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Beer Review #101 Simcoe Spring Ale

We are right in the heart of spring. The weather has been beautiful here in the northeast and this time of year is one of my favorite beer drinking times. I love to sit outside with a beer and read a book or watch my dog eat grass. Our spring beer for today comes from Peak Organic Brewing Company out of Portland, Maine. I reviewed their winter beer a few months ago and found it pretty yummy. I have had the chance to sample a few of their other beers in the mean time (reviews coming) and enjoyed them as well. They are quickly becoming one of my “go to” breweries.

Their spring ale goes by the name Simcoe Spring Ale, with a name like that, I was expecting something pretty hop forward. In case you don’t know, simcoe is a type of hop that is fairly high in alpha acids (really bitter). The beer pours a nice orange color and a wonderful fluffy, white head floats on top of the beer. The nose is very strong and bright. The hops smell fresh and the simcoe really comes out. I couldn’t really get anything other than hops on the nose, which I was sort of expecting.

The hops were of course strong, but not overpowering like they presented themselves in the nose. The malt is grainy and finishes with some solid biscuit flavor. This beer also was a bit grassy in its flavor. Some people think of grassy as a negative, but it can be used to enhance a beer, and Peak Organic has an excellent example of that in this beer.

Overall I really liked this beer. It is very drinkable and not nearly as hoppy as what the nose promises. The balance is really nice in this beer and, if you have been reading this blog for any time, you know that I love a balanced beer. (more…)

Beer Review #95 Peak Winter Session Ale

I have another beer from Portland, Maine for today’s beer review. I don’t remember this brewery at all from my travels in the northeast, but I am glad that I found them. They make some wonderful beer. I recently picked up a four pack of their Espresso Amber Ale and I suggest you do the same as you see it. Peak Organic Brewing Company makes some wonderful beers and I was thrilled to try their Winter Session Ale.

This winter ale pours an amber color and a slightly off-white head sits on top of the magic below. The beer is classified by the popular beer review sites as a “dark American wheat ale.” I honestly have no idea what that means or what to expect from it. The nose spews grapefruit hops, and that’s it. I guess I see where the American part of the classification comes in.

The taste is surprisingly complex. The nose just hinted that there would be hops, but it hid all of the other flavors. There is a great coffee/roast flavor in the malt of this ale that is paired nicely with a hoppy finish. It is very nicely balanced and a joy to drink. This beer rocks in at a modest 5.0% ABV so you can enjoy quite a few of them before calling it quits. This Peak offering is very complex for a beer that doesn’t offer much in the aroma department. Grab it if you can! (more…)