Beer of the Moment – Maine Beer Company Zoe

Maine Beer Company Zoe

Bottle: 1 pint 9 oz, ABV: 7.2%, Serving Temperature: 55 F°, Glass Type: Chalice, Bottle Date: 10/8/13, Drank:10/15/13

Maine Beer Company ZoeInterlude: The label on this beer reads “Our Happy, Hoppy, Ale” which I find intriguing and for some unknown reason it reminds me of my favorite time of the year, Fall. I am guessing most of you are with me on this one. The warmth of the sun still lingers, but there is a crispness in the air that is unmistakably autumn. For me, this is the best time to ride my bike.  I love the early morning chill as you set out early, then the morning warms up, forcing you to peel off layers.  To me fall is the perfect blend of all the things I enjoy about summer and winter.  It highlights the beauties of each season without being purely anything, each day is different, ever changing.

Appearance: Dark amber, with brilliant cherry and ruby hues as it is held up to the light, much deeper than expected, just a beautiful color

Aroma:  I am struck by the crisp smell of pine and citrus blended with the smell of dark chocolate malts and biscuit, slight spiciness is noted. There are also notes of caramel and a candy-like sweetness.

Taste: This is bold and robust, chocolate malt and bread dominate upfront, then a big taste piney bitterness comes forward. I taste a caramel finish with a slight sweetness as the bitterness fades. The hops are not overly citrusy or “dank”, just adding a solid bitterness. The malt and hop profiles of this beer are excellent and very well balanced, I feel they complement each other well.  I was fortunate enough to find this really fresh, only 7 days since bottling, so the hop character is very apparent, but I think that would fade quickly over time.

Mouthfeel: medium body, slight chewiness

Overall: Much like fall, this beer is a blend of the things that I love from both ambers and aggressively hopped pale ales and IPAs.  It has bold and sweet malt character backed up with a bitterness that rivals some IPAs.  I think this is a great option as the weather turns cooler and you naturally crave something a little hardier without being overly heavy. I think it would pair well with robust, bold foods you would find around the Thanksgiving table.