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Zoe - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

547 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 547
Hads: 2,239
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 309
Gots: 354 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: deltatauhobbit on 12-03-2009

Our take on an American amber ale. Complex malt bill delivers notes of dark raisin, chocolate and biscuit. Copious additions of American hops yield notes of pine and citrus.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 547 | Hads: 2,239
Photo of charlzm
2.54/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Consumed October 11th, 2015. Poured from bottle into tulip.

Beer is a dark amber-brown kind of shade with a thin but adequate head.

Aroma is subtle melanoidin and caramel malt. A dash of hops, including simcoe's signature cat piss note.

Flavor is off right from the first sip - the toasty biscuity caramel malt is there, but there's an off, solventy, rubber note that ruins everything. No notes of the other alleged flavors (raisin, chocolate, pine, citrus). Kinda of a mess.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drain pour.

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Photo of HopHead84
2.87/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Bottle thanks to kingkong. Opens with a loud hiss. Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a tawny rust water color with a big foamy beige head. Good retention and lots of lacing, but the body is unattractive.

S: Pronounced perfumy floral notes with grapefruit and herbal tea characteristics. There's a distinct sour note in there with a little chocolate. Pine is resinous and pretty strong. There's an underlying bready sweetness with a dash of caramel and a whisper of toffee. Big earthy notes with grass and a slight metallic note. Sort of a strange mixture of characteristics.

T: Lightly tart, with biscuit, bread, and caramel. Lots of pine, grass, and earth, with a hint of chocolate. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level and very dry, with some astringency. There's a lot of grapefruit find with a faint metallic note in the dry finish.

M: Medium in body with high carbonation. The mouthfeel has a strange chalkiness to it.

Overall: I'm not quite sure what to make of this beer. It's not bad, but the flavors are strange and it almost tastes like there's an incipient infection, though I can't be certain. Definitely a strange beer.

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Photo of sisuspeed
2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Russian River tulip. Dark amber brown with almost 3 fingers of white fluffy head. Nice lacing.

Lots of resiny pine hops on the nose, bready malts and just a touch of diacetyl.

Hoppy, caramel bread notes on the tongue. A tad buttery. Odd hop astringency on the finish. Light cardboard. Not bad, but not really good either.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy with decent hop bitterness throughout. Buttery feel. Feels off for a hoppy amber. Can't really get rid of the diacetyl presence.

Overall, this is a slightly below average hoppy amber. Ok, but there are many better beers out there in this category.

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Photo of Steasy66
3.01/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Dark Brown with champagne head that lasts
S Cascade? hops, a little bit soapy i think?
T A bit hoppy, a bit malty, not a lot here, expected more
M Undercarbed, fairly thin
O No freshness date, I suspect I might have gotten an old bottle. Just not much here.

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Photo of tprokop7
3.05/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled this right after my first Nugget Nectar of the season. Fresh bottle from Liquor World, Cambridge.

Poured from the 500mL bottle into an Ithaca shaped pint glass. Color is slightly browner that amber, clarity is fine, head is just right at about half an inch.

Smell is great, american citrus hops abound. Some sweetness and malt flavors, but the aroma is dominated by the hops. Good so far.

The first sip lets me down. Pleasant hop flavor up front, but then loaded with toffee, caramel sweetness that must be from a heavy hand with crystal malt. I like all the flavors in this beer, I just think they go together about as well as toothpaste and orange juice.

Mouthfeel is fine, plenty of body, no issues with the carbonation. These guys are pretty hyped in this area right now, but I'm pretty disappointed with this offering.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.16/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger cream head that takes fades slowly leaving some lace. Deep opaque, brown/black color some yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is pine and resin hops, malts try to balance but don't. Lingering bitter aftertaste. Doesn't look like an amber but tastes like one. $6.10 for a 500ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of Holland
3.19/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: brown with reddish orange highlights and a thick tan head that stays forever. So far this is looking fantastic. The head sticks to the side of the glass, covering nearly all of the glass it touches.

S: smokey and hoppy smelling. Like burning evergreen trees. Lot more roasted malt than I expected.

