I love to post reviews of new beers soon after the beers are released, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out. A good example is the Sam Adams Rebel IPA series. When they released the original Rebel IPA I intended to write a full review, but the timing didn’t work out (I tried it at a bar and didn’t take notes and then didn’t grab a bottle in a timely manner). I was also going to do a big review on all of the Rebel IPAs when Sam Adams released Rebel Rouser (their DIPA) and Rebel Rider (a session IPA) earlier this year, but every time I stopped at a bottle shop they would be out of one or the other. These beers were an interesting change in strategy for Sam Adams. They had resisted brewing a West-coast style IPA for many years and now they have three beers that fall into this bucket. Sam Adams founder Jim Koch tries to focus on brewing beers he enjoys drinking and has been critical of this style of hop-bomb IPAs in the past. I imagine the market for these beers, combined with poor sales growth amongst some of Sam Adams other styles, led to this change in philosophy. I thought Rebel IPA was decent, solid hop flavor but not very bitter, compared to its contemporaries it might be more of a pale ale than an IPA but that’s a minor quibble. I had heard good things about the new beers, especially the double IPA Rebel Rouser, so I finally got to try it and do a formal review. Better late than never I guess. Sam Adams Rebel Rouser is brewed with 7 varieties of hops and is available year round on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Sam Adams Rebel Rouser pours a deep orange with a moderate off-white head. The scent is solidly hoppy, mostly citrus fruit and a little pine. The taste is also pleasantly hop-forward, notes of resin, lemon, grass and orange. The hop flavor is accompanied by the characteristic hoppy bite, not aggressive but noticeable. There is enough malt for balance, just a touch of caramel and whole grain bread. Rebel Rouser is very clean for a bigger beer, even at 8.4% ABV the beer goes down smooth without boozy flavor. Overall this is a really well done beer. I’ve had better DIPAs but they are usually much more expensive than this. This is probably my favorite beer amongst Sam Adams new hop-forward offerings. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Sam Adams Reviews: