Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blue Point Blueberry Ale


3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (604) - Albany, USA - JUL 16, 2011
I’m not opposed to beer being infused with fruit or even vegetables (i.e. pumpkin), but I think a lot of it depends on the brewer’s intention. Are they trying to create a wholly original, tasty beer with fruit; or are they just making an arbitrary beer to target a specific demographic? I get the feeling Blue Point Blueberry Ale falls somewhere in between. It tastes authentic at first, but eventually it seems like just another beer on the shelf.

APPEARANCE AND AROMA

I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. The appearance is very lager-like with a bright straw-colored body with a soapy, bright white head and medium carbonation. The head fizzles away fairly quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass.

There is a strong scent of blueberry as soon as I pop the cap, but it’s reminiscent of blueberry-flavored cereal, waffles, or candy. There’s also a noticeable "beer smell" underneath the fruity scent, but easy to ignore.

TASTE

More often than not, fruit beers tend to follow a pattern: they’re very tasty and refreshing upon the first few swigs, but then the flavor weakens and you’re left with something generic-tasting. That’s the description of Blue Point Blueberry Ale to a T.

Up front there is a very sweet, almost confectionary blueberry flavor, but the middle and end aren’t quite as enjoyable. The brewer’s website indicates the beer is brewed with 132 pounds of real blueberries, but the bottle says "natural flavoring". It definitely reminds me of so many other mass-produced consumer products with blueberry flavoring added. It’s sweet at first, but it’s still quite mild.

I guess my palate became accustomed to the blueberry flavor quickly, because after only halfway through my glass I was left wondering why this beer tasted so generic. I don’t get any hops or malts, and I’m left with only a blueberry aftertaste. It’s not off-putting, but it’s a struggle to find something to appreciate here.

DRINKABILITY

I’ve yet to find a fruit beer that is difficult to drink, regardless of overall quality. Since the palate to Blue Point Blueberry Ale is so mild, it comes as no surprise that it’s such an easy beer to chug. The body is medium to light-bodied, fairly thin, but not quite watery. It’s crisp as it crosses the tongue, but softens the more I drink.

At 4.3% ABV this is in the realm of a light beer and would probably make an ideal party beverage on a hot summer day or night. That is, if you don’t need a lot of flavor. Sometimes drinking overly sweet beers can become sickening after just one serving, but this beer you could probably session and stomach easily.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Since Blue Point’s bottled beers are made by the High Falls Brewing Company out of Rochester, New York, it comes as no surprise to me their beers taste a lot like that brewery’s quasi-craft "Dundee" line of brews. I think it’s safe to say that Blue Point Blueberry Ale is a deliberately pedestrian beer and if you’re a pedestrian drinker you’ll probably like it. I, however, want something more substantial.

Grade: 5/10