Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Beers 2: Orange Blossom Cream Ale

Soldiering on in my quest to find some of the best options for summer beer fare, I cracked open a Orange Blossom Cream Ale by Buffalo Bill's Brewery out of Hayward, CA.  I was never a huge fan of cream ales - my only exposure had been to Genesee Cream Ale, and, while some people really like that beer, I was not one of them.  Tasted like just another thin macrobrew to me.  Then I brewed a cream ale about a month ago - revelation!  It delivered on all the right points for me - actual creamy head, light but flavorful, refreshing, and low enough in ABV (around 4.5% - this clocks in at 5.2%) that you could have three or four after mowing the lawn without getting all loopy.  So was looking forward to trying this one - sweet orange peel and honey additions promised a creamy, flavorful and fruity brew.

It was - OK.  May have been overly chilled to start, because I didn't catch any of the orange flavor.  The head was thinner and less creamy than I had hoped (bubbles were pretty big compared to the homebrew I made), and the carbonation was pretty high, keeping its quaffability index on the low side (yo, patent on the "quaffability index" is pending - step off).  Color was a hazy, orangey deep gold.  Once it warmed a little, the orange started to come through, and it was very dry (something which is typical to beers with honey additions).  The slight bitterness cut through any sweetness that might have come from the orange.  Overall, a decent fruit beer.  Just didn't live up to my (possibly inflated) expectations.

Orange Blossom Cream Ale

So while this is a pleasant beer with some interesting flavors, it doesn't really live up to the cream ale style's telltale characteristics.  Would certainly drink it at a party or share with friends, but wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

Rating:  3 vats of sunscreen out of 5

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