Sam Adams Latitude 48 (6.0% ABV) is an IPA brewed by Boston Beer Company and they recently began offering an interesting 12 pack called Sam Adams Latitude 48 Deconstructed. This 12 pack offers 6 different blends of Latitude 48 – one is the original and the 5 others use only one of the five hops used in brewing this IPA. For Latitude 48, the five hop varieties used in the brewing process are: 1) Ahtanum (U.S.), 2) East Kent Goldings (U.K.), 3) Hallertau Mittelfrueh (Germany), 4) Simcoe (U.S.), and 5) Zuess (U.S.). Lattitude 48 is named because all these hops grow along the 48th line of latitude. Hops serve as a natural preservative, provide aroma, and provide bitterness to balance the sweetness from the malts used in the brewing process. This will provide the drinker with an interesting tasting experience to sample how each hop variety tastes and what it contributes to the overall aroma, taste and bitterness to Latitude 48. I liked the Simcoe version the best.
From the Samuel Adams web site - Latitude 48 IPA – Samuel Adams® Latitude 48 IPA is a unique IPA brewed with a select blend of hops from top German, English, and American growing regions all located close to the 48th latitude within the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere. The combination of hops in this beer creates a distinctive but not overpowering hop character. The beer is dry hopped with Ahtanum, Simcoe®*, and East Kent Goldings hops for a powerful citrus and earthy aroma. The hop character is balanced by a slight sweetness and full body from the malt blend. The Hop blend is described as, “The unique blend of hops in this beer creates a complex and distinctive hop character and aroma without being overpowering. The Bavarian Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops add a floral note to the beer, the American Simcoe®, Zeus, and Ahtanum contribute a citrusy and piney hop flavor, and the English Goldings add an earthy character. These flavors are balanced with the body from our proprietary pale malt blend and slight sweetness from Gambrinus Honey Malt.”
The descriptions on each bottle with pictures are as follows:
Latitude 48 Ahtanum™ IPA– Ahtanum™ hops [Yakima Valley, WA] contribute a very balanced and typically “American” orange peel, piney and floral flavor and aroma to this brew, tempered by a slight sweetness and full body.
Latitude 48 East Kent Goldings IPA– East Kent Goldings [East Kent, UK] add a mellow bitterness with earthy, floral and apricot notes, offset by a slight sweetness and full body.
Latitude 48 Hallertau Mittelfrueh IPA – Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops [Hallertau, Germany] create soft bitterness along with delicate lemony citrus and resinous pine notes, balanced by a slight sweetness and full body from the malt blend.
Latitude 48 Simcoe® IPA– Simcoe® hops [Yakima Valley, WA] add bitterness and dramatic grapefruit peel and pine resin notes, with the slight sweetness and full malt body to round out the concentrated hop character.
Latitude 48 Zeus IPA– Zeus hops [Yakima Valley, WA] contribute bitterness and an intense, pungent resinous pine flavor. The balance of the brew leans strongly toward the hop character, but is softened by the malt sweetness and body.