Zoe - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
ZoeZoe

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

537 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 537
Hads: 2,177
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 302
Gots: 323 | FT: 15
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: 537 | Hads: 2,177
Photo of Teleweizen2
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - the beer pours out much darker than expected. a deep opaque mahogany with red highlights. 2 fingers worth of tightly packed off white foam leave lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

S - nose is muted. earthy notes are easy to tease out. autumn leaves, bitter orange peel, and caramel. there is a hint of smokiness or possibly tobacco. but overall nose does seem week.

T - bitterness starts immediately. bright citrus notes color the tongue while chocolate and cereal notes of the malt profile balance out the strong flavor. hints of dark fruit at the back end which carry out on the long bitter finish.

M - full side medium bodied. medium carbonation, tight and bubbly. creamy texture.

O - while the nose isn't strong the flavors of this beer do make up for the short coming. a well made beer. (804 characters)

Photo of eggplantwiz
3.64/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

a 12.09.2010 bottling poured into a 20 oz nonic glass.

A: deep amber brown with a foamy coffee head and sticky lacing

S: Very mild aroma, delicate. pine and citrus notes predominate a carmel backdrop

T: Carmel maltiness with a hint of citrus astringency is most apparent here. Mildly bitter finish. I wonder if I'm missing out on some hop magic here in having a month old bottle. Overall, it comes across as impressively balanced and delicate for the style, with a nuianced complexity.

M: Incredibly smooth, but quite full bodied and perhaps a tinge overcarbonated

D: Easy drinking for sure, but this is not my favorite style in general, so I would be somewhat reluctant to have a second -- I will not hold that against this fine beer in my review, of course . Not a whit of booziness is detectable despite a moderately high 7.l2% ABV for the style. (854 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Understated label art. Pry-off pressure cap. 7.2% ABV. "09C214 50."

Served cold into a tulip. Expectations are sky high given its reputation and current ratings.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Pale khaki colour. Fluffy soft consistency. Even. Retention is great - about 7-8 minutes. Leaves an even coating of nice lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark deep amber hues. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It's a good looking amber, but isn't unique or special per se.

AROMA: Amber malts, malty sweetness, floral hop character, some caramalt, and vague herbal hop character. No yeast character, alcohol, off-notes, or spice is detectable.

Overall, it's a nice aroma for an amber, but isn't mind-blowing. Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: Has a lovely amber malt backbone with a fresh pleasant hop profile comprised of fresh floral notes, herbal character, and an edge of pine or perhaps faint spruce? Light toastiness, some caramalt, and mild resins. The herbal character is more pronounced than you'd find in most ambers. It's complex and subtle enough, but doesn't impress in terms of intricacy or nuance.

Above average depth of flavour. Average flavour duration and intensity. Bitterness/sweetness balance is apt, and the hops seem well paired to the malts. No yeast character, overt alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

I'm not finding the raisin, chocolate, and biscuit mentioned on their website, nor is it citrusy.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, refreshing, medium-bodied, overcarbonated, and aptly soft. Thickness is apt. This texture complements the taste nicely but doesn't quite elevate the beer.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Overall presence on the palate is good.

OVERALL: A very good amber with a surprisingly well balanced taste, Zoe is a beer every enthusiast will enjoy trying. But it doesn't beat out Troegs Nugget Nectar for the title of best amber, and it's not a world-class brew per se. Easily one of the best beers brewed in this style in the USA, but it won't gobsmack the discerning drinker. It's damn drinkable, though, and I'll inhale the bottle. A nice introduction to Maine Beer Company.

(2,219 characters)

Photo of suspect
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Cloudy amber color. Aggressive pour leads to a two finger latte colored head that disappears very slowly. Lacing is thick, consistent and super sticky.

S: Very nice malt mixture perks up first in the nose followed by slight hop zest and resiny blend that almost smells like a faded IPA.

T: Follows the nose and brings with it flavors of a faded IPA with a nice malt blend that again makes me unsure of whether I'm drinking an amber or an old IPA. Malt blend is most definitely the highlight.

M: Thick mouthfeel, hop oils coat the mouth making me reach for more. Bitter finish.

O: This is a solid beer but again, not one that is amazing. Maine seems to be brewing up some solid, not risky, beers. (770 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing this one.

A: The body is a clear orange hue with some yeast swirling in ropey strands (I was a little late to the tasting, so the dregs were all that was left); lovely finger of tan, sticky head. Attractive, despite the sediment.

S: Simple and elegant, with richly fruity hops and pure caramel malt. Nothing crazy, but entirely enjoyable.

