Maple Nipple Ale - Lawson's Finest Liquids
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
3.34/5 rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled-over silver pry-off unbranded pressure cap acquired in a trade with the gracious ICCULIS and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; this is me first Lawson's beer and I've heard nothing but fantastic things about the brewery. 8% ABV confirmed. I dig the simple no-nonsense label art. Unpasteurized and unfiltered - I like that.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Not paired with food.
A: Pours a head of one finger height and healthy khaki colour. Good creaminess and attractive soft complexion. Good thickness and retention - about 3-4 minutes. Nice supple lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Even and consistent. No "legs" here.
Body colour is difficult to describe; it's a glowing murky caramel-brown with orange-peach hues. Some mild translucence, but it's nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Certainly appears unfiltered, but I wouldn't call it hazy or cloudy.
Looking good for a "maple ale." I'm content to review as an Herbed / Spiced beer as is currently listed, but I'm not going to very stringent as this style is sort of a rubbish catch-all anyway.
Sm: Rich maple wood and maple syrup - but real true syrup, not the crap you buy in the store. It's evocative yet subtle; I'm liking where this is going. Mellow nuts - perhaps hazelnut or walnut. The nuts and syrup blend well together in an attractive cohesive melange. Brown sugar. Perhaps birchwood. No alcohol or yeast character is detectable. Any hop character is minimal in strength and likely merely there as a preservative. Some cream. Subtle and below average in terms of strength. Brown malts. Light breadiness. Light fleeting cidery notes. As it warms somewhat, I get a bit of subtle spice; I'm terrible at guessing spices but I'd wager one of them is nutmeg. Not getting clove. Some toffee and caramel. I like the execution here, and as it warms I uncover more and more complexity. Really excited to try it.
T: Hm. Pleasant maple syrup is indeed the first thing I notice; it's spread throughout and supported by a pleasant unobtrusive brown malt bready foundation. Good body here. Slight cream. Brown sugar evenly sprinkled throughout. The spicing is subtle; maybe some buried nutmeg? Some woody (mainly maple) undertones. The nuttiness is buried, if present - certainly not as evocative as it was in the aroma. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Overall, it's an approachable well balanced flavour profile with interesting complexity - albeit less than promised by the aroma. I do like it, and there's some mild subtlety here, but I'm not blown away like I hoped to be given Lawson's' reputation. Very likable interesting stuff and unconventionally executed; I'm not convinced it's best examined as an "Herbed / Spiced beer," but there's intriguing experimentation here and it doesn't fit neatly into any style I've had before per se. It delivers on its concept - it's indeed a maple-driven ale. I just wish it brought a bit more to the table. Any hopping is unnoticeable.
Mf: Good carbonation. Smooth and wet. Not as syrupy as you might expect, and it never comes off too thick or overbearing. Nice presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile generally well, facilitating flavour delivery more than adequately. Not oily, harsh, or biting. Not crisp. Unrefreshing.
Dr: I guess this is one of Lawson's more available offerings? I'm far from blown away, but I'm not unimpressed. The beer overall isn't incredible, but based on this alone I do think Lawson's is a promising brewery to investigate. Would I get this again? Maybe in the right mood. It might even develop a bit with age. But the complexity, subtlety, and balance I look for in truly great beers just isn't here to full bore. I'm glad I got to try this and I'm far from disappointed, but I'm not able to get a good read on whether or not Lawson's reputation as an amazing brewery is justified. I like what I'm seeing, but I need more. A drinkable brew overall with intriguing experimentation, but nothing to write home about. Certainly worth checking out, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or go out of my way to track it down. Pleasant mellow stuff. Thanks again, ICCULIS!
If I had to guess/impose the style, I'd go with American Strong Ale. Definitely doesn't come off like an "Herbed / Spiced Beer."
Serving type: bottle
06-21-2013 03:22:48 | More by kojevergas
3.73/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Reviewed from notes over the weekend. Glad to finally be able to try some Lawson's beers after a few years of missing out on them. Skinny Pancake, Montpelier.
A- Poured into the Lawson's tulip with a dark red body and a small fizzy off-white head. Head falls to a ring quickly with spotty lace.
S- Fruity almost apple and cherry feel. Pretty laid back for an 8 (9?)% beer. Some caramel and grain in the background.
T- Reminds me of a rye beer I once made. Has good toasty nutty malt flavors but once again I find apple and cherry fruit flavors to be stronger. Just a balanced, strong ale to me. Maple is there but not really sweet and more dark and earthy than what you would typically get from maple syrup flavor, real syrup is probably used here.
MF- Silky moderately thick body. Carbonation is high but supports the balanced flavor well. Slight bitterness in the finish.
A balanced and relaxed strong ale for me. Not a maple bomb I expected but more refined, still solid and very drinkable for the ABV.
Serving type: on-tap
05-28-2013 00:25:07 | More by cbutova
Maple Nipple Ale from Lawson's Finest Liquids
84 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.