Sunday, June 7, 2015

City Steam Crème de la Crème

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1368) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 7, 2015
Cream Ale is the craft beer drinker’s adjunct lager. In fact, there’s not a whole lot of difference in the ingredients between pale lager and cream ales; the latter just has way more cache. The problem is so few breweries make an exciting cream ale (many are downright awful). City Steam Crème de la Crème may not exactly be a masterwork, but it’s better than most and a fun beer to drink.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It was bottled on 4/23/15 and cost $2.80 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Maize-yellow color with a hazy complexion. Carbonation is visible at first but it calms down. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which leaves a surprising amount of lacing.

Smell: Lager-like scent with prominent corn notes, though Noble hops are noticeable.

Taste: It’s amazing how much affect yeast has on a beer’s palette. When lagered, the ingredients in this type of beer tend to be grainy and harsh, but when fermented as an ale they’re much smoother and rounded out. There’s a light bready/biscuity flavor to the malts here. Flaked maize gives it a sweet, cornbread-like flavor (whereas in lagers it tends to taste like canned corn). The use of Noble hops imparts a little bit of spice; akin to a light rye flavor. This is a well-balanced brew with nuances worth appreciating, albeit a mild one.

Drinkability: The funny thing about cream ales is they tend to be light, thin and crisp – not creamy. Though in the case of City Steam Crème de la Crème I actually do detect a creamy smoothness to the texture. It’s still plenty well carbonated, though as it does seem to kick-off the tongue at the end of each swig. At 4.8% ABV it’s arguably sessionable, though this body could probably use a bit more flavor or a bit less alcohol. This beer should be packaged in cans, too.

Score: 7/10

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