At last!!!, another epic quest to find an elusive alcoholic concoction has finally come to its conclusion. Last night, I got a chance to sample the first collaborative effort between craft beer extraordinaire Samuel Adams and the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan, christened, the Infinium. I know it may sound ridiculous, but I spent the better part of the first half of 2011 trying to secure a bottle of the new creation and to no avail. Thankfully, my fortune finally changed thanks to Foxes Cigar Bar in Gilbert, Arizona. As soon as I heard it was available locally, I instantly dropped everything for the chance to conquer one of my many, slightly wobbly, white whales. Infinium Ale is a unique amalgamation combining the richness of American craft ale with the physical nature of slightly dry champagne. As Jim Koch, owner of Samuel Adams Brewery stated, Infinium is a “champagne-like beer with fine bubbles and a fruity, spicy aroma. Its light malt character is balanced by the Noble hops that impart a soft citrus and floral flavor.” The other half of this dynamic duo is the Weihenstephan Brewery is actually the oldest brewery in the entire world, founded over 1000 years ago. Never settling for the status quo, Samuel Adams and the Bavarian brewery combined their expert skills and refined traditions to create a truly out of the ordinary product.
Having finally tried it, I’m not sure if I would characterize anything about the Infinum’s flavor profile as being light. As soon as I raised the glass to my mouth the nose of the ale, comprised mostly of heavy hops and sweet floral aromas, instantly grabbed my attention. The flavor is definitely unique and different, but the flavor also releases a subdued sense of familiarity thanks to the Sam Adams Ale. The flavors are pronounced, but also well balanced with a malty finish that coats the palette. My only criticism is that the dryness with which the champagne finishes really leaves your mouth begging for a sip of water. With that in mind, the combination of richness from the hops and sweetness from the malt result in a finish that is a bit overbearing, turning that cleansing sip of water into a near necessity. In the end, the Infinium Ale really is a great example of what one would imagine a top class champagne-beer should taste like. So go immediately to your local beverage warehouse and try to grab two bottles if you can. One to drink, of course, and one to hold onto as the Infinium Ale has a very limited, early December release date and once their gone, that’s it!
Price: 19.xx – 29.xx per bottle
Characteristics: Powerful Noble Hops, sweet malt and rich floral notes make this a unique champagne.
Verdict: If You Can Find It, Buy Now!