It’s been a pretty relaxing weekend, even though I got started on taxes and paid some bills. I’ve been drinking Hop Slam almost all weekend, but since it’s Sunday evening, I thought I’d grab something a little lighter. My friend Joe from Atlanta brought me this beer when he and I met up last year, so it’s been in my beer fridge for several months. It sounds like it would be good, and at nearly 8% ABV, I’m hoping the flavors held up in the can.
Location: Poured into a pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 7.9% ABV, ~260 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a deep brick-red color, almost brown, with a good amount of sediment in it. Although there’s a good amount of carbonation in it, the head is almost non-existant with only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. It has a very nice sweet berry aroma to it, a bit more muted than the blueberry syrup I put on my pancakes at IHOP.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium, and it has a pretty crisp mouthfeel from all of the carbonation. The flavor up front has a good amount of blueberry-like flavor with hints of maltiness and Belgian yeast behind it. Maybe it’s the carbonation, but like a real blueberry it wasn’t overly sweet up front. In the middle, the earthiness of the blueberries comes up along with the maltiness and mild Belgian spiciness. In the finish, the aromatics of the blueberry comes out as well as the mild Belgian yeastiness.
Food Pairing: With the blueberry flavors in this beer, it would go great with a Belgian waffle, but it would also pair perfectly with other desserts, such as cheesecake or chocolate. I’m not sure how it would be, but I think it would also make for an interesting pairing with a meat/cheese mixture, such as a black and bleu cheese burger or a steak.
Overall Impression: Of the blueberry beers I’ve had, few are able to really capture the aroma and flavor of blueberries, and this one has done it… and it mixes perfectly with the Belgiany yeastiness that’s behind it. While it had a lot of blueberry fruitiness to it, it wasn’t very sweet, and the sweetness that was there was balanced with the yeastiness. his was a I do enjoy fruit beers, but they tend to be a little sweet, syrupy, or taste too artificially flavored, but this one was a nicely balanced, very good beer, and I really want to see how it tastes when it’s fresh.