Monday, November 24, 2008

30 lbs. Short of a Six Pack: Season's Best

(30 lbs. Short of a Six Pack is a recurring feature which reviews a beer from the point of view of a guy who knows nothing about beer except for that he loves it. And it loves him. So go quench your thirst my friends.)

Ya know, I spoil you. Or you spoil me by reading this. Either way, let me reward you. Is there anything in life better than beer? Seriously? A significant other yells at you, sports hurt us, children cry. Beer loves you. Beer tastes good. In my constant search for blog relevance, I have added a second recurring feature this week, and it shall be known as 30 lbs. Short of a Six Pack. If you can't catch the metaphor there, you probably don't like beer. Yes, for you, I shall sacrifice. I shall endeavor to explore and search out new and tasty brews, even old familiar brews, and put my taste buds to keyboard for you. My review of such brew, shall flow fourth like the frothy head of... ok screw it, time to taste.

Today's beer is in the seasonal category. Winter truly is one of my favorite drinking times, and breweries never let you down. Saranac beers come from the Matt Brewing Company of Utica, NY. In the Saranac Holiday Sampler you will find this happy little beer; and that is what it is. A pleasant, easy to finish, fun to start, not too filling, not too weak beer. Described as a nut brown lager, Season's Best has a mild amber color and hint of caramel. It carries very little head and finishes just ever so slightly bitter, that good tinge of bitter finish you would get in a specialty Sam's. Real beer people would tell you that the finish comes from more hops or something, I will tell you that it is just plain good. This beer is 5.3% alcohol and Saranac recommends it with some good old pork or BBQ. I recommend it with more Season's Best, because you need be saving room for whats important... more beer.

Now because I love you, and I know I don't know jack about beer, I want to lend to you a real voice of authority. If you have never heard of Beer Advocate, thank me now, because I just made your world better. This website is a fantastic user generated review forum for beers, and for each review I shall throw in one from BA to give some actual knowledge to what I be saying. For Season's Best we tap into "wiseguy142" from Rochester, NY.

"Nut Brown Lager." Wtf. Ok I guess I'm excited, sounds pretty tasty and unusual. Just noticed the nice artwork on the label which I don't think I've been appreciating when it comes to the rest of Saranac's beers. Pours a nice amber brown.. maybe a little too similar to their ESB if they're trying to differentiate the two based on color. But good head and good lacing. Aroma is great, very perfume-y and piney, but it's either how it mixes with the rest of the malt or something else that makes it unique. Taste is a huge kick in the malt bone, if there was one. Astringency is very noticeable though, which seems to be a problem for Saranac's beers. The complex roasted malt flavors retain their integrity in the face of the lagering process, which was what I was worried about. I was worried it was going to be like the Indian Brown Ale and taste nothing like a brown anything, but it definitely pulls through. Unfortunately, the astringency is a huge flaw and affects my score significantly. Mouthfeel benefits form the overall malt character- medium to full body and really pleasant to drink. Probably a tie with the ESB for my favorite in the mix pack. Just fix that astringency, apply it to the other beers in the pack and I'd be really happy."

Thank you wiseguy142.

Ok, I have five more to drink and an airplane to catch tomorrow. Peace.