Well, There are things that were good. First: The bottle label! Anything with a cool trout on it has to be good right? Look at eh cool water color style! I love these kinds of paintings and a beer that incorporates art with their label MUST also incorporate it in the brewing process. Right?
Next, The aroma! Yes the smell of the beer as it is opened is important. Not only as it is first opened, but also if it can maintain that smell through out the process of enjoyment. This beer was pretty cool in its flowery sweet smell. Wonderful! It actually did not smell much like”beer” as you would think. Well, The traditional beer smell that is. A hint of the bitters as the scent touches your nose. This was sweet fruity with a mix of a fresh cut clover field with wild flowers in the back ground. ( CLOVER! Not hay or grass! Clover smells sweet when it is cut!)
Then there is the color. A nice pale yellow with a misty sediment. I personally like a amber, clear color to my beer, but I usually do not think much about it if it tastes good. For Pale Ales, perhaps this is the gold standard. Just not really my preference.
Location. Exotic locations HAVE to be part of the selling process. We have all heard “head for the Rockies!” Well, Michigan is knows for it’s clear spring fed rivers and streams that are pure enough and cold enough for some of the best trout fishing in America. Take that water ( or at least suggest that it is used in the brewing process) and add it to the beer and you are bound to get those “purists” who only want the “Finest hops, water, barley, Etc..” Michigan is such a place. As a side note…after moving to Iowa, I now respect the Michigan waters much better. It’s funny how you take things for granted when you grow up in the middle of the best tasting water. Iowa water is brackish and not the best tasting. We try not to drink this water from the tap as I’m afraid I’ll get a kidney stone or some other problem from drinking it. Starting with good water has to be important, even if water can be purified and distilled ANYWHERE!
Then there is taste. Here, I have to disagree with the 100 score point. Then again, I’m not sure what the parameters are for such a beer as this. First, I would describe this as a “Hoppy Beer” Think citrus, mostly grapefruit to me, and you will have the most obvious note in the flavor. As for other notes, I guess a yeasty bread flavor was present, but the grapefruit note pretty much dominated all others. It is unfortunate, because I usually can appreciate hoppy beers for what they are. Depending on the circumstances, I might order one with a meal just to see how it fairs with a dinner. But, again..unfortunately, hoppy beers are beginning to all taste alike. This beer, In my humble opinion, tasted too much like other “hoppy” beers we have had previously. Does that make it “bad”? Not at all. But I doubt I would purchase a case of this and urge all of my friends to try it. I hate being negative, and this review is not meant to be that…. It was a good beer. But undistinguishable. I guess that is a possibility if you add too many hops, or if you let one note overtake all the other flavors you are trying to cultivate. Somehow the Aroma survived! And hinted at a VERY interesting beer before your first sip. But that first sip pretty much can only be summed up it a heavy citrus note. Namely: Hops!
It’s too bad because I believe the score of 100 led me to have high expectations. And usually perfection can never be achieved. For what it is worth, If you like hoppy beer, with a STRONG citrus flavor and a WONDERFUL aroma blend. Then this is possibly a beer better than 100 to you. Taste is such a subjective thing anyway. As for me, I enjoyed the two previous beers better. It is probably like comparing apples to oranges….or in this case…Grapefruit. Each one is good and everyone had their preferences. So, IF you still want to try a beer with a score of 100, by all means give this one a try. You may like it better than me. At the very least you will enjoy the other things about it. And, for what it is, it probably IS the top of its class. It is not a “bad” beer, just not my favorite.
As for tomorrow, Looks like we will have some more IKEA furniture assembly in our future. We received our table and benches in the mail today, but they arrived too late for us to assemble them today. So…Something I can look forward to tomorrow and possibly another blog posting. Until then, Enjoy! And get out there to sample those beers to see what school of thought you fall under.