Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Maine Beer Lunch

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (957) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 28, 2013

 I poured a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 8/13/13 and cost $7 ($0.41 per ounce) (thanks to Jon H. for selling it to me).

Appearance: Burnt umber/rusty orange hue. So hazy that it’s opaque. Forms a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains wonderfully.

Smell: Stone fruit with significant vegetable component of garlic and other seasonings.

Taste: 2013 has been the year of the New England IPA for me. I’ve had quite a few beers of the style from breweries I’ve never been able to try before, and I notice there’s an eerie similarity to their taste. However, what they also have in common is my enjoyment of them. And while Maine Beer Company Lunch is another great example of the regional style, I think I’ve reached a point where it doesn’t impress me as much as it once did.

Like the other New England IPA’s, "Lunch," is a palette of two distinctive movements. Up front it’s sweet and juicy with a tropical fruit flavor of passion fruit, guava and red grapefruit. Then it transforms on a dime to garlic and green onion with a residual flavor of spice rack seasonings (which become stronger as the beer warms). The bitterness is noticeable throughout, but restrained, and complements the palette nicely. There’s an arid dryness as it finishes, though it fades away quickly. The body is well-balanced with plenty of amber and pale maltiness, but I wouldn’t consider it a sweet or malty beer per se. Overall, it’s a very good IPA, and I’d probably rate it higher if I hadn’t already had so many comparable beers prior.

Drinkability: Though plenty robust and full-bodied, "Lunch" is a remarkably easy drinker. The mouthfeel is calm and soft, with an almost creamy texture and smooth finish. There is a slight aftertaste of spicy hops and general dryness, but it’s mild and tolerable. Each swig is refreshing for a short moment as it crosses the tongue. At 7% ABV it’s a strong beer, but not an obtuse one. It’s also versatile as it can be enjoyed on its own or with a meal. 
Grade: 8/10

NOTE: The above photograph was used without my permission by Forbes here:

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