A Belgian style pale ale brewed with Maine ingredients to showcase and support sustainable family farming in Maine’s sixteen counties, this latest style from Allagash reminds me of a saison. The head is massive and long lasting. The nose is grainy and grassy. The middle has zesty lemon, honeysuckle and other floral notes and there’s a quite a bit of grapefruit in the finish. The body is medium and the alcohol is a robust 7.3% ABV. An exceptionally delicious beer.
I give it a 4.8 out of 5.
Raftman is a Belgian Pale Ale from Unibroue, made with smoked whiskey malts. The nose is floral, yeasty and bready, with a bit of lemon. The middle is fruity and light. Banana, apple, and pear are here. I have to say, I’m not picking up any smokiness from the malt at all. The finish is more of the same. The body is medium, and the alcohol is a pleasant 5.5% ABV. A nice refreshing beer that would be great for summer.
I give it a 4 out of 5.
Another from this year’s Sam Adams summer variety pack is Belgian Session, a Belgian-style pale ale. The head is nice and creamy, and doesn’t fade too quickly. The nose is malty, with toffee and a hint of Belgian yeast in the background. The middle has banana esters and some traditional Belgian spices, particularly coriander. The finish has some caramel and orange, and a little lemon zest. All in all, a very decent Belgian Pale Ale.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5.
A summer seasonal from New Belgium, Rolle Bolle is a nice light (in body and color) beer with a Belgian twist. It’s kept light with malted oats to soften the base in a manner similar to wheat, and then spiced up with monk fruit and Soursop. The head is large, very light and lasts for quite a long time. The nose is light and floral and just a bit grainy. The middle is an interesting combination of the sweetness of the monk fruit with bitter herbal notes. The finish has some lemon, the last hint of some sweet grapes, and mineral bite that New Belgium aptly describes as “flint.” There is a notable resemblance to a very dry, very light white wine. It’s quite an interesting beer, and though it may have a bit too much going on for an everyday post-lawn-mowing beer, I’ve really enjoyed it.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.