3.3AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 Since Budweiser is no longer an American corporation (it was sold to the Belgian brewery conglomerate InBev in July), calling its one and only ale product “American Ale” comes off as a total public relations stunt.
But is the beer worth drinking? Well, yes and no. Considering the producer and the target audience, it’s actually well-crafted for a mass-market brew. However, as a beer in and of itself American Ale is only average at best and there are many superior products available at comparable prices.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
Joe and Jane Six Pack is clearly the target audience for this beer, and I have a feeling they will be impressed if they decide to pour American Ale into a glass rather than chug it out of the bottle. This beer has a very beautiful, clear complexion of a dark amber and light red, resembling an “Irish Red” beer. It even forms an average-size, off white, soapy head which lingers surprisingly long and leaves quite a lot of lacing on the glass. This is not typical of a beer made by the world’s biggest brewery.
There isn’t much of an aroma to speak of, nothing notable anyway. American Ale certainly smells better than regular Budweiser since it doesn’t have that generic “beer smell.” There is a slight malty scent, but for the most part this beer is almost odorless.
The good news is American Ale tastes nothing like regular Budweiser and there definitely is a richer, more complex palate that’s noticeable to the average drinker. The beer is much malty than it is hoppy, and it’s almost sweet in a way. Chocolate and caramel seem to be underlying ingredients. Citrus notes are also detectable which gives the beer something of a split personality. Is it sweet? Is it sour? It’s all over the place.
The bad news is the taste, although fine, is entirely too weak. My first impression of American Ale was its watered-down flavor. To detect the individual ingredients here you must consciously look for them, otherwise this beer is basically a flat ale. In fact, if you drink it too slowly the acetaldehyde (a by-product of the fermentation process) will become apparent, giving the beer an almost salty taste.
As generic as the taste is, I have to admit this beer finishes quite smooth. Even light beer-only drinkers would probably find American Ale easily drinkable.
I’m actually surprised American Ale isn’t marketed as a quasi light like Budweiser Select since it’s easy to drink and light in body. I was able to drink a few bottles with dinner as well as a few bottles on their own and never once did I feel the least bit overwhelmed or full.
This beer is 5.3% ABV and probably has about 150 calories per serving. Its light weight makes it very appealing to drinkers already familiar with the other products in the Budweiser line.
In the end, what it all comes down to is that Budweiser American Ale is pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Yes it’s a pretty generic beer as a whole, but for a beer in the Budweiser line it’s a commendable effort. I just hope Joe & Jane Six Pack don’t drink this beer under the impression it’s some kind of true craft beer, since it’s not. I’d recommend heading over to Brew Crew instead of the supermarket to find something better.