T: The hops flavor fades pretty quickly into nondescript bitterness, and unfortunately the pure bitterness is strong enough to outweigh any malt complexity that I feel must be lying underneath. It's not bad, but definitely doesn't live up to the inviting aroma.

M: Smooth, soft medium body with light carbonation. Decent.

O: I'd have enjoyed this beer considerably more if it had either more or less hops presence; as it was, I felt that bitterness overwhelmed the malt backbone entirely, but didn't really bring any exciting flavors of its own. The alcohol was nicely hidden, but there just wasn't as much going on as I would have hoped and expected. I'd gladly drink this again, but won't be seeking it out.

Cheers! (1,132 characters)

Photo of Ego
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
3 fingers on a tidy little pour (some audible sizzle but not the usual sizzle to zero, the head sticks around) , the head becomes all craggy, barely amber this is more brown with some amber tinge, it seems 2 tone in appearance due to the muffin top capping this bad boy, lots of columns of bubbles march (with urgent determination) towards the north, there is a mixture of lacing and legs... this is a good looking brew by all measures

nose...
fresh clean hops of the floral kind with a citric edge, a touch of sweet grass with a finish of lemon zest, some caramel malt peaks out here and there... pretty good

taste etc...
medium body with a nice malt kick and a nice hop bite, definite lemon flavor that then blends into some nice bitter flavors reminiscent of an English ESB but with a slightly more aggressive US hop profile, the initial flavor doesn't seem to last long enough before succumbing to the bitterness.. but then relents a bit wanting you to sip more... but after a whole glass.. I wasn't blown away ? strange.

verdict?
enjoyable with a nice hop bite but maybe just a hair too much covering up the malt base. Tasty though and some nice hop flavor without crazy over the top hop flop, the lemon notes make it pretty refreshing for a full feeling beer (1,276 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing this one with me. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a dark brown initially that when held to the light looks more of an amber to ruby. 3 fingers worth of tan froth appear and slowly fade leaving a webby screen of lace on the glass. A light swirl revives more than a finger.

The smell is sweet with toasty and toffee-like malt. It has a bit of a burnt aspect about it before getting filled with citrus and herbal to pine-like hop character. A bit grassy and solvent with alcohol across the back.

The taste is toasty grain to toffee-like burnt sweetness. Some herbs and pine character of oily hops. Just like the aroma, it gets grassy in flavor with solvent alcohol. There is a moderate bitterness to this brew that gets a bit pulpy and fruited like grapefruit.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is resinous and hoppy with an interesting burnt character about it that keeps it back from being more drinkable. I've certainly enjoyed most of the offerings I've had from these folks and wouldnt mind trying more. However, from what I've had, I've been least impressed by this offering. (1,157 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary tulip.

a - Pours a murky nut brown color with one finger of tan head that has high rentention. High carbonation evident.

s - Smell is all citrus hops. Hints of piney hops too, pretty nice.

t - Taste is some bitterness from the hops, followed by some smooth malts. Decent.

m - Low carbonation and medium body. Smooth after the initial bitterness.

d - A decent amber ale. I thought it smelled really nice but was somewhat lacking in the taste. I just didn't think the citrus and pine hops came through in the taste like they did in the smell. Would try again. (631 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle courtesy of claspada. Thanks!

A: Pours a deep, dark red. Half inch of fluffed foam. Looks quite good.

N: Wow. A ton of pineapple and mango up front. A moderate amount of pine. Some prickly and sweet malt.

T: Quite bitter and almost roasted. Biscuit, pine/spruce. Very grassy. Doesn't have the same tropical notes of the nose, rather more orange and lemon zest. (Good dry hopping?). Reminds of a ramped up pilsner with the malt.

M: A touch on the heavier, syrupy side. Not too distracting, but not perfect either. Some alcohol here.

O: Pretty nice beer and something I'd have time and again if it was available here. Well balanced, but still hoppy. (665 characters)

Photo of Centennial
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving- 16oz bottle poured into pint glass (thanks to bendurgin for sending me this.)

Appearance- Dark Amber with 2 finger head and lots of head retention. Slight cloudy hue to it.

Smell- Bready, Earthy, with bubble-gum like sweetness, mild hop aroma

Taste- Hops come through much more in the taste the in the smell. Malt is totally hidden by aggressive hop bitterness, but roasted notes pull through. A burning sensation of alcohol is more noticeable then with a typical beer of this ABV.

Mouthfeel- smooth but alcohol is apparent and finish is a little waxy.

