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Beer Man: Samuel Adams' White Lantern is a witbier with bite

7:26 PM, Apr. 3, 2013  |  Comments
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Samuel Adams just does not slow down, with a slew of spring releases consisting of an original variation of a witbier, two variety packs and the return of a favorite German lager.

White Lantern is the Belgian-style witbier, packed not only with the typical coriander and orange peel spices, but also grains of paradise and tangerine peel. The beer gets its name from the lanterns used on the ships that carried spices back to Belgium in the 17th century.

The ale's pour reveals a light straw-colored, slightly hazy beer with subtle aromas of citrus fruit and biscuity malt. The dominant flavor is of tangerine, a nice twist to the witbier style.

The lemon-orange notes of the coriander complements the tangerine and orange peel, and the grains of paradise add not only another citrusy component, but also a peppery bite. The use of some wheat malt in the 5.5 percent ABV beer adds a slight sweetness to counteract some fruity tartness. Some minimal bitterness is present that seems more from the rind of the tangerine and orange peel than hops, which have a minor presence. The carbonation is medium and contributes to a nice mouthfeel without being spritzy.

White Lantern is available in bottles and in a Spring Thaw variety pack that also includes Alpine Spring, Irish Red, Double Agent IPL, Boston Lager and Maple Pecan Porter.

The brewery has also just released an IPA (India Pale Ale) Hopology Variety 12-Pack, consisting of Whitewater, Grumpy Monk, Latitude 48, Tasman Red, Dark Depths and Third Voyage. These include mixes of the extra hoppy IPA style with others such as witbier, Baltic porter and Belgian amber, each with different hop mixtures of rather unfamiliar varieties such as Zeus, Topaz, Ahtanum, Galaxy and Mosaic, along with more familiar ones such as Cascade, Simcoe and Saaz. It packs a big tasty beer education in a small pack.

Add to these recent offerings single bottles of the tasty seasonal Alpine Spring German-style lager and you have a nice variety of beers to choose from this season from the brewery.

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