Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Zoe - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
ZoeZoe

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

565 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 565
Hads: 2,294
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 314
Gots: 387 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 565 | Hads: 2,294
Photo of Satchboogie
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle (10/27/11) poured into a tulip

A: Pours light cola with a massive 3-finger tan head. Fantastic head retention, leaves a little lacing.

S: Citrus and floral hops, caramel, a little pine. Has a slight cola thing going on as well.

T: Fairly heavy presence of toasted malt, plenty of caramel, and a bite of floral and pine hops. Citrus and floral hops over caramel in the middle with a slightly astringent and bitter finish. I think there may be a hint of chocolate towards the finish.

M: Medium body, slightly strong carbonation. Crisp up front and again on the finish with a fairly smooth middle. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

O: A solid hoppy amber that's well balanced between a sizable caramel malty body and palate-smacking hops. Right up there with Arrogant Bastard for me (a little more malty with more citrus, perfect).

 844 characters

Photo of drcarver
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For starters, I love the label.

Second does 7.20% ABV put this into the "Imperial" category?

A - medium brown body appears syrupy. light and billowy 1/2 finger head rises to the top slowly. Clear.

S - Hop to the forefront. Bits of pine, citrus (grapefruit), and grass. Bit of grain to the back of the throat. Nice but hop is more than I'm used to in a red ale.

T/M - Sweet with floral and citurs hop all throughout. Finishes smooth with a bit of metallic bitterness. A definite "freshness" to the hop flavor.

O - While I feel it exceeds the "light to moderate hopping" typical of a red(aren't most beers these days) this a great beer. Fresh and sweet. Well done.

 669 characters

Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brownish golden with burnished copper edges and a full half inch of oatmeal colored foam that lingers long. Bright hoppy aroma, very citrusy and inviting.

Flavor is floral and citrus, resiny and sappy, moving to piney notes, some orange rind pith. Understated caramel and toffee malt rides beneath but gets pushed back down by the hops. Malt rises up more strongly as it warms and brings nuances of crusty bread and dried leaves. Dry and crisp, finishes tingly. Great beer.

 480 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super fresh with an 11/24/11 date (I'm assuming that is the bottling date). 16.9oz into Stone IPA glass.

Very nice looking beer - huge, rocky beige head over a very dark, opaque maroon-to-brown body.

Aromas smack of fresh, piney NW hops. Herbal, but with a nice sweetness.

Flavors transfer from piney to floral hops, and there is a touch of soapy bitterness in there as well. A healthy amount of citrus peel in the finish. Not the sweetest of Amber Ales, as it weighs heavily on the bitterness side of the see-saw.

Mouthfeel is very dry with a fairly high carbonation level, yet smooth across the palate.

This is full flavored and well done. I usually prefer a little more malt balance, but there is no complaining on this beauty. May have to pick up that sixtel my distributor has!

 790 characters

Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A few ounces of a 50 cL bottle dated (10/27/11) into a Bordeaux glass.

A: Dark brown, orangish amber when held to light. Half finger off white head with good retention and lacing.

S: lots of earthy piney hops up front with a bit of caramelly malts coming through, nutty, grassy.

T: Quite hoppy with pine and bitterness up front but with good balance. Probably more hops than an average amber ale and thus aptly characterized as "our happy, hoppy, amber." Caramel and nutty malt sweetness mid taste and finishes nicely and refreshingly bitter.

M: Very nice, small carbonation, smooth.

O: A great beer, one of my favorites. Highly recommend. This is a special ale from a special brewery.

 690 characters

Photo of plehnus
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: American hops. Apricot, citrus; sharp and tangy. Grapes.

Appearance: Hazy reddish-amber body with a fluffy cream colored head.

Flavor: Extremely strong floral hops. Mild citrus notes. Faint hints of spice. Subtle earthy malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with an initial bite, but a pretty long and surprisingly smooth finish.

Overall: Not as uniquely complex as I was expecting, but not as bitter either. Fantastic aromatics, perhaps that is why the taste was a little disappointing. Not completely blown away, but definitely not a bad brew either.

 564 characters

Photo of EagleRare
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Porured out of the 1 pint 9 fl.oz bottle into an old fashioned glass.
Full flavored amber with great characteristics. Roasted grapefruit nose. Flavor of mild hops with slightly bitter finish. Medium spritz and smooth texture.
Medium brown unfiltered color and tannish head give a great color to the beer.
I would pair this with game and poultry, fish and chips, and pork dishes.

