Ding Points = 72.00
Pour: 50, Nose: 70, Palate: 80, Feel: 80, Global: 70
OK, the cap for this beer has “The Perfect Summer Beer” emblazoned across it so it is certainly not afraid to declare where it thinks it is in the grand scheme of things. I like the confidence, I wonder if I will like the beer.
As folks that are clued in to the American beer scene know, the Shiner range of beers from Spoetzl are an interesting phenomenon. A loyal following in their home state, around the rest of the country they are generally thought of as a mediocre, pseudo-craft brewery that generally produces beer that is for the masses and perhaps only a notch above typical macro-swill.
The color of the beer is quite attractive. Poured from the 12 oz bottle (purchased as a single from Mac’s in Atlanta), the body is a clear, golden affair. REALLY golden in fact, but the head, retention and lace are perhaps the poorest combination that I ever recall seeing. The lack of head is to the point where if I were to observe this before knowing what it was, I would assume that it was a cider; it’s that clear, and completely lacks ANY head. Somewhat paradoxically, there is a good stream of fine carbonation that comes from the bottom of the glass, and lends a pleasing prickle to the mouthfeel of the beer.
The aroma has a slightly tart, fruit note about it, but I don’t think that I would ever pick it up as specifically grapefruit in nature.
The tastes are overwhelmingly citrus lemon for me, and are almost identical to those that I would expect to find in a traditional, English, lemonade shandy. In fact, as I drink it I can think of nothing else. The beer mimics thousands of such drinks that I have consumed over the years. It weakens a little toward the end of things and gets a touch acid-like, but the beer holds up pretty well. As others have mentioned in other reviews, I also get a touch of ginger but for me not as pronounced as others. A floral aspect to he the finish, as well some apple character.
This beer is without doubt the closest to an English Shandy that I have come across in 11 years in the USA. It is INFINITELY more authentic that the horrible concoction that Leinenkugel’s put out with the word ‘Shandy’ on the label (that is an abomination), and it impersonates the original quite well. Perhaps I am biased in that respect, AND I am a lover of grapefruit (although this beer hardly does much in that regard), but nevertheless I enjoyed this and would agree with the fact that it is likely to go with the extreme Atlanta heat that arrived this week.
Other: Fruit Beer. 4.01%.