Blueberry Cobbler Ale

Maker: Atwater, Detroit, Michigan, USAwpid-2015-08-31-20.11.02.jpg.jpeg

Style: (Dark) Ale brewed with blueberries.

ABV: 6.9%

Appearance: Dark brown, like cola with a bluish tinge.

Nose: Burnt blueberry pie, asphalt, alcohol.

Palate: Dark roasted malt, cooked blueberries.

Finish: Pleasant. Bittersweet stout and blueberry pie.

Parting words: I’ve been reviewing Atwater’s beers for years and they haven’t once made any sort of contact with me on social media or anywhere else. Not even a like or a favorite. That’s a little annoying but I don’t hold it against them. Some companies are good at social media and some aren’t. My annoyance in no way negatively influenced my review, but didn’t help either.

This beer is OK, but the nose is really weird. It’s called blueberry cobbler, but it tastes much more like blueberry pie than cobbler. There’s no biscuity-topping flavors. It’s just all cooked fruit. Heck, even the guy in the Atwater logo is carrying a lattice top pie, not a cobbler. Yes, it’s a minor quibble but it points to the confused state of this beer. There’s some blueberry in there but there’s not enough to make it actually taste like blueberries. I get that they were going for a baked blueberry thing here, but the toasty malt just makes it taste like the burnt drips that stick to the bottom of the oven after the pie is done.

I like, nay, love most of Atwater’s beers but this is a failure. Blueberry Cobbler is not recommended.

Advertisements

Soft Parade

Maker: Short’s, Bellaire, Michigan, USAwpid-2014-08-18-20.21.51.jpg.jpeg

Style: Strong rye ale with pureed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

ABV: 7.5%

Purchased for: $11

Appearance: Golden brown with a hint of pink. Lacy head.

Nose: Roasted malt, fruit juice.

Palate: Medium bodied and nicely balanced. Hot cereal, Hawaiian Punch, wild blackberries.

Finish: Dark rye toast, with a tiny bit of mixed berry jam.

Parting words: Summer is the time for fruit beers and this one is very popular in these parts, and not just because of the great label art. It’s everything a fruity summer beer should be. It’s fruity and refreshing while still having the character of the “base” beer, in this case a strong rye ale. The ABV is sneaky and could take one unawares, but there’s nothing not to love about this beer except maybe the price. Soft Parade is recommended.

Atwater Summer Time Ale

Maker: Atwater, Detroit, Michigan, USAwpid-20140804_170659.jpg

Style: Wheat ale brewed with lemon peel & grains of paradise.

ABV: 5%

Purchased for $9/6 pack

Appearance: Dark copper with a light foamy head. Slighly cloudy.

Nose: Malt, mandarin orange, peach.

Palate: Medium bodied and effervescent. Lightly roasted malt, hint of yeast, balanced by some acidity.

Finish: Fruit then a bit hit of bitterness. Lingers for a long time with a bit of stickiness on the lips.

Parting words: This Atwater’s take on the summer wheat ales that Michigan brewers have made popular (we can all name at least one).

This one is different than its cousins, though, because of its bitterness and much more subtle fruit flavors. If I hadn’t read the label, I would never have known that lemon peel was used in the brewing of this beer. That’s not a knock, though. Some of these types of beers can be too fruity and ham-fisted in their use of fruit and spice. If anything this is a little too far on the other side of the spectrum. There’s a little too much bitterness and richness for a summer ale. Seems more fitting for fall.

Still, it’s enjoyable and the price is typical for microbrews. Atwater’s Summer Time Ale is recommended.

Traverse City Cherry Wheat

Maker: Atwater, Detroit, Michigan, USAAtwater Traverse City Cherry

Style: Wheat beer with brewed with cherry.

ABV: 6%

Appearance: Light auburn with a short-lived, foamy head.

Nose: Malt, sourness, fruit.

Palate: Medium bodied. Slightly sour with sweet malt and a splash of tart cherry juice.

Finish: Cherry flavor, some malt and a little hoppy bitterness.

Parting words: Not to be confused with Atwater’s Cherry Stout. This beer is also included in Atwater’s summer party twelve pack. It’s an easy drinking, lightly fruity and sour wheat beer. Nothing earth- shattering but tasty on a hot and sticky summer evening. Traverse City Cherry Wheat is recommended.

Abita Purple Haze

Maker: Abita, Abita Springs, Louisiana, USAAbita Purple Haze

Style: Lager with raspberry.

ABV: 4.2% ABV

Appearance: cloudy burnt orange.

Nose: Malt and a vague fruitiness.

On the palate: Heavy cereal notes with a background of raspberry. Like eating a bowl of Grape Nuts with raspberries, only the raspberries have already been eaten and all that’s left is the raspberry infused milk with the cereal.

Finish: Light with more cereal and what seems to be a touch of hops. Not much fruit to be found.

Parting words: I traded a Rübæus for this with a friend. I think she got the better of the trade. There’s nothing wrong with this beer. It’s very easy drinking and if you like lots of cereal flavors in your beer, you’ll like it. I think it needs more raspberry, though. If I didn’t want something that tasted like it’s been made with raspberries, I wouldn’t get this beer. So I want more raspberry not more. Anyway, it’s good enough to warrant a mild recommendation.

Hell or High Watermelon

Maker: 21st Amendment, San Francisco, California, USAH or HW
Style: Watermelon wheat beer.
ABV: 4.9%
Thanks to Rhiannon for the cans.
Appearance: Not sure, drank it out of the can.
Nose: Sweet watermelon, a touch of cereal and tropical fruit.
On the palate: Fizzy and mild. Watermelon, banana pudding, cream of wheat.
Finish: Crisp. Watermelon with some lingering bitterness.
Parting words: Fruit beers are getting more respect these days, at least from me. This is a fantastic summer beer. Crisp and refreshing but with the weight and fruit of a wheat beer. The tropical fruit already present is complemented perfectly by the watermelon. It’s not particularly complex or a “meditation beer” but it’s perfectly refreshing and delicious. It’s runs at typical micro prices, judging by what I saw online. It’s not available locally. Hell or High Watermelon is recommended.

Rübæus

Maker: Founders, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USARubaeus

Style: Raspberry Ale

ABV: 5.7%

Thanks to Patty for the recommendation.

Appearance: Crimson with a big fluffy head on initial pour,persistant lacing afterwards.

Nose: Raspberry jam, a hint of malt in the background.

On the palate: Full bodied, slightly tart but not overly sweet. Low-sugar raspberry jam with some malt and maybe even hops.

Finish: Creamy. Raspberry custard or maybe fool (look it up). Fades away slowly into a roasty malt flavor like the crimped edge of a baked pie crust.

Parting words: I one of those people who has said for a while that I didn’t like fruity beers, but Rübæus and another one (to be reviewed soon) have really changed my mind. . Raspberry was used at several stops along the way in the fermentation process and that care shows up in the depth of flavor and balance at every stop in the process of drinking it. The sweetness and some of the tartness of the fruit comes through without turning the beer into a pucker-fest. The creamy finish is really outstanding too. Makes a nice after dinner or summer afternoon treat. It comes in a four pack that sells for around $12 so it’s not cheap, but it is worth it. Rübæus is recommended.