I typically head to the store to pick up single bottles of different beers that have been released every week. I feel better just having one bottle to try to store till I get around to drinking it. I don’t have a lot of room to store my stuff, although I’ll be getting more very shortly. Thus, it’s just nicer to not have a ton of six and four packs lying about. Unfortunately, sometimes you just can’t help it. I call up the store to reserve my selections, and sometimes they tell me you can only reserve them in a multi-pack. Unwilling to let the beer go, I resign myself to storing it and move on. One really nice thing about have multiple bottles is it gives me lots of time to develop my thoughts and opinions on a beer. I can drink a few before coming up with my ultimate decision on it. I’ve found that while I develop a love for some beers overtime, I also realize a beer wasn’t exactly as good as I originally thought. Such is the case with this one.
I’m really not all that knowledgeable about either of these companies. I’ve had 3-4 different Maui brews, and I think I’ve had one other one from Jolly Pumpkin, so I’m not exactly an expert on either. I’ve heard good things about both though, which is exactly what drew me to call and reserve this particular beer.
The funny thing about this purchase was that I basically bought it solely for the breweries involved in its production. There is Belgian restaurant down the street from me that has a great selection of Belgian beers. While I’m willing to pick just about anything out of their menu, I always skip the section on lambics and fruit beers. I historically don’t like them. I make a slight exception for pumpkin, but I have only managed to start doing that this year. Anyway, this beer is described as having both passion fruit and cherries. Beer advocate lists it as a fruit and vegetable beer. It screams of a beer I would typically avoid. Then, on top of that problem, I also had to get a six pack of them for over $15. I was seriously hoping this beer would take me by surprise.
This beer pours a dark reddish brown color. It’s almost like you can see the little hints of cherry in it. There is some very light white head that develops on top that manages to dissipate quite quickly. There is essentially no lacing and no sticky residue on the side of the glass at all. It certainly has a very hazy appearance, and you can’t see any visible carbonation at all.
The aroma should have been an immediate sign this beer might not be for me; however, I have a six-pack to consume, so I had better get to work. The sweetness from the passion fruit and cherries is quite big on the nose. While there certainly is quite a bit of sweetness here, you also manage to get some ample sour notes here as well. This beer is basically all malts and no hops at all. There is definitely a little bit of a crisp aroma to it; however, you actually have the fruit aroma weighing it down. It smells like a sour fruit beer.
The beer has a slightly light sweet malt introduction. The lightness of the malts is actually good because it helps balance out some of the big sweet fruit notes later on. The tangy passion fruit comes in with some nice sweetness. This then leads into some much sweeter cherry flavors. While the cherries start sweet, they quickly turn very tart and sour. I haven’t consumed a whole lot of sour ales; however, this one helps me see I’m not really a big fan of the sour fruit flavors. While I’m sure there are hops somewhere in here, I can’t really find the flavors at all. The beer finishes with some big tart and sour fruit flavors.
The mouthfeel starts off with some light carbonation. This carries the beer through the start; however, it begins to go syrupy as the sour fruit notes kick up. The tangy sour finish is actually quite dry and slightly off-putting. As a fruit beer it has some fairly good flavors; however, the sour notes take it in a direction I just don’t like.
As I review more and more beers, I begin to see that jumping at big name companies isn’t always the best thing to do. Sure they produce a lot of good beers, but I should really pay more attention to the style of the beer before jumping at it. I’ve managed to pawn two of these off on others; however, I’ve consumed a few on my own as well. It may be a little while before I drink down the last one, or I’ll find some way to trade it away. Either way, I think I’ve had my fill of this one.
Teacher Grade: D