Friday, February 19, 2010

Boulder Never Summer Ale (2010 original review)

Another beer kindly donated to the show by Mike W. in Pennsylvania (thanks again, man!). And another beer I didn't write a review of. This is a winter warmer similar to the "Old Man" by Southern Tier. This is also an experimental upload as I'm uploading it at night but not putting it live until the morning. Maybe this will help speed up the process of having the thumbnail and description on Facebook too.

NOTE: I didn't write a review of this at the time, but here's my 2014 re-review:

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1248) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2014
This is another re-review beer for me. I originally drank this nearly five years ago and it was apparently a winter warmer at the time. This year’s edition seems to be a to-spec Amber Ale (BJCP style 10B), and works well as such even if there’s no spiciness. It does have a malt and hop combination that create for a palette vaguely similar to that of winter warmer, and that’s good enough for me.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.65 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Clear but dark copper/mahogany hue. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which and retains fairly well.

Smell: Strong sensation of specialty malt (with caramel notes) as well as citrusy hops.

Taste: Like any good amber ale, Boulder’s Never Summer Ale is not just malt-forward, but specialty malt-forward. Right away there’s a strong taste of caramel and toffee. They’re sweet to be sure, but not sickly sweet. Not surprisingly, there’s a strong hop presence to balance the maltiness. A combination of familiar West Coast-style citrusy hops along with subtle, spicy, almost spruce-like hop flavor and bitterness can be found throughout the palette (though there’s a significant bitterness around the middle of the swig). I also notice a mild coffee presence here as well, maybe even some toast with marmalade as well. Overall, it’s a really interesting and enjoyable palette. I’m not sure what’s so wintery or “Christmasy” about it, though; this would work well as a year-round offering.

Drinkability: Sweet beers tend to be a little clingy – literally. In the case of Boulder Never Summer Ale, it’s a bit of an anomaly. The mouthfeel is crisp, but relatively thick with a smooth texture. There’s a lingering bitterness initially, but it fades and leaves an aftertaste akin to that of iced coffee. At 6.5% ABV it definitely has the full-bodied taste and intensity you expect and want in a beer of this genre. 
Grade: 8/10

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