 378 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review adapted from notes taken 6/27/11

Appearance: A dark amber, almost brown - beautiful beige head, very foamy - pure bottle-conditioned glory

Smell: Hoppy with cooked malts - biscuity and crusty - some serious hoppy aromas, floral and straight-up grapefruit, some pine - nicely balanced

Taste: Great, even better than expected - crusty, grainy malts with a nice hop profile - mostly pine, citrus, grass, and floral notes - malts are cooked and biscuity, perhaps a little more dry than the average amber - nicely bitter, not too sweet - and it's got that Maine Beer Company "clean" flavor, very refreshing

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body, excellently carbonated, nicely balanced

Overall: Personally, the only beer that does this better is Tröegs Nugget Nectar

With all due respect to the American Amber/Red Ale style, I did not have high expectations. But Maine Beer pulled it off. It's incredibly balanced, nicely cooked, and very refreshing. Much like Peeper and Lunch, this is remarkably good. I'll be shocked if they can make a bad beer.

 1,050 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 11/24/11
Color is brownish red. Sticky lacing all around the glass.
Tons of hops in the nose but sweet malty notes shine through as well.
As the nose suggests it has a good balance of malt and hops. Piney hops mixed with sugary fruitiness. Alcohol is very well hidden. Nice bitter after taste.
Carbonation was a little lower than I like. Medium body.

 360 characters

Photo of pburland23
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm excited to see Maine Beer Company here in the Philadelphia region. Drank some Peeper while visiting my wife's family in Maine this summer and really enjoyed MBC's work.

Bottle Date: 11/24/2011

Poured from a 15.9 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass.

Beer pours darker than expected. Mahogany with orange tints around the edges. Created a finger of off-white head which slowly dissolved into a thin layer with a few soapy bubbles. Excellent lacing.

Smell is very hoppy. Juicy citrusy hop notes are square at the forefront of this one. Very inviting smelling pint.

Taste starts with a little prickle of carbonation and a big dose of sharp, crisp grapefruit hops. Back end of the sip features a real nice dark malt note that provides a worthy counterbalance to the massive hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. As stated, the carbonation is sharp and it added a crispness to the sip. Very, very drinkable.

Overall, a flavorful, well balanced amber ale. MBC knows how to handle their hops and it shows with Zoe.

 1,022 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a magnificent deep amber, with a tanish red highlights 2 inch sticky head, that takes some time settling, gorgeous lacing. Smell tangerine, pineapple, pine, and some grass. Taste is all of that, with a little hint of carmel in the finish, really well balanced. Most dominant flavor tangerine, by a tiny margin. Body is really nice, a little on the larger side for the ABV, very easy drinking. Not really dry and the perfect amount of life. Hello Maine Beer Company, welcome to New Hampshire! This is a wonderful beer and says the date of 10/27/11 on it, hard to walk past this when fresh.

 627 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: clear deep amber color with two fingers of fluffy medium tan colored head that lingers beautifully and leaves minimal lacing on the glass
S: woah, citrus hops and grapefruit, god damn does it smell like an American pale ale
T: taste jives with the scent only in the beginning, citrus hops initially then moves into a bit of whiskey and woodsy taste notes, finishes and lingers with chocolate malts for a nice long period afterwards
M: super gentle on the carbonation, leaves the mouth feeling exceptionally dry, and yet smooth
O: this beer was all over the place, not in a bad way its just that the smell didnt jive with the taste and the taste didnt jive with he mouthfeel which didnt seem typical for the style, i just dont know how to react, dont get me wrong its a great brew but for the style, idk its just wacky i guess, loved it at the end of the day i guess

 893 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1.9 pint bottle into a Berkshire Mountain Brewers pint glass.

A: Deep, cloudy, burnished brick red amber color with a persistent and creamy two-finger head of foam which leaves some nice sudsy lace.

S: Lots of spicy and sweet hop notes, orange, citrus, pine, fig and raisins blend together to form a fruity and hoppy aroma with a warm and solid malty undertone.

T: Juicy and roasted caramel malts punch up front with fruity dates, figs and raisin before giving way to a wave of pine and tangerine hops with herbal, spicy and boozy smacking notes. Smoky and meaty almost at the finish, it wraps up with lingering bittersweetness and a hop slick.

