Zoe - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
ZoeZoe

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

537 Reviews
THE BROS
-
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 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 mabermud
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red body. One inch, persistent, off-white, pillow-fluffy head. The head is super slick. Medium-malt and caramel aroma, with some sharp hop notes in back. I am not an amber guy, so my take my review with a grain of salt. The taste was ho-hum...I can understand why it is highly rated. Balanced flavor of medium roasted malts and hops. The mouth feel substantial, but was somewhat dry...

Overall - For me, the appearance and the smell were the best things about this beer. (488 characters)

Photo of KidDoc
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 16.9 oz bottle (102114 date) into a Samuel Smith's pint glass. Hazy deep Amber color with nice head, good retention and nice medium lacing all the way down. Aroma is a delicious understated piney hop. The flavor picks up some of the darker caramel malts and is almost a touch toasted copper. The alcohol is mostly well-hidden but breaks through at the back of the palate. Amber ales are not my thing but this is very nice. My first MBC beer. I will certainly seek out others. (489 characters)

Photo of Smithjt3
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Though I tend to like more flavorful brews, Zoe has become a favorite in my house due to its smoothness. Like with most bottles from Maine Beer Company, it is best to drink them within a couple of months. (205 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 ronricorossi
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another classy beer from MBC. Rich and malty, frothy head. Those good amber flavors, biscuit, oat, just a touch of caramel, does copper have a taste? MBC reminds me of Russian River, in that their not experimentalists, they're not releasing bunches of variations with unusual ingredients. They just take a beer style and nail it, giving us their version of a classic recipe. They just make great beers. (403 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 utopiajane
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (1,074 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark red/brown color with a thick tan head. Smells of pine, citrus, and a little chocolate. Taste is fairly well balanced between malt and hops. A lot of roasty, chocolaty malts complemented by pine and citrus hops. Some dark fruit in there too. This isn't as much a hoppy amber as it is a Black IPA. Much darker and roastier than other hoppy ambers I've had. Mouthfeel is slightly heavy and carbonation is pretty low. I usually like my hoppy beers to be lighter and crisper. Overall, a pretty good amber. MBC definitely did their own thing with it. (557 characters)

Photo of yarnbomb
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Maybe I'm hitting a bit low here, it's just not my favorite MBC beer. Still top quality, a fantastic version of the style... which I don't care for all that much. I'll take any other MBC over it, but I'd take this over most other red ales. (239 characters)

Photo of TubaManJack
4/5  rDev -4.8%

An unexpected treat and it is only 8 days out from bottling, $7.49 for 500ml. Classic styled review

Appearance - Clean Pour, yields two foaming, wispy fingers of head. Best head retention I have come across in a while. Nice retention. The body is a deep mahogany wood a light carbonation coming though it.

Smell - Clean pinny and light grassy hops and mild malts, exactly what it should. There is a bit of dry hopping without going overboard.

Taste - As with the aroma, this is pretty classic amber ale, with a nice healthy malt profile with grain sweetness and subtle caramel flavors as well as a slightly bitter finish from the toasted malts. There is also a complementary presence of the citrus and pine that kick this one up to another level and make it more unique than most amber ales.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and carbonation. Very easy to drink and clean finish.

Overall - "Balling", a great very balanced Red Ale, but not as hoppy as the label would lead me to be believe but a great example of what the style can be. However at this price per oz it is hard for me for justify all the time. If this was in a six pack format, then it would be in a regular rotation. (1,182 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.45/5  rDev +6%

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.
Pours a very dark amber color with a creamy. light tan head that left lacing all down the glass.
The aroma is citrus and candied fruit and a hint of caramel. Very nice.
This beer is a taste experience. Lots of tropical fruit up front , then some caramel and biscuit and then that piney, hoppy finish that leaves a bitter dryness on the tongue.
Medium-smooth on the mouthfeel.
Overall, this is a lovely blend of malty and hoppy and somehow manages to be both things at the same time. Wish I could have another right now! (557 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Label says 05/20/14.

