It’s not often that a major beverage company reformulates one of their flagship products. Bold move, Cotton, some of you may be thinking, and rightly so. When companies have in the past, it hasn’t always worked out for the better (here’s looking at you, New Coke). Sam Adams, though, has done just that, taking their Rebel IPA and completely redoing the formula.
It’s a bold move on their part, but fortunately, Jim Koch and his team know their beer, and it has turned out to be for the better, as the new Rebel IPA is cleaner and brighter than its predecessor. They might not taste like it on their own, but if you are lucky enough to taste them side-by-side (as we did with Koch himself), the difference is clear.
For the new formula, not only did Sam Adams remove the caramel malt (leaving only Samuel Adams special two-row malt blend), but they used seven different types of hops, including one proprietary strain and one experimental strain. The proprietary strain, HBC 566, add hints of lemon, lime, orange, and eucalyptus, while the experimental hop, HBC 682, which has been in development since 2013, is used solely as a bittering hop that imparts both bitterness and an earthy nose.
Mosaic hops are also a new addition to the brew, giving Rebel more tropical, piney notes. The remaining hops are those, if you’re familiar with craft beer, you’re already well-versed in: Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial, and Chinook. Together, you get a beautiful light golden, West Coast style IPA with 45 IBU and a supremely drinkable 6.5% ABV.
For those that want more Rebel in their life, Sam Adams also has the Grapefruit IPA, Juiced IPA, and the White Citra IPA, which is only available in the Pack of Rebels.
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