Monday, February 3, 2014

Blue Moon Blackberry Tart Ale

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (1054) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 3, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had a best before date of 5/26/14 and came as part of a mix pack for $14.47 ($1.20 per bottle or $0.10 per ounce).

Appearance: A fairly pretty shade of burgundy with a faint purple hue. Clear body, but no visible carbonation. Pours to a small, off-white, soapy head which retains and laces poorly.

Smell: Authentic blackberry aroma, though mild. A hint of earthy twang.

Taste: It’s been years since I’ve drank or reviewed a Blue Moon brew, Coors’ attempt at making crafty-style beers. Though only one sip into Blackberry Tart Ale and I could immediately identify that distinct faux craft character so many macros like this tend to have. In fact, that first sip was actually pretty good. But then it was all downhill from there.

The first taste is, not surprisingly, blackberry. It seems authentic in that it’s not overly sweet and does have some tartness to it. I also get a hint of blueberry and even some raspberry too. My friend Jason described it as "alcoholic Juicy Juice." I’d agree, though it’s much less flavorful than that. The berry taste fades quickly and the palette becomes rustic with a distinct twang on the finish - much like that of a sorghum-based brew. Otherwise, there isn’t much in the way of true malt character. There’s a touch of additional fruit and a faint wisp of tartness as it goes down. It finishes fairly clean, though there is a bit of an earthy, peanut shell flavor in the aftertaste. I’m not sure how they can deliberately brew a beer with this kind of taste. While not horrible, this is most definitely not good (not even average).

Drinkability: There’s no challenge to Blue Moon Blackberry Tart Ale, other than its palette. The mouthfeel is thin and nearly flat which makes it easy to quaff, though I would not describe it as refreshing. For a 5.8% ABV brew it’s definitely missing a lot of body and flavor. This is more of an alcopop than a beer. 
Grade: 4/10