Leinenkugel’s Lemon Berry Shandy

photo(159)Welcome, welcome one and all to another chapter in the annals of beer drinking.  Today we look at another entry into the seemingly ever-growing catalog of Leinenkugel’s beers.  Today we look at their only year round shandy: Lemon Berry Shandy which is a take on the beer mix that usually uses a lemonade or citrus flavored soda to give the a more appeasing taste to a larger audience of alcohol drinkers.  This particular Leinenkugel beer uses blackberry juice and lemonade flavor to give this beer a dangerously easy to drink, even for a hop head.  The beer pours a cloudy amber color with a fizzy white head of foam that leaves a bit of lacing and a nose of sweet lemon and berry notes in the nose.  The beer’s taste starts off like most shandy beers with a noticeable lemonade taste that stays on the palate while a strawberry taste grows on the tongue and back-end where the two flavors combine to a taste that is similar to strawberry-lemonade with a subtle malt undertone.  For those who love sweet alcohol drinks, this maybe the beer you’re looking for, but it’s sweetness can be off-putting to a traditional beer drinker.  In hotter climates, a beer like this could possibly go over very well with anyone looking for a refreshing drink that’s easy to get and doesn’t weigh one down like one of those fruity umbrella drinks.

Redd’s Apple Ale

photo(102)Ah hello friends and welcome back to another day, another beer.  Today let’s get towards the front of a beer trend today, shall we?  Currently there is a small yet growing movement of craft cider in America and one way to get in on the ground floor of this rising elevator is to make a mass-produced cider and get your name out there with a cleaver marketing campaign.  Well the gang over at Redd’s Brewing have given us Redd’s Apple Ale which is a cider marketed as an ale but really is a cider.  Got that?  Good.  The beer, err, cider pours an apple juice golden color with not much head to speak of and a nose of boozy apple juice.  The cider, err, ale tastes like a cider with a medium dryness in the aftertaste that you’d expect from a higher end cider (which, by the way, this costs way less than that).  Not bad but doesn’t do anything to really set itself apart for other ciders other than it’s marketing but that little fact alone gives this cider a chance to survive on the open market of beers which only Woodchuck has been able to do so far.

Crispin Browns Lane

photo(94)Hello one and all and welcome back to yet another attempt to explain a small part of the great world of beer.  Today let’s take another look at the world of cider and…now sit down, all of you!  I devote plenty of time to beer and there are enough cider drinkers out there that also drink beer and read this column so let’s give them a look at their side of the beer cooler, shall we?  Ok, Crispin is back yet again this time with their imported English cider, Browns Lane which is apparently an “homage to British motor-racing heritage” and it’s named after the site of the original Jaguar car factory in merry old England.  Made entirely in England with English apples, the cider is imported by Crispin for us drinkers here in the states.  The cider pours a crisp clean golden color that has a fizzy champagne like head of foam that vanishes as quickly as it appeared and a nose of sweet apples and some bread notes.  The cider’s taste starts off with a subtly dry taste of alcohol that grows to apple/bread flavor on the mid tongue before finishing dry on the back-end while the aftertaste is mellow but you get a sweet apple flavor during the exhalation.  Not a bad cider, but I wasn’t that impressed with this one personally and I’ve had better English ciders than this one.  If you’re looking for a canned cider, this is one you should try but keep an open-mind until you get a chance to try the other tallboy ciders on the market and make your own decision.

Crispin Bare Naked

photo(83)Greetings cats and kittens and welcome back to another day, another beer.  In full disclosure, I want to let everyone know that I’m drinking bare naked today.  Wait, wait, please keep your lunch down and your butt in your seat, I’m not drinking in the nude, I’m drinking Bare Naked Cider from Crispin (I can see sighs of relief from some of you, the rest are heading to the exit because this is a cider review).  Now, I’ve made it loud and well-known that I really enjoy a good Crispin cider for several reasons, two of which are the fact that Crispin experiments with their ciders in ways others seem reluctant too and because their ciders aren’t sweet and are very drinkable, even to those who aren’t cider drinkers find these ciders interesting enough to drink.  The cider pours a clear golden color with no head to speak of a nose of fresh apples.  The cider’s taste starts off  a freshly pressed apple juice that gains a touch of mild sweetness on the mid tongue and a nice clean back-end with an aftertaste like you just took a bite of a red apple.  This cider is a certified organic drink for those of y’all that care, personally, I don’t think it matters but different tastes is what makes this blog going so I’m not going to look a gift horse in a the mouth.  Pretty good overall, I like what I found in this cider but having taken a gander at a good majority of Crispin’s line-up, this one falls to the middle of the pack in my humble opinion.

Crispin Stagger Lee

photo(48)Howdy partner and welcome back to my attempt to wrangle a beer from the herd and review it for y’all.  Since it’s been a while and I don’t want my “alternative” drinkers to get disenfranchised, let us look at a cider for today’s offering.  Now, now beer drinkers, stick around, you may just learn something from this little review and expand you palate,maybe.  Now I’ve made it no secret that I love Crispin and their many takes and blends on the cider craft, but this one caught me by surprise since I didn’t really know much about it until I saw it there in the beer cooler, staring longingly at me through the cold clear glass.  *Ahem* Sorry.  The cider, Stagger Lee, is an unfiltered cider made with wit-style yeast, apple-wine, and unfiltered apple juice that is aged in rye whiskey barrels.  The cider pours a very murky soft gold color with no head or lacing to speak of and a nose of overly sweet apples and subtle grain notes.  The cider starts off overly sweet on the front of the tongue where a sugary mess of apples and booze mix and mingle towards the mid tongue where the sugar begins to give way to the booze which grows towards a smooth but still noticeable back-end flavor where a creamy undertone has added itself along side the now less dominant apple flavor.  Not a bad cider really, though one thing worth noting is the sweetness I mentioned before.  I like Crispin ciders because of their toned down sweetness but this one seems to more than make up for that lack of sugary syrup flavor.  Not something I will seek out again, honestly.  There is a better barrel aged cider from Crispin that I hope to get too soon but, for now, this is what I have to offer you and I hope you learned something from it.  Right beer drinkers?  Any y’all still here?  Hello?