Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mid-Summer Beer Lowdown

Here's my impressions of some of this season's beers. My tastes are growing to appreciate every kind of beer, and those with unique or standout tastes are more likely to impress. I do have issues with generic American lager-styles, for they taint the novice's impression of what diverse flavors, consistencies, colors, and complexities a good beer can have. Damn you one and all, macros! Keep beer local, or at least independent! Hail beer!

My ratings scale goes from 1 being absolutely detestable hogwash to 2 being tolerable, 3 is average/drinkable, 4 is exceptional and worthy of praise and purchase, and 5 is a masterstroke, an artisan ale/lager/cider that deserves your support NOW!

For more info on these and other beers, visit this site (where you can find my reviews archived):

Beer Advocate

St. BERNARDUS ABT 12 ABBEY ALE (Watou, Belgium) - 5

Ah, this is the real deal. A true abbey ale from Belgium, this one pours a dark amber and is characteristically spiced, rich and heavy. It's opacity demonstrates the large amount of yeasty sediment, and this is one beer that would be even better aged. It's 10% ABV, so St. Bernardus is a sipper, and with a complex and fairly unique flavor, it's a sure winner.


Nice foggy appearance, and tastes like, well, a sweet, farm-fresh cider should (albeit with a fermented nip). Seriously, this is some tasty stuff, and ideal for a sweltering Summer's day. And it's organic! No headache-inducing sulfites here, just pure apple juice and yeast. I've always been partial to Woodchuck brand ciders (Dark & Dry, please), but this one dispenses with that notion. I'll be picking some of these up for the lady and myself, pronto.

HOEGAARDEN WITBIER (Hoegaarden, Belgium) - 3

Another Belgian this month (a treat)! This one's a white ale, with a clouded, pale appearance and plenty of spice, hinting at citrus and clove. It's kinda sweet and malty, definitely easy on the palate. Can be compared to Blue Moon, though Hoegaarden has more of a spice edge, and does not require a slice of orange to balance itself. Enjoyable.

BASS PALE ALE (Luton, England) - 3

A nice amber ale with a thick head, this Bass is a mildly-bitter pale ale, pretty well-balanced with a much lower acidity than India Pale Ales. I detect faint tastes of caramel or maple filtering through. Tasty enough, not too complex but certainly satisfying.

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