In the days between winter and spring come some brews suitable for both seasons.
The latest robust production in the Samuel Adams repertoire is a smoky version of Scotch ale, dubbed Wee Heavy. It's a full-bodied, slightly sweet ale that gets its personality from peat-smoked malt, which you'll find in some Scotch whiskies. Earthy, hearty stuff, made with the brewer's typical precision. Wee Heavy fits into the "imperial series," which includes the velvety, intense Double Bock; Imperial White, a gutsy witbier; and the chocolaty Imperial Stout.
A four-pack of Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is $8 to $10.
Ever-creative, Magic Hat Brewing has some fun with its "spring fever" pack of brews. The Vinyl Amber Lager, a medium-bodied lager, offers a nostalgic spin. This amber number has some malty sweetness, but is refreshing, smooth and balanced. Magic Hat continues the recording theme with Demo "side B," an almost-black, citrusy pleasure in the spirited I.P.A. on Tour series.
A six-pack of Vinyl Amber Lager is $8 to $9; same cost for Demo. The spring-fever mix 12- pack is $15 to $17. It includes the fine, fruity mainstay #9 "side A," and Hefeweizen-style Circus Boy, brewed with lemongrass. You won't be bored.
Long Island's Brew of the Week
If you can find a bottle of the very limited-edition Southampton Publick House's 2011 Imperial Russian Stout, you're in for a royal treat. This is a terrific brew: dark, complex, with a hint of sweetness, it broods with a smile. A 750-ml bottle is $15.