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Sam Adams' classic winter brews

The sixth annual Samuel Adams beer lover's choice contest yielded a distinctive winner: Revolutionary Rye.

It has a tint of red and a note of spice. Revolutionary Rye was brewed with rye as well as roasted malt, balanced by just enough tartness from German and American hops. The American-style rye ale is in the Samuel Adams American Originals Variety Pack.

This package includes the classic Samuel Adams Boston Lager, crisp and clean Noble Pils, malty Scotch Ale, sweet-earthy Irish Red Ale and the lively White Ale, an ode to Belgium. About $14.

And look for the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack. Highlights include Chocolate Bock, a lush beer made with cocoa nibs; Winter Lager, with spices such as cinnamon and ginger; the White Ale and Boston Lager; and, to keep festive spirits going a little more, Holiday Porter and Old Fezziwig Ale. About $14.

Guides

 

"The Wine Trials 2011" (Fearless Critic, $14.95), with a directory of contributors, delivers a value-driven group of very good wines for $15 or less. Inexpensive doesn't always mean cheap.

"Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2011" (Mitchell Beazley, $14.99), with general editor Margaret Rand, is a sipper, now in its 34th edition. Eight Long Island wineries mentioned.

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