The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2010

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Page 72 of 100

Sixpack Gadd’s certainly drinkable and enjoyable, but the cloying sweetness makes it a tad obvious, like drinking the syrup from canned cling peaches with a beer chaser. WETTEN IMPORTERS Wells Banana Bread Beer From Bedford, England, comes this offbeat brew, made with Crystal hops and real bananas. It does smell and taste surprisingly like fresh banana bread—not just the bananas but the breadi- ness as well—but without the sugar overload. The finish is tangy and hopsy. They should sell this stuff at Starbucks. BELUKUS MARKETING INC. Thomas Hooker Watermelon Ale Short of vine-ripened tomatoes, nothing puts Eel River Açai Berry Wheat Açai is the buzzword flavor of the day, exotic enough to inspire fantasies of instant health if a bit challenging to pronounce (it’s a-SIGH-ee, if you’re still having trouble). This wheat ale—from America’s first certified organic brewery, in the thriving metropolis of Scotia, Mendocino County, CA—also contains the flavors of four other unnamed ber- ries. The clean, clear flavors lean in the direction of cherry but are less obvious, more subtle and subdued. Quite delicious and a summer quaff de rigeuer for Ladies’ Night at the local Scotia sauna. Marin Brewing Blueberry A fruit-driven staple in the catalog of this Larkspur, CA outfit, which lets neither malt nor hops get in the way of this brew’s smooth, jammy blueberry taste. If there is such a thing as a break- fast beer, this is that very thing; bring on the scones and Irish butter. If you’re old enough to remember, lift one for Huckleberry Hound. Pêche St. Louis This Belgian is aggressively flavored from the nose on, but it soon becomes a sugar-fest. What lambic flavors there are— some nice high-key tart, acidic notes—tend to get lost amid the fructose. It’s 72 / the tasting panel / june 2010 summer onto the palate like watermelon. This May-through-August seasonal from Connecticut’s Thomas Hooker Brewing Company is floral and perfumy with genuine all-American watermelon flavors. This year’s batch is made with organically-grown melons from historic Rosedale Farms, established in 1920. Stock up now for the Fourth of July. Limdemans Framboise Lambic This Belgian is the reddest beer you’ll ever see, the color of sparkling Shiraz, but ten times tastier IMHO. Nose redolent of a basket of fresh- picked raspberries, and in fact, the raspberries pretty much take over the palate, too, with tart/sour notes and an incisor-clenching finish. My fête-champêtre beer of choice, but it will also serve for a plain old American picnic. MERCHANT DU VIN SWEETEN YOUR SUMMER WITH THESE FruiT-FLAVOreD BEERS

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