Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beer Review: New Glarus Cranbic Ale

Reviewing the Cran-bic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company. Full disclosure upfront: not a fan of sours generally.
Score: 84

2011 vintage bottle served in a New Glarus flute and enjoyed on 04/23/12.

Appearance: Pours a cider color with a thin layer of bubble head that quickly dissipates into a pencil thin ring around the glass. Minimal lacing, poor retention. 3/5

Smell: Tart cranberries, granny smith apples and a little white grape. Hawaiian punch and little sweet vinegar sour aroma too. Nice sweet-and-sour aroma. 3.75/5

Taste: Tart, sweet-and-sour cranberries and grape upfront, with a light yeasty twang, subsides into a funky/sweet cranberry flavor on the back half. I like how the beer starts, but I do not like how it finishes so funky. Decent puckering effect. Very straightforward and one dimensional. The funky finish gets a little less funky as the beer layers. Has a light sweet rice vinegar and cranberry linger -- less crisp than expected given its effervescence. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, lively carbonation. Champagne-like mouthfeel. Very prickly on the tongue. Sweet, sugary and dry. 4/5

Overall: Certainly not a bad beer; this is one of the better fruit beers I have encountered. However, an off-puttingly funky finish really ruins what would have otherwise been a really solid beer.

Recommendation: Fans of Smirnoff Ice will probably love this. I'm sure sour fans will also like this one a lot too.

Pairings: Apple walnut salad with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Cost: $2.99 for a 12 oz bottle or $10.99 for a four pack.

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