Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beer Review: Blue Moon Harvest Moon

Blue Moon Brewing Company Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

Fall seasonals are by far my favorite. These months just don't last long enough. While Blue Moon may be owned by Molson-Coors they produce some decent craft beers and I have yet to try this creation. I have to first give them credit for very cool bottle art. It may not be very important in the grand scheme but I believe everything is part of the whole. I am very fickle about pumpkin ales. I love drinking them in the fall but if they have too much spice I quickly get disgusted. Sessioning with these can be very difficult. It is a very fine line to walk. The Harvest Moon pours a medium amber color with a sizable head that lingers for the duration of the glass. Very faint malty aroma though I do have a cold so you probably shouldn't go by my nose at the moment.

Now for the first taste. Very surprising. This is exceptionally balanced with the rich malt flavor and the delicate spicing. This may be the session pumpkin ale I have been looking for. The spicing is noticeable and delicious but will definitely not cause my tongue to recoil. The pumpkin flavor is actually pronounced in this where as other pumpkin ales tend to overpower this flavor with malt or allspice.

This is a superb example of what this American original fall seasonal should be. Very mouthwatering. Just because it is owned by one of the big boys doesn't mean you should dismiss it. The beer world would do well to keep an open mind. The Blue Moon people hit all the marks with this one.

Final Score: 90% (Solid, Balanced, and Delicious. A Masterful Pumpkin Ale.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beer Review: Bud Select 55

Anheuser-Busch Inc. Budweiser Select 55

This is a new one for me. I don't know how long this has been out but it is most certainly an attempt to fight back at Miller's "MGD 64". With a whopping nine calorie difference they are most certainly coming out with guns blazing (there is sarcasm here). Before I go into depth with this I do want to point out that I will review this brew based on the style that was attempted. I won't compare it to a Triple IPA because everyone should already know that this is not going to have that much depth. This is a light light beer (or double light as I would like to call it). The 55 pours like any other Budweiser product with a light golden color and a short lived head. I can't smell anything besides a slight grainy aroma.

The flavor of this is almost impressive. Hear me out. This doesn't taste a whole lot lighter than a coors/bud light and it manages to cut out roughly half the calories. Calorie conscious people who enjoy very light beer would do well to try this. However, the alcohol content is an extremely low 2.3% ABV. So if you are attempting to get a buzz you should certainly look elsewhere. Also, if you enjoy the taste of a full bodied beer you should definitely avoid this. Bohemian style Pilsner this is not. This is more yellow seltzer than anything else. With maybe a little skunk flavor to mix things up.

The main problem I have with this personally is that I just can't see a need for it. Are there really people who drink Bud Light and ask if there is anything lighter? NA beers have more flavor than this. I do, however, think that the target demographic for this beer will love it. People who want to be seen drinking a beer but don't like the taste of it will never have it better. Experiment with this if you like but don't complain to me when you realize you spent the same amount of money on half the beer.

Final Score: 60% (Successful in Being Light, Failure in Retaining Flavor)