Monthly Archives: January 2012

151. Blue Moon Spring Blonde Wheat Ale

This is the sixth different variety of Blue Moon I have reviewed and I still cannot figure out why some people like it so much. This is brewed by Coors Brewing Company and while I have not had a Coors in some time I cannot imagine it tastes much different than the Blue Moon options. This beer is weak from start to finish. The only thing that is good about it is the solid 2+ finger head, taste is completely forgettable. It makes me wonder what those that enjoy Blue Moon would say about truly good craft beer.
Pros: Head
Cons: Everything else
Alcohol Content: 5.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Blue Moon Brewing
Brewers Description: Light-bodied ale crafted with lemon and orange peel and white wheat. A refreshing taste with a crisp, citrus finish, the perfect accompaniment to that first glorious patio day of the season. Pairs well with seasonal salads and fruit sorbets. A splash of sunshine in a glass!

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150. Gritty McDuff’s Christmas Ale (Growler)

For my 150th beer review I decided to purchase my first growler from Gritty’s in Auburn. They still had a bit of Christmas Ale on tap before the end of the night I was able to finish it with a couple of pints in the bar and a growler to take home with me. Enjoyed this beer while watching NFL football and while the beer may have been a bit flat, being the end of the keg it still tasted very similar to the bottle version. Christmas Ale is one of my favorite Gritty’s options so this 1/2 gallon was gone fairly quickly. If you live near enough to a Gritty’s location to pick up a growler I would recommend it.
Pros: Color, aroma, taste
Cons: Seasonal
Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 28.5
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Gritty McDuff’s
Brewers Description: If it looks like Ed just got merrier, you’re right. Every November heralds the return of our holiday seasonal, Christmas Ale – available on draft and in six-packs. Our Christmas Ale is a robust E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) full of holiday cheer. Christmas Ale has a lovely, dark red/amber color and a rich, full-bodied, malty taste with a slightly roasted undertone. We brew our Christmas Ale to an original gravity of 1064 (about 6.2% alcohol by volume) using only the finest English Pale and Crystal Malts, with a touch of Roasted Barley as well. A blend of Clusters, Styrian Goldings, Saaz and Yakima Goldings leaf hops round out this hearty brew. Gritty’s Christmas Ale has no additives, fruits or spices. It’s just a good honest ale, perfect for the season. And to top it all off, it’s already gift-wrapped! Happy Holidays!
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149. Samuel Adams Alpine Spring

Initially I was disappointed to hear Sam Adams replaced their White Ale with the Alpine Spring for 2012 but after trying this new variety from Samuel Adams I felt a bit better. Pours a nice cloudy light orange with finger wide white head. Lemon aroma which comes through to the taste. Very refreshing and easy to drink. This 6-pack disappeared from my fridge very within a couple of days. While many craft beer drinkers dislike Samuel Adams I still enjoy most of their beer. All are very drinkable and while they may be more mainstream than the smaller brewers that does not mean they are not quality beers. I will continue to miss my White Ale but the Alpine Spring is a solid offering and you will not be disappointed if you typically enjoy beer from Boston Beer Company.
Pros: Easy to drink
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
 5.5% ABV
Calories: 186
IBU (Bitterness): 19
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: Brewed especially for the season, this bright citrusy unfiltered lager is both satisfying and refreshing. It’s the perfect transition from winter’s heavier brews to the lighter beers of summer. Borne of our brewers’ many trips to Germany, Alpine Spring features a unique blend of lager attributes: the balanced maltiness and hoppiness of a Helles, the smoothness and slightly higher alcohol of a traditional spring bock, and the unfiltered appearance of a Kellerbier. The beer is brewed with Tettnang Noble hops to add a unique, bright orange-citrusy aroma and flavor.

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148. Sebago Brewing Lake Trout Stout

This is another of my purchases from Trader Joe’s in Portland. Beer pours a great inky black with minimal tan head. Aroma has plenty of malt and a bit of coffee. Taste is what I expect from a stout however I am often disappointed. This one does not disappoint with the taste following the dark color with lots of malt, light coffee and chocolate tones. Smooth finish and reasonable ABV make this one easy to drink and enjoyable. I really enjoy brews by Sebago Brewing and if you like dark stouts please give this one a try.
Pros: Black color, easy to drink
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
5.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 32
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Sebago Brewing
Brewers Description: Lake Trout Stout is midnight black with a thick and creamy head. It is a full bodied stout brewed with oatmeal and plenty of hops to balance the roasted barley. Our stout is an experience. It tastes the same way it looks – dark and rich. It is named after the famous deep water Sebago Lake Togue or Lake Trout which inhabit the depths of Maine’s deepest lake. Enjoy.

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147. Mission St. Hefeweizen

Picked this one up on my first trip to Trader Joe’s in Portland. If you have never been the beer selection is good but the store itself was a bit overwhelming. I was ready to leave as soon as I walked through the door but made my way to the back of the store and picked up this beer as well as 2 others. This was a cheap Hefeweizen ($2.29 for the bomber) so I really was not expecting much but I have to say it was worth it. Color is a slightly hazy orange color maybe a little less cloudy than I would expect for a hefeweizen and a bit darker, minimal head that disappears quickly. Smells of citrus, a bit of yeast and tastes follows the smell. Easy to drink and a fairly refreshing beer.
Pros: Easy to drink, cheap
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
4.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website:  Steinhaus Brewing
Brewers Description: Cannot find online

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146. Scaldis Noel (Bush De Noel)

