Last week, a call went out inviting other beer-lovers to contribute to The Brew Club and let their beer-infused voices be heard! Well, we’ve had some interest and today I’d like to introduce Mike who runs the TriState Beer Blog. Thanks Mike for sharing with the class, and we hope to hear more from you in the future! If you’d like to see your thoughts up in the not-so-bright spotlight that we offer, please get in touch!
Call me a lady, but I like fruit beer. There was a time when I would not have admitted that so quickly. Back when Bud and Miller were trying to cork the flow of their customers to other beers like Corona and Blue Moon, they had an ad that played to my fears. It said. “Real men don’t put fruit in their beer”. Back then, friends would repeat this when they saw me order something a little out of the ordinary.
Fast forward 5 or 6 years and the big macro-brews all have flavored beers. Think: Bud’s Shocktop. So I guess it’s all right to have fruit in your beer now. Whatever. I can’t help but drink sweet beers. The sweet tooth gene runs in my family from my diabetic father who sneaks cookies when my mom’s not looking, through me, to my son who can survive solely on Drakes Ring Dings.
So I’m always on the lookout for new flavorful beers, particularly raspberry flavor. I recently came across Sam Smith’s Organic Raspberry (5.1% ABV) and liked it. My favorite raspberry up to that point was Abita Purple Haze (4.2% ABV). So I decided to compare them head to head, so to speak.
First, I have to say that I did this taste test after cutting the lawn so whatever I write has to take this into account. Everything tastes a little better after cutting the lawn. With that said, here are the results:
Color: Haze is a golden brown like a good wheat beer should be. Sam’s looks more like a purple haze with its reddish tinge to both beer and head.
Head: Sam’s wins in this department: 3 fingers to 1 ½
Lacing: The head on Sam’s sticks around for the duration and, after a few minutes, leaves a bubble island of foam in the center of the glass. Haze’s head disappears fast leaving few rings.
Nose: Haze – floral but not fruity. Sam’s has a similar floral smell but with cherry scent in the background.
First sip: Haze – kind of tangy not very raspberry-like. Sam’s – Wow! Very sweet and a little sour like hard candy.
Mouth feel: Haze – light and pleasing, good session beer. Sam’s – great combination of fruit and beer. A little like a good White Zinfandel.
Finish: Haze – not much finish, but does leave me wanting another.
Sam’s – finishes a little sour. The strong taste makes me wonder if I could drink many more.
Winner: I guess it depends on the person and the place. If you like sweet things and you’re just looking to drink one beer, then Sam’s is for you. If you are planning on having several on a hot summer day then I would go with the Purple Haze.
Now even Bud’s got a raspberry beer. It seems they have discovered their inner lady. I won’t hold it against them. Maybe I’ll review that one next.