A- Pours a light brown (not amber) color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a bubbly half sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Very hoppy nose with piney elements and a brown sugary malt sweetness. Combined, it reminds me more of an American Barleywine or straight-up IPA.

T- Piney hops, toasty sweet malt and a noticeable alcohol presence. There are caramel notes from the malt and the bitterness has a considerable duration on the palate.

M- Oily from the hops with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- I don't know who they're kidding. This isn't a simple amber ale. This is either a red IPA or an American Strong Ale due to the high hop content and moderate-to-high alcohol. It's delicious but mislabeled. (902 characters)

Photo of SebD
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%

Appearance: It has a nice deep ruby/amber color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted/buiscuity malts, sweet caramel, some nuttiness, light coffee and pine resins.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some roasted/buiscuity malts, some caramel, a definite nuttiness, light coffee and some bitter pine resins.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle (612 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

16.9 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that reduced to a small puffy layer. It is an amber color with great clarity when held up to the light and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Pine hops, chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, nutty, and toasted malts.

Taste: Same as above. Nice blend of ingredients with mild tingly bitterness in the rear. Hop flavor lasts all the way through the sip.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, a little chewy, and mild bitterness.

Overall: Mmmm, I have forgotten how good this beer tasted. Need to make sure I have it more often. (677 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

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. (444 characters)

Photo of illpass78
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

16.9 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with some red around the edges. Fairly heavy carbonation and a big cream head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma: This beer has a piny, buttery, biscuity, grassy smell. It's appealing for sure. Very aromatic.

Taste: Raisins and dark fruit dominate the taste of this beer, which also has a booze kick and hefty malt presence. There's also biscuit, grass and apricot. Some mild figs, too, and some noticeable citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, which is a good depth for this beer, because a heavier body would make it a little too "big." It's reasonably dense, but approachable.

Overall: Sip it, savor it, and enjoy it. Another great beer from MBC, everyone's favorite simple-label-loving brewery. You really don't need to go nuts on bottle designs when your beer is this well crafted. It strikes me as kind of an IPA/amber hybrid, and will appeal to fans of either. (929 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

500ml bottle, a bit past its 90 day freshness date (dated 4/15/14) poured into a pint glass
A: Amber with a hint of red and a lingering one-finger head
S: Solid roasted malt, a bit metallic, some earthy notes and a bit of the mentioned raisin
T: Roasted malts, nutty and a solid hop presence
M: Medium-bodied
O: I'll have to find a fresher bottle but even as is this is very well made, so far I have yet to have a bad beer from Maine & wish they were available locally (468 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Dark amber, with a great lacing of medium tan head. Smell is full of earthy caramel, pungent, citrus and pine, quite light. Taste is delicious, yumyum, lots of citrusy hops, a bit spicy, pine notes, strong hoppy profile is matched with a good malt backbone, really dry on the finish with crisp caramel malts, drying out with some black pepper. A perfectly balanced delicious red hoppy ale. Plenty sessionable with a really delicious hop flavour and spice to it, another great beer from MBC. (490 characters)

Photo of alexbutler
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very foamy off-white/cream head after a generous pour into a pint glass. The body is a dark amber and syrupy. Beautiful lacing.

S - You have to lean in for the aroma of a light chocolate. The hops are strong and centered... I wish I had a chance to try this beer a bit earlier. The date on the bottle is 6/17/14.... I'm almost two months late.

T - Well, despite my tardiness, the beer remains damn refreshing. Notes of almonds and chocolate surround the crisp hops. Taste doesn't linger... ends with a nice, clean finish. Medium carbonation.

M - Medium mouthfeel here, almost light. It definitely looks like it would be a heavier beer, pouring almost like a stout.

