On the Sam Adams Holiday Pack

It’s a wintry time of the year, and that means the Holiday Collection from Sam Adams! I look forward to this collection of six beers every year. Wintry, festive holiday brews!

Only, this year I’m unhappy.

The Holiday Collection comes, as I mentioned, with six different winter beer styles. In years past, the six have been:

  • Boston Lager
  • Winter Lager
  • Cream Stout
  • Holiday Porter
  • Old Fezziwig’s Ale
  • Cranberry Lambic

There’s been some variation over the years. I think the Cranberry Lambic is fairly new, like within the past two or three years.

The Cranberry Lambic is fantastic. I love the Holiday Porter. (I love porters in general; one of my favorite beers is Highland’s Oatmeal Porter, only that’s impossible to get north of the Potomac.) And Old Fezziwig is just… nice.

So, off the bat, you know I’m going to love half the case.

I make an exception for the Cranberry Lambic, because it tastes so good. It actually violates Allyn’s first law of beer drinking — if when poured into the glass and one’s hand is placed behind the glass, and if one can see one’s hand through the beer and the glass, then the beer is not dark enough to consume.

This year, Sam Adams took out the Cream Stout and replaced it with the Coastal Wheat.

This is disappointing. The Cream Stout was a bread-and-butter drink for me in college. It doesn’t go down smooth like an Irish Stout, like say Guinness or Beamish, and it’s a little bitter, but I like it. It’s not my favorite Sam Adams style — that would be the Honey Porter — but it’s still a good drink.

This leaves three styles, after the three I love, in the case:

  • Boston Lager
  • Winter Lager
  • Coastal Wheat

I polished off the four bottles of the Boston Lager and the Winter Lager, knowing that these would be my two least favorite styles in the case. I am not a lager drinker, and I find both the Boston Lager and the Winter Lager unexciting and unmemorable. I don’t mind them, but they’re not my first choice. They’re not beers to savor.

Last night, I tried the Coastal Wheat.

I poured it into the glass. It was amber colored, so I knew instantly that it would not pass my hand-behind-the-glass test.

I took one swallow.

It was awful.

I cannot describe the ways in which the Coastal Wheat was awful. It didn’t taste good. It left a slight burning sensation in the mouth. It was… revolting.

My nose is crinkling just thinking about it.


I’m going to set the bottle of Coastal Wheat aside. I’m not going to drink it. Maybe it will find its way into a recipe or something.

On the plus side, I still have the Old Fezziwig, the Holiday Porter, and the Cranberry Lambic to keep me company. Excellent brews, all.

If only I could get the Holiday Porter and Old Fezziwig on their own…

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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