Sam Adams knows what the people want out of their home drinking experience. Average Joe wants a pack of the hoppiest shit he can get his hands on to ensure his taste buds are rendered useless for the rest of the night. So Sam has a sixer with three of their IPA's designed with the express intent of giving you a special kind of headache the following morning. Unfazed, I picked one up and drank them all in one sitting. Never say Dudefest.com doesn't suffer for the benefit of our readers. Actually, I didn't "suffer" so much as "got delightfully drunk."
The first time I had Double Agent IPL last year, I liked it a lot more than this time around. I think part of the reason why is that I've had a few other India Pale Lagers that were better executed. I still like it more than Dream Machine from Magic Hat, but this isn't the best example of the style. By all means give it a try, you won't dislike it. We're still talking about a beer that is 5.0% ABV. It reminds me a lot of Sam Adams' flagship beer Boston Lager. What you have here is just a slightly more bitter version, only the character of the hops is a little muted. Don't get me wrong, I like this beer—it just ain't all that.
A much more interesting beer is the Whitewater IPA. This is on the Belgian end of the IPA spectrum. We're talking about a beer that revolves around the concept of crisp; it's a beer that makes you smack your lips after every sip. You've got a lot of cool ingredients in the mix (notably Apricot for all you Magic Hat #9 fans). If it seems like I'm comparing Sam and Magic Hat a lot, it's because I view these two as direct competitors along with Brooklyn and Sierra Nevada. They aren't craft beers because their distribution scale is too large but they are still striving for a high quality product. Back to Whitewater, it's 5.8% ABV—not too shabby. It's also very, very light so you can drink it all night.
Last but not least is the Latitude 48 IPA. This beer gets its name from the hop palette that comes from the US, UK, and Germany along the 48th Parallel. That's a pretty sweet concept and you do get a very complex and rich flavor in every sip. The best beers evolve while you drink them, and you get used to the initial flavor. My favorite aspect of the beer is the citrus highlight. You feel it in your nose when you smell the head, and your mouth tingles after you swallow. I highly recommend you give this 6.0% ABV brew a try whenever you have the opportunity.
Smigoversen reads the words and drinks the beers. He twitters here.