T: very smokey for the style with spicy hops. The smoke comes and goes with more sips, and the taste recovers to give a nice hoppy amber beer flavor. The roasted malts again come through a lot. Some citrus hops.

M: well carbonated with medium body. It's crisp but still coats the mouth.

O: this is a hoppy brown ale. I don't really care for it, though it has some excellent characteristics. Too much roasted malt with fruity hops isn't a great combination for me.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Zoe pours a rustic chestnut-brown hue, and is topped with a sturdy cap of sudsy tan froth. The nose is sweet, imparting maple-ish tones, and it is spicy in an earthy sense. There also is quite a bit of discernible alcohol in the aroma. The flavor offers a bit of toasty-roasty nuttiness atop the sweetness, as well as an earthy-herbal understated hoppiness. Unfortunately, it is, again, unpleasantly alcoholic (especially for 7%) Not a bad beer, but not terribly special.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.22/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled Jan 2013, opened Dec 2013.

A - Killer looking beer. Stellar bone white head with outstanding retention and sheets of lace. Deep cheery wood ice tea body.

S - A little funky. Wet leaves, old malt, pumpernickel bread, and molasses.

T - This bottle might have sat a little too long. Leafy hops, musk, molasses, raisiny malt, and caramel.

M - Light body. Nice carbonation.

O - Not a bad, but not quite where I'd expect it to be. I think this bottle was a little old. Will definitely try it again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.27/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark yet cloudy copper color. There's about one fingers worth of off-white colored head, and it's beautifully textured. It retains itself acceptably, as well.

S: It's about what I expected from an amber, no more, no less. Which is disappointing, considered I expected this to be a big step up from the Fat Tires of the world. There is a strong caramel note from the malt backbone, along with lesser notes of toffee and earth. The hops here are primarily piny and serve to balance the malt. It is a decent aroma...but wow, I really expected this to be great.

T: Malts hit the tongue immediately, with a ton of toffee and caramel. This backbone gradually fades to allow some of its hop flavor to shine: mostly pine, with just a hint of grapefruit and herbs. While the flavor profile is sadly average, it does seem to have a touch of depth - like suggestions of chocolate or brown sugar, for instance.

M: The mouthfeel is what sets it apart from the gaggle of mediocre ambers out there. It is superbly clean and crisp, which that makes this one really drinkable. Carbonation is nice and zesty, too. The lingering sweetness on the palate is kept to a minimum.

O: Disappointing, apart from the great mouthfeel. It's definitely not a bad beer at all, though - and it grows on me the more I drink it. Still, this kind of money for a 500mL bottle of beer that's only slightly above average kind of hurts. And I really hoped this would be nearly as fantastic as Nugget Nectar, too...

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Photo of Chico1985
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see this arrive in MA. Bottle date is 1/14/11.

Very dark colored, almost looks black from a distance, but it's dark red with some amber highlights. Insanely solid spongy tan head retains at a finger, leaves crazy lacing.

Scent leans more towards hoppy but alot of malt there too. Mint especially noticeable along with pine and grapefruit. Big caramel malt.

Odd taste. Grapefruit, grassy hops, resin. Mint is still strong, an interesting quality I haven't experienced in many beers. Malt is about even between with the hops, pure caramel with slight cocoa/roasted flavors as well. A bit of alcohol and light pineapple.

Carbonation seems a little low, I wish it was a bit more lively.

Way different than I expected. Flavor combo was kind of strange, malt was really strong. I was thinking this would be comparable to Nugget Nectar but it was quite different.

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Photo of crossovert
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

It pours a dark, hazy rubyish amber with a frothy, foamy off-white head.

The smell is good. It is musty with some acutely citrusy and tropical smelling hops with a big load of malt.

The flavor is pretty good. It is malty with even a hint of roastiness. The hops are herbal, almost minty with a pine finish.

