Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lovely Ladies, Less Than Lovely Beer

Sometimes I like to drink multiple beers that follow certain themes. A specific style or country, for example. This time it was red-headed women. I visited Oade's Big Ten Party Store for the first time recently. It is near a Big 10 University and I always assumed it to be a place for fraternity members to stock up on cases of Coor's Light. But nay! I was surprised to find a wide selection of beer, in cases/sixers/singles including many bombers (22 oz. bottles) and local varieties. A little more pricey than it should be, but I selected 2 beers from breweries I had not seen before from MI and PA.  
Both beers had lovely ladies on their labels. The first was "Amber Tease" from Schmohz in Grand Rapids. The label described it as, "A smooth drinking traditional California Common Style Ale with the sweetness of the girl next store - hiding a darker and bitter side."
Ok, I've never heard of a "California Common Style Ale" - apparently it's a Steam Ale. I don't like this though. It is a cloudy/murky dark amber with a thin tan head. The nose was strong - lots of banana! which surprised me. It was sweet and odd. Basically overripe bananas. The taste - again, this odd overripe banana flavor that I do not understand. Sweet at first, then a hint of "naughty and dark"...um, metallic. It is thicker than expected, and is only a tease (a term I'm not crazy about, more negative points for them) because now I want better beer. Dumped half the bottle. D
Next was Stoudt's Scarlet Lady Ale - an Extra Special Bitter from Pennsylvania. ESBs are usually slightly stronger ales. This one poured a very cloudy dark amber with a thin tan head that instantly disappeared. The nose was mild; slightly bitter, citrusy, and spicy. It tasted good! Apples, honey, grass, some bitter hops. Feels very balanced, some sweet malts but nothing overwelcoming. The mouthfeel was light-to-medium and smooth. Overall - tasty but nothing mindblowing. A fine beverage and comparing it to the Amber Tease...It is classier all around. B

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