O - Very tasty amber ale... another win for Maine Beer Company. Steep pricetag, however, over $7.... making this a once-in-a-while beer. If you're a fan of MBC, make sure you give this one a shot. (871 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, with bottled on date 05/20/2014. Another new beer to me from Maine Beer Company; I have good expectations since these guys have impressed me so far.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a dark caramel amber color, but appears a dark sunset red in the glass. Three big fluffy frothy fingers of khaki tan head. The head recedes to a nice fluffy rocky surface with lots of thin lacing on the glass. On the darker side of things for the style, I would say, but a very nice appearance for the beer.

S - The aroma is very interesting and inviting, also. Very earthy, twiggy, & herbal. Caramel malts, and some yeast. Not a particularly exciting aroma, but the quality of the ingredients definitely shows through.

T - Taste follows the nose - caramel malts, herbal, earthy, and leafy. Some resinous / piney hop presence is noticeable, but I'd say the malts are the more major player. Dark and roasty at times, almost to the point where you forget you a drinking an amber ale.

M - The feel is smooth, creamy, & fluid. Medium-full bodied, with good carbonation.

Overall, another quality beer from Maine Beer Company; these guys seem to put out consistently good beers, and I look forward to more from them.

Maine Beer Company Zoe ---4/5. (1,259 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very foamy pour, fills up nearly half the pint glass, despite fragile, airy quality retains well and hovers over a finger for some time, light tan color, virtually no larger bubbles on the surface, the lacing is weak, a few splotches here and there at best. The liquid is clear and transparent, a very dark reddish brown, looks like the color of library furniture, sedate and serious, almost zero bubbles visible. The nose is expressive with grapefruit, pine leading into malted milk balls, chocolate, coffee and caramelized brown sugar, then veers back to earthy hops and leafy matter, apple and pear skin all you get for fruit, keenly penetrating and erect posture in the nostrils. Full-bodied for the character, has decent enough carbonation yet still sits like a bowling ball on the tongue. Leads with biting white grapefruit zest and green grass notes before the more roasty coffee, mocha steps up. Pine and flowers pull it away from malty sweetness and here there’s greater depth of apricot, peach and pear fruit. Some breadiness and a hint of summer corn but not strong enough to counteract the overall bitterness. Overall, appears to choose power and simplicity over subtlety, no complaints here. (1,206 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into the MBC ale glass

A: dark ruddy color with an ecru head that compacts from a finger to a half finger, with soapy lacing the whole time. Creamy tight carbo. slightly hazy, not hazy but not clear.

S: light quad notes. figs raisins and peppery yeast and breadiness. Hops are mild, piney and welcome.

T: Some malty tea notes with sweet dark fruit. The bitterness causes a sharp counterpoint mid-quaff. spicy yeast notes are mild.

M: Creamy medium-full body and nice velvety mouthfeel. Malt shines on finish with a slightly phenolic finish. Finish is neither dry nor cloying.

O: Another great showing from Maine Beer Company. (637 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 spoony
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 500 ml bottle (C41514 43 on the label) into a nonic.

A-My normal pour produces one fat finger of light-tan head. Retention and lacing are above average thanks to the oily hops in there. The beer is deep amber in color verging on walnut brown. It is murky but some light gets through. Strangely good-looking stuff.

S-The aroma is full of hops on the first few sniffs. I smell pine, citrus, citrus zest, and a good dose of bitterness. The malts aren't missing, either. I smell toasted bread, cocoa, molasses, rye bread, and a bit of medicinal alcohol, too. Complex, balanced, and very full-bodied.

T-The taste is something of a letdown after the smell. It is more earthy, dull, and spicy, and with more bitterness than the aroma would make you expect. The bright pine and citrus hop flavors have dissipated leaving a duller flavor profile. Malts are still there with toasted bread, cocoa, bread crust, and just a hint of molasses sweetness. Alcohol is very apparent on the finish.

M-The feel is medium to full in body with a bit of oiliness. Carbonation is mellow and fine.

O-I like everything about this beer but the taste, which is just OK. It looks good, it smells great, and the feel is nice, but the taste was a bit too earthy and dull for me. Something seems lost in the translation from my nose to my tongue. That being said, this beer has a lot going for it and I would happily try it again to see if the taste could live up to the smell. (1,456 characters)

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