It is an interesting one for sure.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle via Glouglouburp-pours a cloudy dark chestnut/iced tea with a lively white head and delicate lacing. Nose- grapefruit, caramel and tea. Taste- nutty, herbal and almost slight chocolate roast underlying character. Grassy hop bitterness is intertwined with sweet bread on the finish. Touch of alcohol head. Crisp carbonation and somewhat chewy mouthfeel.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Maine Zoe, bottle bought at Whole Foods Portland for $5.50. Bottled on September First 2011 and enjoyed on November Third 2011.

Appearance: This is one heck of a dark amber/red ale! Looks more like a brown ale, or even a barleywine. It's got a deep chestnut color, like the bottom of a dirty lake. The pour is quite gorgeous, with a great two-finger head that lasts.

Smell: Bubbling caramel on the stove, creme brulee. Then vanilla, cinnamon and dessert spices. Weird! Also floor wax/wood-polishing product. Definitely not what I expected, but not bad. Intriguing. I don't get any of the fresh hops many reviewers talk about. Maybe my Zoe is too old?

Taste: Here is where Zoe is lacking. There is a nice, mellow hop base and some roasty/caramel flavors, but that is about it. Spicy, tingly finish. Malt all around.

Mouthfeel: A little thin around the edges, with an almost watery finish that leaves me wanting more. Both body and flavor could use more strength, while carbonation is adequate (but not spectacular).

Overall: Not impressed with this one. I love Lunch and respect Peeper, but this is just alright, almost blah. Sure, it is drinkable (that 7.2% drinks more like 5%) but this is just not interesting.

Hopefully a fresher bottle is better?

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Photo of PPOmaha
3.49/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Medium sweet toffee and wheat bread malt aroma, hints of roast. Malt forward and full. Low spicy orange peel hop aroma. No DMS, No diacetyl, low strawberry esters.

Appearance: Ruby with mahogany highlights. Medium thick rocky tan head. No legs.

Flavor: Medium-low neutral bready malt flavor, much less than expected from aroma. Hop flavor is forward. Medium bitterness. Citrus peel with light hints of earth but almost all citrus: grapefruit pith and lemon peel. No DMS, No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Just heavier than medium bodied, very full feel in the mouth but does not linger and coat. Bitterness lingers for a minute or two, not fading much between the sips, almost a bit much.

Overall: Medium bittered amber. Not much stands out here just some citrus hops used for bittering that don't lend a ton to the aroma. It is good but wasn't worth seeking out. If I had it on the shelf at the grocery store, I would probably go to it occasionally though.

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Photo of seedyone
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

01/28/14 From bottle dated 12/10/13 at home.

Pretty pour. Great rich copper color. Thick full head. Inviting aroma that lead me down a primrose path to expected balance.

First taste was the hops. Very up front & never gave ground. I enjoyed this but as an un-hoppy guy, one will do. If you like hops, you will love this beer.

It's apparent that a lot of care went into this glass. I need to dig into the Maine repertoire to find my match.

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Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to stormking47 for this cool little bottle. Always excellent to be introduced to a new brewery, & a hoppy amber sounds fine right now. 16.9 oz presentation.

Bonus points for the cool, minimalist label. Having two daughters about the age of Zoe, I appreciate the story, too. Poured in its entirety into my Terrapin snifter, which I love 'cause it holds any beer. Real dark red, bordering the international date line to woody brown. Smells like wheaty bread, citrus hops, & sweet malts.

Zoe tastes like rye bread with hop leaves baked into the crust. The malt is bready, chewy, with minimal sweetness but plenty of toasted character. The hops are earthy, grassy, with bare citrus & a modicum of finishing bitterness. A touch heavy for an amber, whether due to the alcohol or other ingredients, but it's the equivalent of a big meal followed by a one thin mint.

Interesting twist on a red. Good beer, smooth, easy to drink.

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Photo of tigg924
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Taste is pine, tangerine, toasted malt, and some wet hopping. Decent, above average amber that borders on IPA but is a bit sweeter. Good beer to try, but I prefer others in the style.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

An opaque brown. I can see some ruby red highlights when held up to the light. Big fluffy off white head that sticks to the sides. This beer is way to dark to be an amber ale.

