Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz (short neck) bottle into a pint glass. On the back label it reads "BEST IF CONSUMED BEFORE" and there are numbers 1 to 12 on the left edge and 1 to 31 on the right edge, however nothing is marked. Also there is no abv is listed on the label but there is a nice short description of the beer.
Appearance: Its body has a brilliant deep yellow blond color with just the very slightest chill haze. The pour produces a tall bright white head. It is light, fluffy and fleeting, which means it fades out quickly and makes no lacing.
Smell: As I poured this beer into the glass it smelled as if I was opening up a box of Special K cereal with strawberries. It has that same dehydrated strawberry character which is backed up by light grain notes.
Taste/Palate: This one is simple, crisp and very refreshing. It is just as the aroma advertised it to be, light dehydrated strawberry with cereal grain. The finish is snappy, crisp and refreshing. Its palate has a light body with balanced carbonation.
Notes: I feel this is a solid summer time beer but aside from warm weather refreshment I really wouldn't seek this one out.
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label lists the abv at 4.4% and there is no freshness date on it.
Appearance: The body has a dark caramel brown color with reddish highlights and a tall tan head on top. The head is very long lasting and thick. It is supported by nice visible carbonation that streams up the sides of the glass. As I drink it leaves behind lots of cool lace patters.
Smell: There is a nice malty aroma with toasted bready notes and sweet roasted caramel notes. Just behind that is light earthy/leafy hop presence.
Taste/Palate: It is sweet overall with nice roasted and toasted character. Sweet caramel and nutty notes mix with dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes. This is then backed up in the finish with some earthy and leafy hop spice and bitterness for some balance. The body has a good medium feel with just enough carbonation to give it some life.
Notes: Overall this was a very enjoyable Brown Ale with nice layers of roasted maltiness with hop backing.
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has a "Best Before" date of Apr. 2010 printed on it. The label has the abv listed at 6.1% and there is also a very brief description of the beer on the neck label.
Appearance: The body has good clarity and a deep reddish amber color. On top is a light off white which rises up about two fingers tall before slowly fading down to a thin cap. This thin covering hangs on well and leaves some slick lacing on the glass.
Smell: It has a fairly light nose with nice notes of bready, doughy and lightly toasted malt. Hop aroma also adds a light spicy note as well.
Taste/Palate: The flavor has a good sweet bready and ginger bread cookie like maltiness with light caramel notes. Hop flavor is modest and adds light leafy spicy bitterness to just give some balance to the finish. The palate has a solid medium feel with soft yet active carbonation.
Notes: This is a very solid example of the Scottish ale style and a great winter treat.
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 500ml bottle into a Pilsener glass. The label has no freshness date but it does list its abv at 5.5%.
Appearance: The body has very clarity and a light golden yellow color with some visible carbonation. The pour produced a two finger thick head which is tightly packed and creamy. It hangs on well and makes some slick lace.
Smell: In the nose I am picking up a firm bready sweet and pale grainy maltiness with grassy hops backing it up.
Taste/Palate: Its flavor matches the aroma with mildly sweet overall character backed up with light hop bitterness. The palate has a light medium feel with soft carbonation and a smooth creamy texture.
Notes: As Pale Euro Lagers go this one is not bad at all and has a very nice creamy foam head. It is simple, clean and easy to drink.
Presentation: It was poured from a 650ml brown bottle into a nonic pint glass, as is recommended on the label for best enjoyment. The label also has a born on date of 10/30/09 and a description of a local Chicago charity which Goose Island will donate a portion of the profits too from this beer.
Appearance: It has a beautiful deep crimson red body with very good clarity. The head on top has a creamy off white color and a thick, frothy texture. It also hangs on well and leaves loads of thick clingy lacing on the glass.
Smell: The aroma had a much stronger hop presence than I was expecting. It had a very solid pine like hop character with a touch of holiday spice underneath it.
Taste/Palate: First up is a firm hit of hops which bring good earthy and citrusy/pine notes and bitterness. With the hops also comes a solid backing of sweet toasted caramel maltiness. From here spice notes like nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe some bitter orange peel, creep in and add some more depth of flavor. All of these flavors seem to come together and balance each other in the slow lingering finish. The palate has a good firm medium to full body and texture with nice active carbonation.
Notes: The hops were a bit surprising to me at first for a brown ale/Christmas beer but everything comes together nicely in the finish. I also like that it keeps the spicing to a mellow level which adds to its drinkability in my opinion.
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: It has a beautiful deep amber colored body with very good clarity and a tall, thick foamy head. The head is beige in color and it hangs on well making some cool lace rings on the glass.
Smell: There is a sweet candy like malty aroma that fills the nose. Hop notes are very mellow and barley detected.
Taste/Palate: Just like the aroma the flavors character is full of rich sweet caramel, sweet doughy and bready malty deliciousness. The hops are, like the aroma, mellow compared to the maltiness and offers just some mild bitterness towards the finish. The body has a good solid medium feel with a smooth almost creamy texture.
Notes: This is another very solid offering from Saranac.
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. I got this as part of the Saranac "What Ales You" 12 pack.
Appearance: The body has a rich amber color with a slight reddish hue and good clarity. On top sits a small cap of off white foam. This head quickly fades to a ring of lace foam that is slick and sides down the sides of the glass.
Smell: Its aroma is very light with only very slight hints of biscuit like malt and herbal/dried leafy hops.
Taste/Palate: The flavor is very simple and safe. There is a modest bready and biscuit like maltiness with some light hints of red apple skins and caramel like sweetness. Mixed into the malt is a weak dried leafy hop presence. The finish is fairly dry, quick and has mild hop bitterness with just a slight acidic touch. The palate feels light to medium bodied with a smooth mild carbonated texture.
Notes: Overall it's not bad but to me, it is rather simple and light.
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. This bottle was part of the Saranac "What Ales You?" 12 pack.
Appearance: The body is black as night and blocks out all light. On top of this dark opaque brew there is a light tan colored head which is tall (about 2 and a half fingers thick) and long lasting. It also makes great intricate lace patterns on the glass as I drink.
Smell: Its aroma is full of dark roasted and toasted barley malt with inviting deep coffee notes.
Taste/Palate: There is a nice mellow roasted barley and toasted maltiness with the same coffee like notes in the nose. There is only light malt sweetness here before the hops come in and adds bitterness and dryness along with earthy and herbal spice flavor. It is not bone dry but it finishes on the dryer side with nice hop notes and roasted notes quick fading off the tongue. It has a solid medium body, smooth texture and good soft yet active carbonation.
Notes: Overall this was good solid dry stout. I am a fan of Saranac but this one still surprised me. I would take this over a Guinness Draught any day!
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