Organic Strawberry AleSeptember 1, 2009 Stamford, England
Samuel Smith (brewed at Melbourn Brothers)
Imported by: Merchant du Vin
Brewed with the old manually-operated equipment and in the Victorian copper kettle at Samuel Smith’s tiny and historical Melbourn Bros. Brewery, in Stamford. Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale undergoes fermentation there, then is sent to Samuel Smith’s where it is blended with pure organic strawberry juice and a previously-cellared organic batch, then bottled. Multiple yeast strains are used in this beer. Melbourn Bros. was established in 1825, and Samuel Smith’s in 1758.
Original gravity: 1065
Strawberry Fields Forever! The smell of fresh strawberries literally leaps out of the bottle of this organic ale. Pouring a glowing, pinky amber, there’s a very slight white head that disappears almost as quickly as it hits the glass. An unexpected creaminess to the mouthfeel, combined with the blissful marriage of jammy strawberries and biscuit—with just a hint of lemon—is reminiscent of a strawberry tart. The fruit is not too sweet and plays well with just a hint of “beeriness” to remind you of what you are drinking. This strawberry delight should go great with plain cheesecake or anything chocolate. It also might make a lovely strawberry vinaigrette for the upcoming Salad Days.
- Lisa Morrison
There’s nothing subtle about this copper-red beer, except perhaps the gentle tartness that just takes the edge off the sweetness and prevents the taste from cloying (more tartness, in my mind, would improve it considerably). Otherwise, it’s strawberries all the way, from the huge aroma, through the smooth, moussey taste to the drying, bittersweet finish. It’s not bad, and could be an alternative drink for the summer months for those who like strawberries, but, even so, the 550 ml bottle looks rather daunting and drinking a whole one on your own would be a challenge.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka The Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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