The aroma is a big dose of grassy, tea like, and citrusy hops. Taste goes in the same direction. A tasty amount of hop flavor like the nose described to me. A weak backbone of roasted and/or chocolate malt lets the hops play a big role in this but in the end the beer comes up a little flavorless. Not that bitter but the mixture of the hops and malt adds a slight coffee like bitterness. Dry finish. Light and foamy in the mouth.

A refreshing beer for the summer I'd say. I just wish it was a little lower in alcohol since I'm barely getting any sweetness/malt flavor.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one at Ritual Brewing Company in Redlands, CA.

Bottled 4/9/13.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with pine and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is very pine and herbal hop forward.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Rustico in Alexandria.

The beer is reddish copper with a lasting tan head. The aroma offers hops, pine, caramel malt. Lightly sweet. Bread, biscuits, and malty body with a stinging bitter finish. Pine lingers in the back. Alcohol presence is fairly noticeable. Overall, I thought this was mediocre and undeserving of the high ratings it receives. The exorbitant expense of the beer (at various locations in the DC metro area) had kept me from purchasing it. It's an amber ale after all. I don't comprehend the price for such a beer. So I finally gave in and tried it. Disappointing.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at Mead Hall in Cambridge. On tap, served cool in a wine glass.

Dark brown mahogany body and an off white head. Herbal and juicy scent. Flavor is prickly hop and a nice sweet malt balance. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

I really like this beer. Nice interpretation on a pretty wide open style.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours darker amber, hazy with lots floating in it. Faint soft glow form orange hue and a tinge of ruby. Fat head of khaki colored foam that hugs the glass, is terribly creamy, lasts and leaves striking lace. Nose is biscuity malt with a touch of light brown sugar. Orange, caramel and pine. A trace of herbal scent to the nose as well. Mouthfeel is medium but lies to you and tells you it's lighter. You almost believe it too. The biscuit is soft and creamy. Hints of brown sugar and soft light caramel. The hops are fruity with a touch of orange a bit of pith and a nice gentle pine. The taste overall is a bit bland. The body of the beer is so soft I guarantee that will be your first thought. " How smooth, creamy and soft." There is a substantial bitter that takes the finish and leaves you with that bland biscuit and some pine. There is a moment of resinous stickiness on the tongue but it's not got enough flavor to it.

I thought the softness of the malt in this was remarkable but that the flavor was lacking in boldness. It could have been more dynamic.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle tried 23 Oct 2011. Courtesy of amphion1065, thanks! Served in the 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Bottle code 090111.

Starts to foam out of the bottle as soon as I open it. Probably not a good sign. Big thick tan head. Well carbonated. Cloudy dark chocolate brown in color. Aroma is nice, but a bit strange; combination of resiny hops, cinnamon and vanilla. Aroma is more reminiscent of a IPA, heavy on the resin. A fair amount of resiny hops to start. Some root beer spiciness. Resiny and earthy. Light body, warming ethanol. Moderate hoppiness throughout. Some faint roasty notes linger.

Overall just a little something odd that I can't put my finger on. If the foaming is any indication of infection, it didn't seem to have any obvious off flavor indicators.

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Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a recent trip to Boston. I saw it there months ago and neglected to grab one, had been regretting it ever since.

Appearance: A difficult pour, the head billowed up large and fluffy, with an impressively tiny bead. Slightly hazy, and quite dark for an amber. Lacing was impressive, too; won't be using this glass again tonight.

Smell: nice, but a bit restrained; the malt comes through but the only hops you're faced with are mostly green and muted at that, really have work to find them in there.

Taste: again, a bit muted and restrained. Quite dry, the bitterness of the hops comes through more here than expected based on the nose, plenty bitter and still some sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel: as noted above, quite dry and astringent, but in a very good way. A bit round and lush, even silky before fading away to the dryness, which just makes me want to pick up my glass.

Overall: a very nice beer, but the general lack of hoppiness gives me pause. Perhaps this bottle was a bit old, but then again, who knows? Love the simplicity of the labels, and their mission statement makes me want to love it. I'll have to give this another try down the line, maybe when I'm up in Maine and with assurances that it's fresh.

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Zoe from Maine Beer Company
93 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.