M: Meium-full bodied, pretty clean with a slocik, bitter hop residue in the mix. Slightly creamy and well-carbonated.

O: Whoa, mama, what an American amber! The 7.2% ABV pushes this beer into the stratosphere of American strong ale, with its complex fruity and smoky malt profile combined with lush, bitter hops that provide a full-range of flavors. A really nice brew that I wouldn't mind grabbing again and even aging a bit to see where things go.

 1,113 characters

Photo of sethmeister
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked 10/27/11

Pours with a voluminous tan head on a chestnut brown body. Lots of sticky fluffy lace.

Scent wafts from the pour: fruity and aromatic with Christmas tree pine notes. Spice: coriander? white pepper?

Taste is minty at first. Almost menthol. Then grapefruits and lemons. Oily resiny hop notes sneak up on you. Nice bitter pine hop finish. Slight hint of roasty / chocolate coffee malt flavor here and there. Complex and takes some time and savoring to pick out the individual flavors.

Mouth is a slick and juicy medium

This is really a very good and rather unusual ale. Can't wait to try more Maine Beer Co brews.

 638 characters

Photo of iadler
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened while waiting in line for FFF 15th Anniversary party.

A- Pours a translucent light brown with a two finger off white head that dissipates into a thin cap.

S- Pine needles and grass with citrus zest, caramel and roasted malt. Unsweetened chocolate and coffee beans are in the background. Very earthy.

T- A nice amount of hop presence with citrus notes of grapefruit and lemon zest as well as pine and grass. Finishes with notes of caramel malt, unsweetened chocolate and coffee beans which provide some balance.

M- Medium carbonation and a lighter body that I've noticed with every Maine Beer Company. Finishes a tad dry and bitter.

O- Maine Beer Company has not disappointed me at all. Every one of their beers provides a unique take on each style it represents. I could drink their beer all day.

 808 characters

Photo of Scrumtralecent
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - Dark copper with a nice thick off white head. Head lingers, nice looking beer.

S - This is an amber beer that has been hopped for sure. The hop is piney and adds a earthy floral aroma to this. As it warms, the malt shows through a little more, making the aroma seem much heavier.

T - A hearty malty presence in this one with the hops adding some bittering effect to the sides. A little citrus of the hops shines through in the beginning, but that malt overpowers as it hits the back of the tongue.

M - Pretty hearty for sure, would call this medium, to almost heavy, for the style. Little bit of a sipper, but perfectly carbonated.

O - This was perfect for a colder day. Nice and hearty with the malt, inviting and a little refreshing with the hop, they achieved a nice balance. I enjoyed this beer and would have another, if only I were in Maine.

 891 characters

Photo of bierbrauer
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle poured into Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on April 28, 2011. Brought back from New England trip in August.

A: Clear copper; large, fluffy, tan head that takes up 1/2 of the glass and falls very slowly; leaves thick ring and patches of lacing; no effervescence.

S: Citrus, vanilla, caramel; slight pine.

T: Caramel malt followed by citrus, then piney/resinous hops, slight bitterness.

M: Medium body and light/medium carbonation; creamy & rich; finish is just a bit dry.

O: I love any time I can spend in Maine. Maine Beer Company has created yet more reasons for me to appreciate the state. Four more reasons, with Zoe being one of my top 2, along with Lunch. Peeper and Mean Old Tom are right there, too. Fresher releases are much more complex, as expected. This is a special ale from a young brewery to watch and, of course, to try when possible. Distribution has just been expanded to NH and VT, along with Boston, MA (also NYC, I believe). The price is a natural drawback, but doesn't reduce the quality.

 1,026 characters

Photo of vande
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - nearly bottle-colored brown...a very deep, murky colored brownish amber with a sandy colored, one finger thick head that quickly evolves into a light lacing

S - nice fruity hoppy aroma.. orange peel, coriander, grapefruit...fairly fresh smelling..

T - the fruity hops mixes nicely with the sweet malty goodness... yummy!

M - cold and creamy...nice,light texture...

O - well worth seeking out if you've not had it... as my friend would say, quite a tasty treat !

 469 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My aunt and uncle picked up a bottle of this while they were in Maine a month or so ago. The beer poured out as a deep looking amber color. In darker light it looked brown. The head was white and had a good retention and lacing. The smell of the beer was hoppy, there wasn't too much else really happening besides some citrusy hops filling the nose. The taste is bitter but yet. Dry drinkable in my opinion. Has some sweetness in the flavor also. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a pretty good carbonation to it also. Overall I thought this brew was really good actually. I would drink this one again for sure.

