Friday, November 11, 2011

Beereview: Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale

What will they think of next? There seems to be an assault on every season with some type of "X Moon" beer, and now they've even started adding suffixes. Don't be fooled into thinking Blue Moon is some kind of craft beer; it's made in huge batches which probably do double-duty for Coors light. Since we obviously have no standards here, why not review the latest from our Corporate Overlords Of Rotgut Spirits? (COORS, get it?)

Prejudices aside, I do like the original Blue Moon (usually at a chain restaurant when there's nothing more interesting,) so I was intrigued when I saw the mutant offspring of it and my favorite variety, Abbey Ale. It's sort of like hearing that your dog is going to make you dinner, you know it'll be disappointing but it's definitely worth a taste and probably won't kill you.

Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale

This ale pours a dark reddish tan with a head that (much like other mass produced beer) goes away totally in about 5 seconds. The aroma is sweet and malty with a somewhat sour yeasty smell, probably due to the wheat. It actually smells a lot like Sam Adams, which I found somewhat odd.

They claim "a touch of wheat for a rich caramel flavor with a smooth toffee finish..." let's see...

The initial taste is sweet caramel which quickly gives way to a kind of funky wheat taste. It has a somewhat soapy undertone on an otherwise pretty forgettable flavor. There's just not much here to review. I would say that given the style they are claiming it's best enjoyed room temperature (but given the way it tastes I'd have to say stick it in the snow for a few hours prior to consuming.)

The aftertaste is yeasty and somewhat sour, although there's a pretty overwhelming sweetness covering it up. At 5.6% this beer is on the higher end of the X Moon family and I suspect they had to sweeten it up even more than usual. Another review claimed it was somewhat "bisquity," which confused me at first but now I think it's dead on.

Overall, I can't recommend this to anybody. Adding wheat (the signature in Blue Moon) to other seasonal varieties smacks of marketing rather than craftsmanship. I'd wager that they didn't necessarily call this Abbey Ale until it was already in bottles and based more on market research than flavor.

Have you tried this beer? What's your favorite (or least favorite) X Moon? Let us know in the comments below!

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