Monday, November 18, 2013

Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (1009) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2013
I poured a 12oz can into the official Sea Dog Blueberry Ale shaker glass. It was canned on 9/14/13 and cost $4.99 for a six-pack ($0.83 per can or $0.07 per ounce).

Appearance: Hazy shade of dark straw, plenty of carbonation visible. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which leaves minor lacing and never dissipates completely.

Smell: Strong aroma of blueberry flavoring. Doesn’t seem authentic.

Taste: Fruity wheat beers are great introductory brews for the craft beer acolyte, but veteran drinkers like me tend to detect artificiality easily. Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale is definitely a misnomer since it’s not made with "wild" blueberries, and I doubt it’s made with actual blueberries at all since the can and website simply say "natural flavors." It’s a familiar flavor in mass consumer products like waffles, cereal, cookies, and other sweet treats. I wouldn’t say this beer is cloyingly sweet, just that the blueberry doesn’t seem authentic and is a little stronger than "subtle."

Since it’s so strongly flavored with blueberry, this beer is for those that like the taste of blueberry flavoring. It does have the generic pale wheat ale base to it, with truly subtle wheat character that imparts a slightly nutty, cracker-like taste. There’s no Bavarian qualities of banana or clove or other spices, so the beer is rather mild at the core. The blueberry flavor is strong, sweet and somewhat tart in the finish. It’s enjoyable in a small, standalone serving, but I think it would become abrasive on the palate after a while.

Drinkability: This is the kind of beer I would want to drink in the heat of the summer, especially considering it comes in a can and is portable. The body is crisp and refreshing with a fairly clean aftertaste (though some blueberry does linger). At 4.7% ABV it’s actually a little surprising there isn’t a little more taste since it’s quite light in body all around. But at least it does what it’s supposed to do. 
Grade: 5/10