Review: Samuel Adams American Kriek, Stony Brook Red, and New World Tripel

Review: Samuel Adams American Kriek, Stony Brook Red, and New World Tripel

samuel adams barrel room collection

Aging beer in oak barrels isn’t exactly a new idea, but it’s a trend that seems to be taking off. While Deschutes is easily the leader in this tiny mini-industry, now some of the bigger players are getting in on the action.

Samuel Adams has recently released three barrel-aged brews, each quite different. (Be warned though that the narrow corks make the bottles nearly impossible to get open if you have normal-sized hands. I had to resort to pliers.)

Samuel Adams American Kriek – Mmmm, with a name like Kriek it has to be good. Flavored with Balaton cherries native to Hungary and now grown in Michigan, this beer has the appearance of Hawaiian Punch and a little of the flavor too. Extremely sweet and a bit tart with cherry notes, there’s a good amount of maltiness in the body but wood character is hard to come by in this one. 7% alcohol. B

Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red – A big red brew, more tart than the Kriek with intense fruit — juicy, to be honest. The big apple and cherry characters are cut with leather and tobacco… sounds almost like a wine to write about it, but don’t fool yourself: No oenophile will confuse Stony Brook Red for anything made from grapes. 9% alcohol. C+

Samuel Adams New World Tripel – Golden in color with a big foamy head, this beer is incredibly misleading in appearance. Hugely fruity, it uses a Belgian yeast strain to turn what looks like a lager into something approaching a Mai Tai. Very disconcerting and hard to get used to — but, I’ll admit, truly something different. 10% alcohol. B

each $11 per 750ml bottle /

Samuel Adams American Kriek




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. Drew on December 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I do apologize if this for some reason is a double post, but I do not think the other one went through.

    I love your blog! I mostly focus on good beer these days but I wish I could get my hands on some of the absinthe/rums you have sampled… Not much variety here in Pittsburgh! If you ever run into “Fuego Pisco” Rum from Chile give it a try.

    Also I would love if you could take a peak at my blog. I am drinking one new beer a day for a year, and taking a picture of each. Trying to stick with top tier beers… Thanks so much!

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