Overall- not a bad hoppy amber but I have had much better, I think this beer would benefit from a more active dry hopping and less of a the bittering hops. (723 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AgentZero into my De Stuise glass...Pours a very ugly muddyr murky brown with a light amber highlights. Pretty carbonated with medium tope head...The aroma is decent lots of caramel to start with some piney hops on the back. Alex says its better fresh but this isn't bad right now. Mostly malt now, light grass finish...The taste is a let down, lots of chalky hops that feel weird and have an off taste. Light grass finish.

This is ok, but a weird chalky/hop feel and taste distracts me. Decent brew but not a top buzzed. (532 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 04/09/13. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a very deep, almost black amber color, though it manages very good clarity. Three fingers of fine, dense, light sand colored foam which is slow in deflating. Leaves behind generous an intricate lacing.

S: Piney hoppiness, a hint of bready malt and toffee, hint of blackcurrant, and spice. Nice. Fairly muted aroma.

T: Lots of bready, rye-like malt flavor. Tastes like I'm eating multigrain bread. A little spice, not much hops. Finishes with a mild bitterness and grainy flavor, and nearly bone dry.

M: Medium body and medium, sharp carbonation.

O: Meh, it's OK. Not exactly the "hoppy, hoppy amber" it's advertised as. The taste picks up the hop bitterness without the flavor. (722 characters)

Photo of garuda
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep amber, more like mahogany, hazed, thick white, rocky head has great retention and lacing.

S/T - Hop forward, as expected, with resinous pine mostly, touches of grapefruit. Caramel, toffee malt sweetness is slightly there, but the beer has an overpowering bitterness that masks what sweet flavors there may be. The resinous bitterness has little depth of hop flavor, only offering piney flavors.

M - Medium body, delicate medium carbonation, prickly across the palate.

O - Hoppy as expected, however, I was expecting more depth of hop flavor/aroma to allow for some malt sweetness to play in. (604 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Very tasty amber ale. One of the few beers I've had recently that still had a head when the class was almost empty. Good solid beer, but I've had better from the folks at Maine Beer Company. (192 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a opaque, reddish-brown body that is topped with half a finger of off-white foam. The head settles quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - Sweet caramel and toffee malts with some pine and orange hop aromas.

T - Caramel and toasted malt up front. Pine and sweaty hop flavors show up in the middle. Some more caramel as the hops fade to a moderately bitter pine flavor in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, the aroma is quite nicely put together but the flavor profile doesn't work quite as well. The bitterness is kind of soapy and the hop character just isn't as bright as it was in the aroma. (671 characters)

Photo of predikit
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown ruby, that settles in the glass opaque deepest of ambers. Leaves a tall off-white head that sticks around for awhile, leaves a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell is hoppy, piney grapefruit notes, with some molasses and dark fruit notes.

Like the nose, hops are present, resinous, leaves malted sweetness on the tongue, brown bread, minor vanilla notes, a little fig. Hops are the main focus here it seems, and most other notes in the beer take the backseat. Minor bitterness takes the finish.

Medium bodied, crisp and leaves clean.

A interesting take on an amber ale, but slightly over-hopped to my tongue which steal from the experience. (669 characters)

Photo of jerrytodd
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared with Jimbo last night

A: Hazy ruby red. Typical great head and lacing from MBC

S: Dark malt, mild sweetness, citrus/pine hop mix

T: Nice mix of dark malt, mild sweetness and citrus/pine hops. Nothing revolutionary IMO but nicely done

M: Just right

O: A nice brew. I wish the hopping had a more signature uniqueness to it, seemed kinda standard to me but heck it's a formula that works for sure (413 characters)

Photo of RuckusDu
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Huge head of light tan/mocha foam. Large bubbles which stick around and become rocky. Body is a new funky brown that reminded me of root beer when I poured it. Now it has some good red to it. Deep colors. Solid lacing.

S - Very smooth and sweet hops. There is an unknown fruit that could be a green grape but on the opposite side of a wine scent. Maybe it is apple.

T - Fresh and hoppy. Some darker malt flavors but the mouthfeel makes it lighter. Hops are harsher than on the nose. More of a rind bitterness.

M - The carbonation is high but body is light and makes this taste refreshing.

