Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Alaskan Summer Ale review

Alaskan Summer AleToday's brew review is a continuation on the Alaskan Brewing Company line of beers out of Juneau, Alaska. I've been wanting to sample more of this breweries wares and since it was a nice sunny spring day out today I decided to go with something that's fit to drink in the warmer weather. This is their limited edition Alaskan Summer Ale.

This beer is a Kölsch style ale, a style originating in Cologne, Germany that was made to compete with Altbeirs, which strangely enough, was the last beer I reviewed from the Alaskan Brewing Company.

Appearance: This beer poured clear with a light golden color and did not have much of a head to it. The whitish head only rose up about 1/2" or so and quickly disappeared to nothing. It ended up looking almost like a glass of white wine. I've found that these Alaskan beers don't ship to the lower 48 with much head left to them. Which is a shame really. Kölsch beers are supposed to have a more distinct hoppiness to it and a less malty taste.

Aroma: The aroma you initially get is all hops, Hallertauer in particular, nice clean floral with a spice. I opened this beer fresh out of the cooler, but decided I should let this beer warm slightly to bring out more flavor and aroma. I loved the nice hoppy aroma from the Hallertauer hops. The aroma is not as bitter as other beers however. The hops certain stand out in this Summer Ale, but without giving you reason to skrinch your nose.

Like it's brother, the Alaskan Amber altbeir, this beer has about a 5.3% ABV and a low 18 IBU and a light SRM rating of 8. I could tell this would make another good session beer right from the outset.

Taste & Feel: The mouth feel is almost creamy, not watery at all and has a good carbonated feel. It goes down very smooth and isn't dry at all. Mmmm ya, I'm going to buy more of this in six packs this summer to share for sure. The Alaskans put in some Pale, Munich, Vienna and wheat malts in this brew. Perhaps it's the wheat that I smell up front. I can certainly taste the wheat in this beer. I'm really starting to like wheat much more than I originally did. I think you have to be in the mood for a certain type of beer and have tried a lot of different styles to begin to appreciate it.

The beer rating sites thought this beer as OK. BeerAdvocate gave it a solid "B" grade. And gave it a 53rd percentile and a 3.11 out of 5 ranking. Pretty much expected for this style of beer. I enjoyed this as much as the Alaskan Amber and it tasted much the same but a bit lighter. This beer will get a 3.4 out of 5 rating from me today. I'd certainly buy this again and would drink it as a session beer in warm weather.

It's nice to get just the beer you were expecting to taste even before you buy it. I wasn't in the mood for a dark heavy beer tonight and I'm glad I went with a Kölsch.

This beer is on par with the Fort Collins Brewery Summer Fling that I've sampled before. Save this type of beer for the warmer days ahead and you won't be disappointed. Thumbs up!

Related articles:
- Alaskan Amber review.
- Alaskan Pale review.
- Alaskan Smoked Porter 2008 review.
- Alaskan IPA review.

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