtered beer. Lacing was excellent, leaving behind solid sheets on every side of the glass. A nice looking beer.

On the nose, there’s a nice yet retrained profile of hops — complex notes of tropical fruits, lime, and grapefruit that mingle with some lightly dank resinous pine. The malt body is light, packing caramel and grain, while orange peel and even some fruity orange linger around with a small hint of peach.

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Tasting, the palate is greeted with a punch of grapefruit and mild tropical fruits; we’re not talking tropical fruit juice concentrate, but more of a mango-pineapple touch that nicely combines with the caramel malt. The malt side does have some teeth to it, and kind of overtakes the middle, until the finish comes on with ample grapefruit, orange peel, and clean bitterness that doesn’t stay too long. I thought that the mouthfeel, which is thin but creamy, really helped to give a solid malt backing to the hops. I found Latitude 48 to be medium-bodied.

I must say…excellent job to Samuel Adams on this one. Typically, I find their beers to be pretty good but never great; this beer is excellent in the fact that it has enough hops to retain the interest of a hop head, yet still enough body that your average beer drinker who doesn’t give a damn about different types of hops will appreciate. The easy drinkability, good price, and balance make this a nice one to keep around in the fridge for everyday enjoyment.

Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA (2013, with Mosaic Hops), 92 points. Price: $1.49 US for one twelve ounce bottle.

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