Friday, May 22, 2009

Beer Of The Week (Vol IX)

[ Volume Nine in the recently expanded beer tasting series. Once again, today's post is 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. ]

There's certainly a lot to like about summer; sunny skies, warm breezes, refreshing waters, green grasses, sandy beaches, backyard barbeques, imploding bullpens, etc. And of course summer beers. While I do so love the hearty brews of winter, there's something about summer beer that's especially dear to my heart. When you start seeing them on the store shelves you know that at long last summer has arrived. It's time to put away the shovel for the season, throw on the shorts, fire up the grill, and enjoy the beers especially suited for the long, languid days of summer.

This week we continue the beers of summer with an offering from Big Sky Brewing out of Missoula, Montana (Only beers and steers come from Montana. And you don't look much like a steer to me so that kinda narrows it down.) Big Sky is probably best known for their Moose Drool Brown Ale, which aside from having a great name is a pretty darn good beer. Pretty darn good in fact is a label that could be applied to most of Big Sky's beers. I rated six of them over the years and each has scored either a thirteen or fourteen. Which makes them above average, but not great.

The first time I rated Big Sky's Summer Honey Seasonal Ale, I gave it a fourteen. Will it hold up?

The beer comes in a plain brown bottle. The colorful label has a retro looking font and features an outdoor scene with a blue sky, majestic mountains, imposing bear, and bee hive. It definitely says "Big Sky Country."

Beer Style: Blonde Ale

Alcohol by Volume: 4.7%

COLOR (0-2): Pale gold. 1

AROMA (0-2): Fruity and floral. 2

HEAD (0-2): Good volume. 2

TASTE (0-5): Mild wheat flavor with a touch of sweetness makes it easy to drink. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): A little empty. 1

OVERALL (0-6): A solid summer beer. Not going to knock your socks, but not going to disappoint either. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 13

BREAKING NEWS: Glen Lake Wine and Spirits now has Surly beer in stock. Mmmmmm...Surly...