Stepping outside my comfort zone, somewhat unexpectedly.
Name: Smashed Blueberry Malt Beverage with Natural Flavor
Style: Malt Beverage
Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company
I’ve had experience with Shipyard Brewing Co. on a number of occasions. I have family up in Maine that are kind enough to offer me their flagship Export Ale whenever we visit, and I enjoy it thoroughly. I intend on reviewing that ale in the future, so I don’t want to dive too deeply into how much I enjoy it.
I was cruising my local liquor store for something new and interesting. I enjoy blueberry beer, and wanted to try a variety as I planned to post a number of blueberry themed articles. Because of my OCD focus on my fruity goals, I didn’t look too closely at the label, beyond the brewery and the smashed additions.
Imagine my surprise when I popped the top and poured some into my imperial pint already pre-populated with the little blue goodness. My quick double-take of the label confirmed it wasn’t the expected ale, but a malt beverage. In the past, I’ve shied away from malt beverages because of my association with Olde English 800 or Colt 45, the most excellent Billy Dee Williams notwithstanding.
I poured the malt into my pint (as seen above) and gave it a quick taste. Not too dissimilar to a stout with fruity flavor added, but something else was jumping out at me. It was the alcohol level. Being a malt beverage, which typically has a higher alcohol content, this has a 9.0% alc/vol.
Since this blog is all about me, my view and my tastes, I need to explain that I don’t typically like higher than usual alcohol levels. If all you want to do is get loaded, then mazel tov, enjoy the beer in any way you’d like. If I’m looking to get my buzz on, I’d prefer some tasty waves and a cool buzz through less alcoholic, smooth beers.
Using my continually refined and improved taste scale, I would need to put this around a -5. It is sweet, and fruity, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the alcohol taste. If it wasn’t so sweet and fruity, I might describe this beer with my most damning label of gasoline flavored. It isn’t like that (at all), but it isn’t agreeable to my tastes.
I can’t do it, and I’m disappointed because of it. I like what Shipyard typically has to offer, and I look forward to trying some of their others, but I will stay away from the Malts. Some of my upcoming posts will be about blueberry ales I like considerably more. Stay tuned!