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Beer Review #234 Big Wave Golden Ale

This is my fifth beer review of Kona Brewing Company. For the most part I have had good experiences with one notable exception. This is the first new beer that I have seen from them in some time (I really want to forget that brown ale) so I grabbed a bottle or two when I was at the beer store. One thing I do want to say about Kona before I get to the beer review is that I love their style. Their bottles feel like Hawaii. As someone who digs bottle art and marketing in general, I appreciate what they can capture on a small bottle.

As expected of a beer name Big Wave Golden Ale this beer pours a clear golden color with a solid white head. The first thing that struck me about the nose was the citrus aroma with a slight hop twinge. Usually citrus hops scream out, but this one had a strong smell of citrus without the hop craziness. A nice malt sweetness and bread mix into the citrus to really make this a round nosed beer.

On the first taste citrus makes a reappearance with a nice light lemon flavor mixed in. A light hop flavor carries all of the way through the beer. It is by no means strong but it does present itself from front to back. There isn’t a lot of hop flavor even as the beer warms. I think the light hop flavor knocked out any malt flavors that existed.

This was a lighter beer that I found very refreshing. The citrus hops very crisp at the end of the drink and really cleaned everything up well. I think this beer makes up for my past experience with Kona. (more…)

Beer Review #51 Allagash White

About two weeks ago I was talking about how I was in an English ale mood. That phase has come and passed, unlike these guys who have a whole month devoted to English beers. Right now I am back where I was around this time last year, Belgian beers. I don’t know what is going on with my taste buds but it seems every two weeks I am in the mood for something totally different. It makes it tough as a homebrewer because I generally like to brew beer styles I like. At this rate I have no idea what I want. What does that have to do with a beer review? Well nothing, so let’s get to it.

As part of my Belgian beer kick I was lucky enough to find a four pack of Allagash White from the Allagash Brewing Comapny in Portland, Maine. Allagash White is classified as a Belgian White ale and totally delivers on the promise in every way. It pours a brilliant cloudy, golden color and has a nice fluffy white head to boot. The yeast that stays in the beer at the time of bottling can easily been seen in suspension. The nose is light, but full of aromas. The first thing I noticed was the Belgian yeast spices (clove, banana, etc). There was also a light malt sweetness thrown in there.

On the tongue there is a light lemon flavor up front. The Belgian yeast follows soon after with the banana coming first, then followed by the clove. It finishes with a wonderful aftertaste, that leaves you wanting more. It is very crisp and refreshing as well. A Belgian White is supposed to be a light, delicate beer that is full of flavor, but is also so well balanced that the smallest mistake could throw that balance off. Allagash White is light and watery in the mouthfeel department, as you would expect for the style. This is an unmistakably drinkable beer. Great for a hot day or a warm spring day. It goes down easily and has enough of everything to make you want more.

When I first had this I was on a run of Belgian Tripels, so this seemed a bit watered down and unappealing. The more I drank it the more I found that I liked it. It was very subtle in it’s approach to a Belgian style beer. I really enjoyed it and I think you would too. The bottle is also a fun read because they should you how to pour the beer to get everything you can out of it. I always enjoy when breweries do the small extra things in helping educate the drinker. Again, this is a wonderful beer, try it if you get the chance. (more…)