It has been a couple of days since I drank this beer and I am still not sure about it. It is the first beer that does not come in a 12 oz or higher bottle with only an 8.5 oz pour from the very decorative Christmas themed bottle. Appearance is different than most other beers and the best comparison I can make is to apple cider with similar color, minimal head and a sweet spicy smell. Taste mirrors the smell as long as you let it warm slightly. Belgiums were not meant to be enjoyed cold and this is no exception. At 12% alcohol you do get a slight burn but the sweet malts and caramels mask this pretty well. Not really my style of beer but worth trying.
Pros: Original
Cons: Expensive for a small bottle
Alcohol Content: 12% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Dubuisson
Brewers Description: Bush de Noël was born in 1991 to satisfy consumers seeking a hearty beer for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. A product made exclusively from malt, hops, candy sugar and water, Bush de Noël is a high fermentation, filtered beer and has an alcohol volume of 12%. The substantial use of caramel malt gives it a coppery red colour and an exceptional roundness. Particularly carefully studied hopping gives Bush de Noël a consistent, fruity flavour with a delicately hopped aroma. A limited edition beverage, Bush de Noël is an indispensable reference among the end-of-year beers

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145. Allagash White (draft)

Went to a Portland Red Claws game last night with one of insurance companies and we stopped at the Dogfish Cafe in Portland for dinner before the game. They had a decent selection of beer including Allagash White on-tap so I decided to give this a try as I enjoyed it from the bottle and draft beer always seems better. The beer came with an orange slice which helps to enhance the already fruity aroma of the beer but I quickly removed and set it aside. Minimal head but nice lacing on the glass. Color is the typical of the style a cloudy pale yellow. Taste and feel are very similar to the bottle version but there is just something about draft beer that makes it better than from a bottle. Maybe it is enjoying the beer outside of my home with good food or the social aspect of drinking in a bar or restaurant. If you like this style of beer and Allagash is an option when you go out give it a try – you will not be disappointed.
Pros: Color, great example of a Belgian wheat
Cons: Served with an orange slice
Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Our interpretation of a traditional Belgian wheat beer. Brewed with a generous portion of wheat and spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel, this beer is fruity, refreshing and slightly cloudy in appearance.

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144. Penobscot Bay Brewery Old Factory Whistle Scottish Ale

This is my third offering from Penobscot Bay and so far I have been impressed with this small brewery. This one was a bit of a disappointment though. Color is great with no head, not a lot of aroma but a bit of grain. When tasting the beer the first thing you notice is how thin it feels, almost watered down. It is easy to drink and does not taste bad but I really had hoped for more. Overall something I did not mind drinking but if I had my choice of offerings from Penobscot Bay Brewery this one would be on the bottom of the list.
Pros: Color
Cons: Thin almost watery feel
Alcohol Content: 6.2 ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Penobscot Bay Brewery
Brewers Description: Old Factory Whistle, our signature ale, is patterned after red ales that have a rich Scottish heritage. This ale utilizes crystal, pale, chocolate and Munich malts with a dose of roasted barley resulting in a complex mixture of the toasty flavors of caramel malt and sweetness, and a classic rich red color. English Kent Golding hops add to the depth and help produce that pleasing balance

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143. Rising Tide Atlantis

This is the third of 5 offerings from Rising Tide that I have reviewed and I have the final 2; Ursa Minor and Polaris which I will review in the coming weeks. I have enjoyed all 3 of the beers from Rising Tide and look forward to final two. This one pours almost black with a great 2-3 finger head that lingers and then sticks to the glass like no other. I like a beer that leaves plenty of lacing and this one may leave more than any of the previous 142 beers. Aroma has a mild smokey tinge and maybe a bit of citrus. Taste is close to a porter but the feel and ABV is much more ale-like (is that a word). I enjoyed the smoke flavor in the beer and it is different than any other beer I have reviewed to date.
Pros: Color, head, great lacing, smoke flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.3 ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Rising Tide
Brewers Description: Whether you are celebrating lost cities under the sea or shooting for low Earth orbit, take Atlantis along for the ride. We use a special blend of dark malts and add Galaxy, Cascade, and Calypso hops to create this smooth and hoppy black ale with just a whisper of cherry-wood smoke. We think Poseidon would approve.

atlantis [at–lan-tes] (n)—a fabled island in the Atlantic that according to legend sank beneath the sea west of Gibraltar

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142. Rock Art Brewery Mountain Holidays in Vermont Bock Lager

This was my first beer from Rock Art so I really had no idea what to expect from them. I was slightly disappointed with the pour as there was no head at all however there was a fair amount of carbonation so I don’t think the beer was flat. Color is a very dark red almost brown but not quite. Aroma is slightly sweet with a fair amount of caramel malt. Taste was smooth and very easy to drink with a lot of carbonation – not excessive but approaching it. Almost no bitterness and not really what I think of when I drink a bock. Overall not a bad beer but I am sure other offerings from Rock Art will be better than this one. Bottle art is nice and will add to my collection of bombers.
Pros: Great color
Cons: Minimal head, lots of carbonation, thin
Alcohol Content: ?? ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Rock Art Brewery
Brewers Description: Our delicious bock lager was brewed with lots of rich, sweet caramel malts and delicately balanced with the finest Bavarian Hallertau hops. For all holiday occasions, drink up the good life! This holiday bock will be available in some of your favorite restaurants and in specially packaged 22 oz. bottles in stores in time for the holidays (limited to 230 cases). We will have a limited number of hand bottled 1 liter flip top bottles specially packaged for the holidays This bottle will be limited to 72 hand numbered bottles available at the brewery only.

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