O - An interesting beer that has a lot of new aspects I have never experienced before. Decent all around, but not something I would need to seek out again. (754 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a dense, three-fingers thick tan head into a snifter that left thick lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was dark amber, almost brown that let some red tints through.
s - muted pineyness.
t - piney with a lot of breadiness, especially as it warms. hints of caramel and raisins.
m - thick and heavy.
o - nice beer, the heartiest red ale i've ever had. or is this a barleywine?? (392 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another old ass beer picked up from the house of 1,000 beers discounted by half since it's the April 15th batch 2014.

A - Deep amber in color very dark ruby semi hazy with sight sediment chunks. Head is 2+ of off white head that pulls back for exceptional lacing on the glass. Pretty.
S - Decent amber not too hoppy mostly biscuit malts, some chocolate, and a touch of caramel like sweetness.
T - Has a bitter twang to it lingering to some woody notes and some herbal hops. Mostly mild with tones of caramel and biscuit malts. I assume better fresh.
M - Good body easy to drink light to medium carbonation.

Overall though not bad or off this beer doesn't seem to go very good with age so if you see a bottle 6+ months old avoid it unless hella cheap. Not bad at all. (768 characters)

Photo of guityler83
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Date on bottle: 2/18/14
A: Huge 3+ finger tall head was created when pouring from an inch above the snifter glass. The foam is made of mixed sized bubbles and soapy looking, off white with an tan tint. Head retention lasted for days.. The beer is a dark maroon color with moderate haze.

S: Very hop forward aroma with moderate spicey pine and fruity notes (I'm going to guess chinook). There is an underlying sweet malt nose that comes off like candy raisins or gummy candies.

T: A nice firm hop bitterness on the first sip that fades over time. Similar moderate piny, dank, spicey and melon hop flavors come through in the middle. The middle caramel malts shine through and balance nicely in the beer with slight toffee and raisin notes. The balance is on the hops but not overwhelmingly. Also getting a slight roast character with some fruity esters possibly from the ferment.

M: A moderately carbonated beer. The body is fairly big and is emphasized with all of the crystal malts I'm picking up. No astringancy or alcohol warming, but its not the most easy drinking beer.

O: A nice flavored american red with a good dose of malt character and piney hop character. I'd compare this to a few other ambers I've had from Half-Acre (ginger twin?) or even a bigger version of alpha king. (1,288 characters)

Photo of spacebear09
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My first ever BA review (YAY!) It certainly took me long enough to get around to this, now I'm going to have to retry all of the 300+ different beers I have drank so I can take some notes on them!

Appearance- Pours very well with a beautiful reddish color and a well formed head atop the brew.

Smell- Doesn't smell like much til it warms up. Maltiness with a hint of apples. Not offensive but not great either.

Taste- Initial taste of bready malts and nuttiness. Very long finish for an amber, loads of earthy bitterness. I would rate it higher but there is a slight astringency going on here that keeps it behind the truly elite Ambers out there.

Mouthfeel- Very solid. Slightly creamy and highly carbonated to the point where I can feel the bubbles dancing on my tongue.

Overall pretty good, but certainly not worth the $7.99 I paid for a 16.9 oz bottle when I can get a sixer of Troegs Hopback for $10. (912 characters)

Photo of Twobeards
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep ruby, good carbonation giving a pretty big light tan head that billowed for awhile, smell of citrus than piney hops, sweet slightly caramel malts, with a bit of toast. Taste starts with a sweet note than rolls right into the citrus hop notes, than resin like hops melding with some spicy and toasted notes. Finishes with a decent bitter from the hops and a twinge of sweetness lingering. Mouthfeel feels thin but slightly sticky, let's the notes linger in your mouth awhile longer.

The bitter end lingers a bit too long for my taste, but it's a great hop forward amber that I liked more the longer I drank and thought about it. (647 characters)

Photo of Jaycase
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottle dated 100813

a: brown, caramel. thick, frothy light mocha colored head

s: caramel malts. piney hops. dark fruit. black tea

t: sweet, charred malts. slight chocolate. piney hops. astringent aftertaste which strengthens as it warms.

m: medium carbonation. crisp. slightly dry

o: This started out very easy to drink with some nice malty flavor laced with a decent amount of hops. However as it warmed an astringent aftertaste started to overpower everything, eventually becoming intolerable. Not sure what happened there, but drink it rocky mountain cold I guess. Will have to try some other Maine offerings but I think I'll pass on this in the future (660 characters)

Photo of Brondeau
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good. But a little bitter for my palate. Pours pretty. Good mouthfeel. But a bit too bitter. Bought a bottle at the Chatham cheese shop and drank with some nice cheese. (168 characters)

Zoe from Maine Beer Company
93 out of 100 based on 537 ratings.