Thursday, June 13, 2013

Beer Me: Blue Moon Summer Sampler

Hello, beer friends! Did you miss me? I've been busy recapping our European adventure but I haven't stopped trying out the summer's malty offerings. Never fear!

This is the summer sampler pack from Blue Moon. It retails for about $15 for 12, not bad. Of course, the original Blue Moon is included. A refreshing summer brew to be sure. And also the Agave Nectar, which I've talked about before, and I like. However, the brewmasters have also brought us several new varieties to taste. Let's dive in, shall we?

The first one is called Short Straw and it's their farmhouse red. From the site: "Farmhouse Ales were brewed for the diligent farmhands who drew the short straw and had to work the arduous harvest. Our brewmaster’s expression blends the spiciness of a Farmhouse Ale with the tartness of a Fland'ers Red for a remarkably refreshing finish.

The site calls out white pepper with a caramel maltiness and ends pleasantly tart. This is a great description and is spot on. John and I both liked this one a lot! Sounds funky, I know, but give it a try.

Here is the Blackberry Tart, which was my favorite in the bunch! I just like when they put fruit in beer, especially in the summertime. A lot of purist would turn their nose up at this but I'm not a purist so I can say whatever I want.

Let's hear what the site says: "Crafted with the help of our fans, this limited release fills your summer days (and glass) with the taste of rich blackberries, a smooth malty sweetness, and a hint of refreshing tartness."

This was medium-bodied but really smooth because it's wheat based. Not overly sweet and a true blackberry flavor, not just syrup. Easy drinking at only 9 IBU's, just the way I like it.

Rounder is a Belgian style pale ale and this was a standout for me too. From the site: "In the 1940's, Belgian-Style Pale Ales grew in popularity and were ordered by the round due to their balanced taste. Rounder, our expression of this sessionable style, is crafted with hibiscus and orange peel for a hint of spiciness and touch of wheat for a smoother, rounder taste."

This was surprisingly citrus/floral with the addition of orange peel and hibiscus. I am seeing hibiscus all over the place in beer. It must be the hot flower to add in these days! 30 IBU's so still very drinkable but a nice departure from the typical summer wheat beers.

Suffice it to say, this multi-pack is definitely worth your beer money. I, of course, liked them all because there wasn't an IPA in the bunch. But, there are enough differences that you're sure to find at least a couple crowd pleasers. Pop that cap and pour!

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