I was tempted to jump to a tried-and-true favorite or another more exotic beer after the let down that was yesterday's beer, but have a handful of beers I'd refer to as "those I'm least excited to try" sitting in queue and decided to give one of those a chance to succeed where the 1664 failed.
Only familiar with their flagship Boston Lager, I've never been impressed by Samuel Adams and felt they really stretch the definition of "microbrew" to the breaking point when considered the largest microbrewery in the US. Putting my prejudices aside, I popped open a bottle of Samuel Adams White Ale to accompany some hot wings.
Sam Adams White Ale pours like a hazy green tea with little carbonation and a sticky white head. The cloudiness, combined with the nose of wheat, coriander, and citrus immediately gave away that it was an unfiltered wheat beer (my philosophy of doing no research before a tasting certainly leads to surprises).
The White Ale drank clean and crisp up front with hints of dry stone fruit (peaches, in particular, stuck out) and faded to a light, slightly sweet finish with the wet wheat aftertaste of a hefeweizen. Of all the beer varietals, the hefeweizen is one of the few beers I would consider passing over for a soda on a typical day, but this beer (considering the deck was so stacked against it with this taster) wasn't bad, especially accompanying hot wings.
It tasted similar to a beer I tried years ago from Blue Moon Brewing (AKA Coors), but whereas I hated the cloying sweetness and overly accented spices of the Blue Moon this managed to be subtle enough to enhance, not overpower. The words that kept circling in my mind as I drank it though, were "generic" and "two dimensional". Nothing offensive, but nothing special. Concerned my prejudice against "big micro"
was influencing this, I asked a fellow beer drinker who swung by to give it a blind taste. His response- "Not bad... not great; got any more of that Sierra Nevada Harvest?"