Friday, May 25, 2012

Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale

We have a new guest reviewer in this episode - my friend Barb, who you might remember from September's "Southern Tier Cask Night at The Ruck" video. Anyway, she stopped over my house after work and I thought this fairly light beer was an appropriate after work/pre-dinner beverage. Was it any good? Watch and find out.

NOTE: This is the last episode of season 17

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (668) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 24, 2012
Fruity wheat beers tend to fail for the craft beer enthusiast because they’re too sweet and/or too artificial tasting. That’s pretty much the opposite with Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale - a fruity wheat beer that’s not nearly fruity or sweet enough (but, in all fairness, is not a bad beer at all).

I poured a 12oz bottle into a wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Gold color, translucent with visible high speed carbonation, but noticeably hazy. Initially forms a large, white, fluffy head, but quickly dissipates down to a coating, but does leave nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Generic American pale wheat ale aroma with hints of wheat and a mild blueberry scent.

Taste: Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale is pretty much a standard American pale wheat ale in every way possible. Light bodied all around with a subtle blueberry flavor in the aftertaste. It’s remarkably mild, though. Slight wheaty sweetness to begin with a hint of citrus flavor and accompanying bitterness through the mild. Subtle blueberry flavor as it finishes, but is so mild you really have to look for it. The blueberry really doesn’t show up until the aftertaste, which is otherwise quite clean.

There are absolutely no off-putting qualities to this beer, so while my rating may be rather low, I don’t mean to imply it’s in any way a foul beer. It’s just an overt lack of attributes. Had the blueberry flavor been more prominent I could see finding this genuinely delectable. The palate is more neutral than anything else, which is neither a compliment nor a detriment.

Drinkability: I know what the Matt Brewing Company was going for with this beer and it’s the drinkability. With a clean, light palate and crisp mouthfeel, Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale is definitely a refreshing brew. At only 5% ABV it’s approaching the sessionable beer category, although the lack of fun flavors might prevent it from truly being one, as I could see even novice drinkers getting bored with this after only one or two bottles.

Grade: 5/10

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