 616 characters

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.

 471 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle, poured into a pint glass; bottled on 10/20/11

Thanks to Jebus3513 for this one

Pours a brownish/reddish deep amber with a thick, sticky light tan cap. Some moderate lacing.

Floral hops, pine, ruby red grapefruit and a subtle earthy aroma. Some toffee and caramel as it warms.

Up front, pine and grapefruit bitterness. Some caramel and toffee with a musty/earthy flavor carries you through the middle. Pine and grapefruit bitterness come back for the finish. The caramel/toffee element lends a sweetness that cuts through the bitterness in the finish somewhat.

Medium to full body with good carbonation. Smooth and creamy. The finish is mildly bitter and full of pine needles and grapefruit.

Overall, this is a damn fine amber. Good, sturdy hop profile with a good imbalance that allows the hops to carry the load, but the malts are showcased as well.

 871 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep amber body. Remarkably dark for a red ale. Decent khaki head with impressive lacing.

Smell - Blending of citrus and pine hops with a substantial caramel malt backbone that almost smells like rye. Nice smell, if unremarkable. I can't pinpoint anything wrong with it.

Taste - Beautiful bouquet of hops up front and an immediate blend of caramel and toffee malts. Before any sweetness can set it, the finish is spicy (like rye, again!) with a very strong bitterness that almost detracts. Great flavor.

Mouthfeel - Slick and slightly oily. Enough to keep the flavors around and not enough to make it heavy. Low carbonation, though. Not flat and not low enough to make it heavy, but enough to make it very creamy. Maybe it slows down the drinking, but not enough to complain.

Overall - Great beer. With ambers, it's tough to be over-the-top impressive in any category, so I'm always looking for that beer that delivers in every category. This one comes damn close. Very nice beer.

 1,038 characters

Photo of baconbourbon
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Extremely dark amber, excellent lacing, and a sizable head.
Smell: Bits of cinnamon with a nice mixture of malt and spices.
Taste: Piny up front, followed by a malty wave with a surprisingly bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, reasonably carbonated, goes down smoothly.
Overall: This is an impressive beer. I am definitely a huge fan of the red ale, and this one does not disappoint.

 395 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with a couple fingers of thick light tan colored head. This retains with a creamy ¾ finger of rich froth and slathers the sides of the glass with thick sticky swathes of foamy lacing. The aroma just explodes in the nose with a huge floral feel that contains notes of grapefruit, spice, and pine. This immediately gives way to dense and malty smelling layer of sticky caramel and dark roast. This is just so flavorful feeling in the nose, with everything seeming to have fresh and powerful presence.

Hops and malt pull equal weight in the taste, with a blast of herbal tones and zesty grapefruit bitterness that propels resins and spice out in the profile. The malt however is equally robust, with a mix of caramel sweetness and burnt roasted notes that lay heavy in the finish along with a strong resinous dryness that seems to linger forever. As this warms, the flavors seem to meld and balance even more and take off some of the initial assertive edges that hold this back a little in the beginning. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a wonderful even feeling creaminess in the mouth that has just enough of an effervescent sharpness to the carbonation. While the alcohol does give this a bit of a powerful beefiness like a Double Red would, this is still very smooth for 7%, with only some trailing warmth being present and adding some extra boldness to an already aggressive finish.

As a lover of hoppy Red Ales, I just have to say that I’m in love with this beer. From its beautiful look, to its flavorful yet well balanced profiles, to its super easy drinkability, this one just all the right notes for me. The other two Maine beers I’ve had (Peeper & Lunch) got close for me but this is the first one to really knock it out of the park, as I think this is definitely the freshest that I’ve been able to try one of their beers. I’m super excited to here that this is going to be distributed in SE PA going forward, as I’ll definitely be picking up some more bottles.

 2,061 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark cloudy brown color with a one finger head. Moderate lacing develops.

Smell: pine and grapefruit dominate.

Taste: decent malt level here with some pine, grapefruit, prunes, and a spicy yeast flavor. Bitterness is sharp but provides some nice balancing here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. Short lived aftertaste.

Overall: this beer had a nice flavor profile and was very easy to consume. Worthy of a try by anyone who likes the style.

 500 characters

Zoe from Maine Beer Company
93 out of 100 based on 565 ratings.