Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blue Moon Rising Moon Spring Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (569) - Albany, USA - FEB 23, 2010
This spring will be my first season of trying spring-themed beers, but I think I’ve started out on the wrong foot by opening the season with Coors Rising Moon Spring Ale. Like other beers in the “Blue Moon” line that are marketed as having a distinct fruit taste to them, this beer purports to be a lime-tasting brew. However, I found it to be a generic ale with a lime aftertaste.


The beer pours smoothly to a beautiful shade of clear amber with plenty of carbonation noticeable. It forms a one-finger, white foamy head which lasts for quite a while and even leaves some lacing on the glass. There is very little lime scent in the nose, as this beer smells more like a weak winter ale than anything else.


Beers that utilize lime, whether it be wedges in the neck of the bottle or in the flavor of the beer itself, tend to be weak lagers that need a gimmick in order to be drinkable. I’d never considered lime to be a viable option for any kind of seasonal craft ale, though. Rising Moon Spring Ale states very clearly that it is made with three varieties of specialty malts along with Kieffer lime leaves and lime peel – sounds a bit gimmicky, don’t you think?

What struck me first about this beer was neither its malts nor its lime taste, but its hop character as this was a noticeably bitter brew. It has a bit of a bite to it, with the lime flavor coming in the aftertaste. You would think this would give it a citrusy or tart palate not unlike a pale ale or IPA, but it’s rather weak across the board. There definitely is some spice to taste here, but the beer is far too watered-down to enable the flavors to do their job properly.


While not the most bitter or spiciest beer I’ve ever had, for a mass market brew Rising Moon is just slightly coarser than your average ale. Considering that this is actually an amber wheat ale makes this even more surprising. Not that it’s a difficult beer to drink, but the fact I even noticed the finish at all really says a lot.


At 5.6% ABV, Rising Moon is a bit heavier than most beers of this type. I found the weight to be a little above average as I definitely felt the two beers I drank as soon as I finished them. Not that it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, just not as light as I was expecting.


I think Coors Rising Moon Spring Ale is just a few degrees away from being a solid performer in many aspects. All my criticisms of it are due to it being just a bit too much in some aspects and a bit too little in others. It has real taste and it is certainly drinkable, but I need something more to really appreciate.

Grade: 5/10

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