The Maple Kind, Yeah?

Brewery and Country of Origin: Sam Adams Brewery (Boston Beer Company) of 30 Germania Street, Boston, MA, 02130, USA

Date Reviewed: 5-13-13

The Acer (no, not the cheap computer company), otherwise known as the Maple Tree, is a broad range of deciduous plants (trees and shrubs) which are found all over the world. While most of the 128 species of Acer originate from Asia, the tall trees have become ubiquitous when describing forests in North America. In fact, the maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada, being featured on their coat of arms, on their flag, and being the logo of many Canadian organizations including the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, Air Canada, and the canadian operating subsidiaries of General Motors and McDonalds. Aside from that, the maple tree is known for less noble things like lumber, fall foliage, and of course, its maple syrup and maple sugar, both of which are derived from its tree sap. Maple syrup is a highly sought after commercial product and is used in a large range of culinary applications. The maple tree uses the sap for starch storage in the colder seasons. People can collect the sweet sap by drilling holes into the trunk of the tree, and letting the sap flow out into a jar. After collection, the sap is boiled to evaporate most of the water content, leaving behind the sweet syrup. In Canada, maple syrup accounts for about $141 million in exports annually. The largest US producer is Vermont, which constitutes about 5.50% of global production. In order for the syrup to be officially called maple syrup, it has to be made of at least 66% sugar (mostly sucrose), and the sap can't come from another kind of tree. Maple syrup is very popular being served as a breakfast accessory commonly eaten with pancakes, french toast, waffles, sausage, and oatmeal. If the syrup is boiled down even further, it creates maple sugar, which is commonly eaten as a confectionary treat (the pieces are often shaped like a maple leaf). Maple sugar is roughly twice as sweet as normal sugar cane sugar. It's also used as a sweetener in baking, and sometimes, like we've seen before, maple syrup is used in brewing as a supplemental, flavorful, and fermentable sugar. Oh, and we like pecans, too.
Date Sampled: 5-04-13 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA 02134, USA
Beer Style: American Porter
Alcohol by Volume: 5.60%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 14 oz Sam Adams Glass
Rating: 3.17


This porter has a very dark reddish blackish brown color with a dull shine, and a fairly clear, mostly filtered appearance with a small amount of noticeable sediment. This pours fairly smoothly with a moderately low amount of carbonation action, producing a short foam head with a low retention rate, a medium density, and a quarter inch height. This beer shows moderate lacing.


This beer showcases an aroma full of sweet roasted malt with a prominent caramel presence. There are some dark bittersweet chocolate malt notes with a very small amount of under-balancing hops. The aroma is pretty high in strength without being overpowering. There are some slightly nutty, vanilla, and biscuity notes detectable, and no fruit or alcohol present.


This is a medium light bodied beer with an average amount of carbonation, a moderate weight, a fairly low viscosity, and a slightly dry finish. This beer has a somewhat smooth texture with a bit of finishing refreshment. This beer has no added texture from the small amount of sediment. There is no alcohol warming, as this is a cool, easy going beer overall.


This beer is sweet overall with a good amount of roasted malt, especially sweet caramel malt, accompanied with a good amount of chocolate and subtle coffee notes. This beer has no fruity aspect, but does come with a slightly biscuity and sweet cookie character. This beer finishes with a small amount of trailing hops, creating a somewhat bitter lingering aftertaste.

Our Take

We wouldn't recommend pouring this generously on your next short stack or waffle plate. What we would suggest though, is enjoying this beer with maybe some sort of sweet dessert, or pancakes for dinner... unless contrast is more your thing. Either way, this is a sweet beer which we think will be received fairly well with anyone who is interested in maltier beers with a bit of vanilla and sweet toffee like flavor. Of course, much of this beer's flavor is derived from its malt rather than maple syrup, as we found with the Harpoon Catamount. So don't dive into this part of your balanced breakfast expecting a mouth full of Vermont's third most important product (aside from sharp cheddar and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, of course). This beer is not going to go well with people looking for a bit more of a traditional bitterweet porter experience, and we also wouldn't expect this beer to be an all time favorite on anyone's list. But we believe that Sam Adam's newest porter has some good qualities which make it a great go to beverage for those who are sort of ready to move on to spring, but don't want to part ways with the whole darker beer scene.