Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Horny Goat Archer Brown Ale


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (1331) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 21, 2015
I’ve seen a lot of interesting hybrid beer styles and blends over the years, but I don’t recall ever seeing a beer and cider blended at the brewery (when they do it at the bar it’s called snakebite). Horny Goat Archer Apple Brown Ale is, therefore, actually quite novel in its approach as it’s a combination of a brown ale and hard cider. The net result is an apple-flavored brown ale that’s interesting and tasty, but not quite amazing.

I poured a 16oz can into a nonic pint glass. It was canned on 12/13/14.

Appearance: Dark mahogany color – brownish in shade and reddish in light. Carbonation visible. Pours to a small, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Light nose of apple cider and a faint trace of dark malt.

Taste: The cider component of the palette is evident right away. Not nearly as tart, acidic or dry as most ciders, though. The apple flavor is mild, but authentic. It doesn’t taste like apple-flavored beer, thankfully. There’s a slight tanginess as well, but it’s easily overlooked. Virtually nothing in the way of bitterness or hop character, unfortunately. The back end imparts some darker malt character with a quick taste of milk chocolate, which is nice. What’s here is fine and enjoyable enough, but repetitive and uneventful. A more robust brown ale base might make for a more interesting, beer-centric brew.

Drinkability: Anyone who’s drank a cider knows they tend to be light and crisp and Horny Goat Archer Brown Ale nearly has the mouthfeel of a cider. It’s a little thicker, though, and much less tart. Crisp for sure for a fair amount of carbonation. It finishes almost completely clean. At 5.4% ABV it’s no wonder it’s not that strong of a beer, though it feels heavier than it is. A single serving will suffice. 
Score: 6/10