Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Serving type: Bottle into mason jar
Please excuse the terrible picture and the equally terrible review that is about to accompany it. I am reviewing this beer two months after actually tasting it on Christmas Eve. The picture is from my Blackberry at my grandma’s house, which just proves that even during family gatherings during holidays, I can’t go without trying a new beer and bashing it for my amusement. My review is coming from notes I jotted down on a cocktail wiener napkin that I proceeded to wipe my mouth with. So enough lowering your expectations, here is the sweet stuff.
I know the picture sucks, but this beer really does pour an extra hazy gold. It had an off-white head that stayed around for a good while. Pretty standard appearance for the style. Unfortunately the mason jar I was drinking out of looked like a little girl’s tea cup, so it made the overall presentation pretty sad. But I’m not rating my grandma’s drink wares, although if I was I would have to say it wasn’t Nanna’s strongest showing.
The beer smells pretty good actually. The name doesn’t disappoint at all as it has big cherry character to it with some nice hints of wheat and spice. Now you would think that would translate pretty well to the taste, but you would be sadly mistaken. The taste is big and bold and doesn’t pull punches with the cherry taste. My main beef with it is that it tastes way too artificial. I love black cherry taste, but this is a little too much for my liking.
The carbonation and body of the beer were light and refreshing. I would usually give a beer like this an average rating, but I had to bump it for the cherry flavor. It was just too unpleasant and overpowering that I really didn’t want a second one. But the Irish in me, combined with it being Christmas forced me grab a second one. Take two was a similar struggle and only reenforced my crappy attitude towards this beer and all my Christmas presents.
Overall: 2.0/5 – Nuclear cherry attack on Hiroshima!
Style: American IPA
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass
Let me point something out right off the bat here…. even though I have this beer rated as “bad” it is far from one of the worst beers I’ve ever had. In fact I spent weeks upon weeks debating if this should be “bad” or “average”. I lost sleep, friends, and precious “alone” time trying to decide. In the end I went with bad for the fact that I probably won’t drink this any time soon if I have other options. Let me explain my thought process though.
The beer started pretty unimpressive right off the bat to be honest. It was a hazy golden color with maybe a half finger of off-white head that died down faster than my childhood dreams of being a T-Rex when I grew up. It left some clear lacing behind, but even that didn’t really stick very well. I will say the smell somewhat made up for the poor start however. It had a pretty big nose of oranges and grapefruits which I think provided me with my recommended dose of Vitamin C just by smelling it.
The taste of this beer is hops. That’s all really and it’s the reason behind why I rated this brew somewhat lower. Here’s my thing… it seems like lots of breweries are trying to one up each other in the hops department, while seemingly forgetting that beer should be somewhat balanced and not just make you feel like you swallowed a pine cone . I’m fully aware this is an IPA and I’m also aware that I’m not a diehard of the style. But gimmie a break! In my opinion the malt profile in this beer is more elusive than Waldo! Not quite as elusive as Carmen Sandiego though.
If I enjoyed the taste more I would say that the drinkability was pretty good. It was a light to medium body and had pretty good carbonation. With that said, I poured the last quarter of it out. Again, not because it was that bad… I just didn’t feel the need to finish it. I think it worked better on unclogging my kitchen drain anyway.
Overall: 2.25/5 – Where’d the malt go?!
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass
Let me start off by saying that I love Blue Moon Belgian White. I’m far from a beer snob, so I don’t care if someone catches me with an orange on the rim of my beer. I mostly care about taste and not much can top a Blue Moon on a warm summer night with some good friends. That being said, I don’t think I would serve this Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale to any of my friends on a cold winter night, for fear that they wouldn’t want to be my friends anymore.
The beer started off with a nice copper color and an impressive one finger of foamy white head. It was impressive until it vanished quickly after about 30 seconds of settling down. The lacing wasn’t very impressive either so the look of the beer was already disappointing me.
I took a whiff of the brew and was little perplexed. I couldn’t smell much more than that patented average “beer smell.” I made out some dark malts and brown sugar, but it was weak and hard to really appreciate. For a Dubbel, I was hoping for some kind of fruity smells to it, but it was impossible to even trick myself into smelling them. I thought maybe after a sip or two I could pick up more of the character. Well it definitely had the toasted malts down with a toffee kick. There might have even been some spices in there that I couldn’t distinguish completely. Nothing like I was hoping for though.
The body of the beer itself was pretty watery for how dark the beer looked and it had very little carbonation. I was pretty underwhelmed with this effort by Coors. It sort of reminded me of a Coors heavy, in the sense that it wasn’t light enough to play beer pong with, but it didn’t taste good enough to want to sip a six pack all night. I’ll be staying away from this one in the future.
The irony of it all is that I’ve had a framed painting of this beer hanging in my room for a few years now. I’ve always respected Blue Moon, but had never sampled this offering until now. Though I won’t be taking the picture down, I’ll be waiting for summer to switch back to my beloved Belgian White.