St. Michaels Ale - Eastern Shore Brewing
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Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +22.7%
Eastern Shore Brewing "St. Michael's Ale"
12 oz. bottle; no apparent freshness dating
I picked up a 6-pack of this on a weekend boating trip along the Chester River in Maryland. It was a hot day and I needed a cold beer. I popped the cap and as I raised it to my mouth I found notes of caramel and a bit of chocolate in the aroma. But being cold and tasted straight out of the bottle, it seemed out of balance. There wasn't enough malt to it, and it seemed overly bitter - I'm guessing that's where the previous negative reviews have come from, sampling it too cold.
Now I may be wrong about this, because I didn't see anything on the website when I went to look it up, but this seems to be an English style ale. It's certainly not an American pale ale, and even if it wasn't specifically intended as an English style ale, well, it is. It's what most Americans would judge as an "ESB", or "extra special bitter". Fuller's owns the "E.S.B." tag, but we're generally referring to a breweries very best, top of the line, bitter.
For my second bottle, I gave it a rough pour to release a little bit of the CO2 and give it a more 'cask-like' feel. Upon settling it displayed a hazy, reddish-copper body with golden and orange highlights beneath a frothy head of light tan. The head retention was good, and it left some very nice splashes and spots of lacing behind.
The aroma offered a sharp apple, pear and berry-like fruitiness over medium-dark caramel. Some yeasty mineral character was present as well, and the hops were leafy, grassy, and earthy (Fuggles perhaps?).
The body was medium with a light bit of a dextrinous edge; and it was quite smooth across the palate.
The flavor was everything the aroma suggested, along with the mild note of chocolate I'd originally found in the aroma of my first bottle... reminiscent of English brown malt. There was also plenty of caramel malt as well; and the English hops were smeared about. The solid bitterness (@40 IBU's) was still present, but with it warmed a little bit the malt was perfectly balanced. It finished dry with a swirl of leafy and spicy hops, a touch of mineralish yeastiness, and some residual fruitiness that faded, leaving behind some lingering malt.
Overall, it was quite nice... a pleasant dark amber ale with a good deal of hop character.
08-08-2011 14:09:27 | More by NeroFiddled
2.95/5 rDev -9.5%
A 12 oz bottle, another end-of-the-liner.
A: The APA is copper, a clear amber color. A thin white head, less than a quarter finger.
S: APA? Perhaps a savage version. I do detect just a bit of sourness running through it. An interesting aspect, to say the least. I can't say that there's any indication of a pale ale underneath.
T: The nose through me, as there's no indication of any off flavors in the taste. Run that one up your flagpole! What's here is malty, light and biscuity. Hops aren't much here, allowing the pale breads to drive the ale. A very mild bitterness is only evident late in each sip. No flash here (not many hops either).
M: The ale is nondescript; biscuity with only the faintest hop profile. The semi-wild nose may be the most interesting aspect.
11-05-2011 19:36:52 | More by akorsak
2.68/5 rDev -17.8%
On tap at the Town Dock today. Quite the tick for a special occasion IMO.
A clear copper with a dense, off-white head, creamy and long-lasting, leaving nice lacing. The nose is decent. More English than American, this has a blend of bready and caramel malts, and woody, leafy English hops. Mild yeast fruitiness as well. The palate opens moderately sweet and caramel like with a definite bready note. The hop level is quite low, with a rather middling-bitterness, a muddled hop flavor and a finish that really does go nowhere or do anything. Medium-light in body with a moderate carbonation, this beer is woody, leafy on the finish with a mild sweetness. Decent, but not really worthy IMO.
08-16-2012 00:47:39 | More by DefenCorps
2.25/5 rDev -31%
Average amber sort of color-a tad muddy. Ok head on top. Somewhat of an "off" aroma. Sharp and acrid, though actually a mild lemon aroma. Overly bitter against very little malt. Not very balanced. Had a decent enough hop bite but with no malt in there it just doesnt work. Again a somewhat lemon or citrus character to it. Ok mouthfeel. I was excited to try this since it is fairly local but am dissapointed. Has a long way to go.
03-04-2009 04:11:35 | More by lackenhauser
3.53/5 rDev +8.3%
Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.
A: Pours a clear amber hue with at thick, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates into in a wispy lace leaving a nice trail down the glass.
S: Slightly sweet malt aroma. Hints of caramel and hops in the background.
T: Smooth malty flavor that is more bitter than sweet.
M: Medium body and medium carbonation.
O: This was Eastern Shore’s best beer out of the 3 I tried. It was smooth and refreshing.
02-28-2012 02:13:09 | More by ckollias
4.03/5 rDev +23.6%
Lasting creme head with a clear amber body. Smell is flavorful and pleasant, with sugary and wheat notes. Starts sharp, bitter, and slightly sweet. Settles with a full body and carmel, sheat, and nut flavors. Finishes smooth with zero aftertaste. Not filling. Exceptionally drinkable - keep 'em coming!
If you ever find yourself across the Bay from Baltimore, make the side trip into Saint Michael, MD, to visit this brewery - or any of the local restaurants for that matter. Most bars and eateries in town stock Eastern Shore products or can tell you where to get them.
12-28-2008 22:43:40 | More by theozag
1.85/5 rDev -43.3%
This was a bottle bought at the brewery. This new brewery must be having problems controlling sanitation, because the beer had a foul flavor and aroma that must have been caused by an infection. Hopefully, they'll get it under control as the brewery is otherwise in a great location.
10-13-2009 17:12:29 | More by JimmyK77
1.7/5 rDev -47.9%
A - Strong dark amber appearance. I'm not sure if it was the tap or the beer but there was a huge amount of head in glass I was served.
S - A non hoppy bitter scent in the nose of the beer. Almost to the point of being sour. Interesting, but not pleasant.
T - One of the worst beers I have ever had taste wise. The taste is consistent with the smell. Again an extremely non hoppy bitterness that is almost a strong sour flavor.
M - Crisp but with an exceptionally strong and long aftertaste. As I mentioned in the taste category this is not a good thing for this beer.
D - Its not particularly heavy, so if you liked this beer you could have three of four. Emphasis on the "if" you liked it. I did not.
01-08-2009 23:50:57 | More by rgore
4.47/5 rDev +37.1%
I can't see this as a Pale Ale? More an English Old Ale. Bought a six-pack in Talbot St at the Acme while in St Michaels this week. Looked at in on the pour and thought I was in for a lockjaw experience with sourness and bitterness but not at all - surprisingly mellow. Certainly caramel and some thickness but not chewy. Liked it a lot. Previous reviewers comments on sourness and possible quality issues noted but I didn't find them at all. Limited distribution apparently but get it for a taste if you can.
08-28-2011 22:20:32 | More by injipoint
St. Michaels Ale from Eastern Shore Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.