The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
New beers from Samuel Adams, Widmer and new cider from Bantam
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By Norman Miller
April 9, 2013 5:20 p.m.

This week, I’m taking a look at a few new beers, as well as a truly fabulous cider.
I’ll start with the best. The new Bantam Cider Company La Grande is absolutely world-class. I’ve had a lot of ciders, and this one stands out among them all.
La Grande is made with French heirloom apples, and aged for four months in both Bourbon and rum barrels. The combination of those flavors give this cider a truly unique blend. Both the Bourbon and rum is present, and work well-together, and you get a little vanilla-oak flavors.
A truly fabulous drink that I really hope they make again.
Next up is two new beers in the Samuel Adams’ summer mixed pack – the Blueberry Hill Lager and the Little White Rye.†
Of these two, I enjoyed the Blueberry Hill Lager much better, which really surprised me. I’m not a huge fan of blueberry beers, but the blueberry is not overpowering, and the blueberry flavor you get is reminiscent of blueberry pie. A nice, solid beer.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about the Little White Rye. The Little White Rye is a Belgian witbier brewed with a twist – it is made with white sage as well as rye, along with orange and coriander.
Unfortunately, the flavors don’t mesh at all. To me, the white sage almost made the beer taste slightly soapy (the glass was not soapy). It wasn’t a pleasant flavor. The rye also didn’t add the spiciness I want from rye, either.
The final new beer is the new Alchemy Ale from Widmer Brothers.
The Alchemy Ale is a 6 percent ABV pale ale. It is a solid beer, a nice hop aroma and flavor. It’s a good full-bodied beer. Overall, this is a good pale ale and you could do a lot worse if you’re seeking that style at the store.

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