Tasting Beers with Flawless Consumer Ratings
The following three beers accompanied “The Agony and Ecstasy of Beer Reviews,” which appeared in our July 2015 issue.
Consumer review systems often find their value depending upon how effectively the information is presented and, in turn, used. Individual beer pages on RateBeer include, in addition to each beer’s overall score, its score relative to just those beers listed in the same style category. All About Beer Magazine tracked down a 100-point pale lager, dortmunder and wheat ale, to see what all the fuss is about.
Jack's Abby CalyptraABV: 5.5%
Tasting Notes: The India pale lager style (which some might call this one) is often little more than a lager overstuffed with hops. No, this beer is special. It’s a lager with a crisp drinking sensation and malt flavors of caramel and honey toast. The two hop varieties—Citra and Calypso—are often best when used in moderation, and in this aromas of pear, tangerine, mango and lemon work together in unison. As far as lagers go, this is the high-water mark after a 100-year flood.
Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldABV: 5.8%
Tasting Notes: More on the copper side of gold, but still brilliant and crystal clear with a fluffy white head. Creamy and full with robust yet smooth carbonation, this beer asks to be gulped down and followed with another. There’s a reason people flock to it, with its rich caramel aromas bordering on toffee and a hint of earthy, noble hop bitterness. Give this one another medal.
Modern Times Fortunate IslandsABV: 5%
Tasting Notes: One could go on and on about the subtle warm vanilla and nutty aromas, or the tangerine, mango and passion fruit flavors imparted by the hops here. But this outstanding take on an IPA makes one want to sit quietly in the sunshine, sip this down and recall happy memories. Get a can and do the same.
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.