Saturday, November 24, 2012

Beer: Shock Top, Heavy Seas, and Leinenkugel's

Ahh, time to relax with some top-notch craft beers, right? Especially after the ushering in of the retail workers' nightmare season. So here's three beers reviewed. A shame I didn't care much for any of them. Surely next round will be better. 

Ratings, as ever, range from 1 (bottom of the barrel) to 5 (perfect). So what you see here are some mediocre beers. Give them a try and see what you think, though. And let me know how far off base I am in my tastings!

Yes, this is a thiny-disguised Anheuser-Busch/InBev product (corporate beer alert!), but with the apocalyptic theme and addition of chilis and chocolate malts, I had to at least give this one a trial spin.

Cloudy ruby, with tan head. No discernible lace. Nose is quite unusual -- chili and spice are first to make their presence known. I also get a bit of fruitiness in there, but it's subtle. Taste is chocolate, with a hint of heat from the chilis and spices. 

It's a different kind of flavor, and unlike anything else I've had, but at the same time, not one I'd care to revisit, either. 

If ever there were a need for a beer with a need for a facelift, it's Heavy Seas, makers of the deilcious Hop3 IPA (which I've been a big fan of for several years). Their bottle designs don't lure me in, and they seem somehow drab. But anyway, I hadn't tried this "Uber Pils", so now's as good a time as any, right?

Pours a clean golden. with thick 3-finger head of off-white carbonation. Beautiful lace. Nose is grains, typically lager-like. Not bad, not outstanding. Taste is malty and nearly sweet at first, followed by a tangy, chewy, nearly boozy finish. I get a limited hops presence here. 

While this is definitely an "uber-pils", it's not one I'd chase down again.

Yes, Leine is another craft owned by the corporate SABMillerCoors conglomerate. Got this one as a gift, so let it be known I'd never spend my money on Leinenkugel's uniformly uninteresting brews. This one didn't change my mind.

Pours a deep, dark ruby. Thick head of quickly-dissipating fizzy tan bubbles. No lace. Nose says chocolate, cocoa nibs, and maybe a hint of vanilla. Actually it's more like a vanilla Coke. Weird. Taste is equally like a vanilla Coke, with an odd artificial sweetness. The finish shows this best of all. Not good. At all.

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