Friday, March 27, 2009

Beer Of The Week (Vol 1)

This marks the first in what I hope to a long-term series of posts on beer made possible by the fine folks at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. That establishment has generously agreed to provide beer for weekly reviews and every brew featured here is available at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. These reviews will be an expansion of the beer rating that I've been doing for years and will be more in-depth look at particular beers using the same rating criteria. And in addition to the just the beer itself, I'll be examining the whole aesthetic package; the bottle, the label, the name.

The inaugural Beer of the Week is The Original Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Oregon.

The name and label conjure up images of heading down to the shore (lake or sea) with an aluminum cooler stocked with Original Drifter to climb aboard a wooden boat and spend the sunny day being pushed around by gentle breezes. The label has a soothing soft blue driftwood and water background. It definitely has a retro look and feel that scores high in my book.

The brown bottle has appealing shape and is engraved with the Widmer logo and name. When you grip it in your meaty claws, it feels like a bottle of beer should.

Now to the beer itself.

COLOR (0-2): Nice copper color with rich hues and an appropriate level of opacity. 2

AROMA (0-2): Subtle hoppy smell with a hint of citrus. 2

HEAD (0-2): Good look off the pour, but not much staying power. 1

TASTE (0-5): Smooth, but flavorful. Definitely more complex than the name might suggest. Reminiscent of Summit's Extra Pale Ale. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Good finish that follows through well. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Not a great beer, but a very good one. Rates high among its pale ale brethren. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14

Despite its warm weather theme, Widmer's Original Drifter Pale Ale is a beer suited for year round consumption that I will most certainly be going back to in the future.

Next Week: A two-fer featuring Nut Brown Ale and Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith Brewing.

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