Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA

Review Date 11/28/2014   Last Updated 4/1/2020  By John Staradumsky

Leave it to Boston Beer, the maker of the Samuel Adams line of beers, to find a way to make a Double IPA (aka Imperial IPA) in a way a little bit different from the norm. I’m talking about Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA of course, a beer that I got in the IPA Hopology case pack of 4 bottles each of 6 different beers. The case pack included:

Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA

Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL

Samuel Adams Roggen Wolf

Samuel Adams Tasman Red

Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk

Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA is also available in 22-ounce bottles, so if you missed the summer 2014 release of the case pack, don’t worry. You should still be able to find it. Here’s the background that the brewery provides on the name and background, from the bottle label:

This unique double IPA takes the style’s origins of brewing for a long voyage a step further.  IPAs were born out of making an ale that could withstand a long ocean voyage. For our take, we were inspired by the indomitable Capt. James Cook whose 3rd voyage made him the first to navigate a treacherous route from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest.  Using Cascade hops from each of these regions we created a brew that’s citrusy, earthy, and full of bold character.

Of course, Captain Cook, who died in 1779, missed the advent of IPAs. Then too, cascade hops were not around for the first IPAs either, since they were only developed in the 1970s. But what the heck, there were no double IPAs in those days either, and we can allow Samuel Adams a pass on that since Cookw as his contemporary after all, and Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA is an interesting experiment.

Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA has an alcohol content of 8% by volume and 85 IBUs, In addition to Cascade hops, Simcoes are also used, and malts are listed as Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramalt, and honey malt. I paid $28.99 for the case, which is not bad at all these days, about $7 a six-pack. It’s a little more pricey in the bomber ($6.99) but still not too bad by today’s standards.

If you count the Longshot line of beers, Third voyage is actually the third double IPA, too, for Boston beer, along with Longshot Double IPA and Longshot Magnificent Seven.

Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA pours to a bright orange color with a thin creamy head and a very earthy, grassy hop aroma in the nose. Taking a sip, I get a big chewy caramel maltiness up front followed by toasted malt notes and in the finish very herbal, even tea-like hop aromas leading into a long dry bitterness. There’s some bright citrus notes too, hallmark of the Cascade, but the flowery tea hop aroma seems more predominant. This is to me a lot like what an English DIPA would have been like, if they brewed them I think.

Tasty indeed and a bargain at the price my friends.

Update 4/1/2020: So, you see, I am missing my Taco Mac nights with this accursed virus situation, but on the plus side (always look on the bright side of life) I am reducing my beer stockpile at home. There have been more than a few drain pours, but also some very nice surprises. This is one of the surprises! The label says "Enjoy now or age it to further develop rich and unique flavors". So of course, I aged it, but I had 3 bottles and drank the first two shortly after purchasing in 2014. This beer has aged very well (it has been refrigerated the whole time) with the caramel malt and earthy, herbal hops well preserved. Samuel Adams Third Voyage is an impressive DIPA, and a beer that really does hold up well with age! Third Voyage in 2020 pours to a deep murky amber color with a thick fluffy white head and a leafy herbal hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer is rich and full with caramel malt, toasty malt and treacle, then the earthy herbal hops kick in with a kiss of citrus and bitterness in the finish.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.