Zoe - Maine Beer Company

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537 Reviews
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Reviews: 537
Hads: 2,176
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 302
Gots: 321 | 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: 2,176
Photo of BeerMaverick
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Unique looking bottle with interesting label. A couple inches of tanish smooth head with fantastic retention and lacing deposits. the beer itself is a beautiful dark amber color that is completely transclucent...sort of like a ruby.

S - Wonderful hoppy bouquet with floral wisps. Although the hops are very strong, there is a strong malt background with an earthy/woody feature.

T - Exactly what you want for this style, lots of hops with a strong malty backbone. Very crisp and easy to drink. The alcohol is noticeable, but it is well hidden.

M - Great hoppy feel and aftertaste; the syrupy malt is nice and smooth. Medium-bodied brew that is a perfect balance and representation for this style.

O - Fantastic beer overall, world class for this style IMO. It's a little pricy, but completely worth it especially if it's fresh...I'll be getting more of this and I hope it is a year-round beer. (901 characters)

Photo of wburch1967
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 Ml bottle from 1/27/11.

I may have waited too lonf to try this, as I was expecting a little bit more. The appearance was beautiful, with a deep red color and soft white cap. The smell was good too, with an earthy mix of hops, malt, and citrus. But the body and taste were a little too light for me. Still, very good. (321 characters)

Photo of dfclav
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Thanks to jlindros for this generous extra.

A - pours a very dark brownish red with a nice soapy head and nice lacing. Active carbonation keeps the head going for several minutes.

S - smells like a very hoppy red ale, with heavy malt, caramel, grapefruit, and a very spicy note. Piney hop notes linger around the backend creating a very nice aroma.

T - taste is of piney hops and caramel. There is a high amount of spicyness in this beer but it works well. A note of rye from the malt really comes out in the finish as does a decent amount of booze which takes away from the score.

M - very good creamy mouthfeel, good amount of carbonation. Grassy hops provide a nice initial twang followed by a nice spicy finish on the backend.

O - this is a solid beer with a lot of things going right for it. To me the flavor needs a bit of tweaking but this has potential to be a top tier brew. I'll be looking forward to see new things from this company in the future. (986 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got to try Peeper Ale from these guys and thought it was great. Glad to get to try another brew from them. PT bottle...

A: A gorgeous deep dark red with a 1 inch off white head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Smells of a nice clean hop upfront with some great sweet citrus notes in the middle and some earthy grassiness on the backend. Very good!

T: An earthy bitterness upfront with a mild sweet citrus blended in. Some lemon peel quickly follows with a hint of spicy notes and grapefruit. Good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation. A dry clean finish. Good.

D: Goes down good.

All in all, this is another solid beer from Maine Beer Co. I've only tried two brews from them and both are solid. Definitely give this one a try if you like hoppy dry beers! (776 characters)

Photo of tprokop7
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
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. (835 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 weizenbob
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This classy looking 500 mL bottle was received in trade with umfskibum. Thanks Josh. It was bottled on 1/27/11. I popped the cap and poured the bottle into a goblet. An aggressive pour yields about 2½ fingers of foamy khaki head. Retention is excellent. A lot of sticky lacing lines the glass. The beer is a very dark amber tint, darker even than most brown ales.

The aroma is giving off a lot of citrus hops. Tangerine and grapefruit come to mind. The sweet smell of caramel wafts through the nose. I'm detecting rye grain in the aroma which is unexpected and enticing. This is different than any amber ale I've smelled.

The taste is bitter, fruity and clean. Grapefruit bitterness strikes first and maintains a presence through the entire flavor profile and aftertaste. A sweet honey-like fruitiness follows and blends nicely with some earthy grain flavors. Alcohol is noticed on the back end but I would not have otherwise guessed that this was a 7.2% ABV beer. Persistent bitterness lingers in the mouth long after the swallow. It is indeed a very full flavored amber.

Zoe is medium bodied with little carbonation. It feels good in the mouth though not outstanding. However, the style has never knocked my socks off in the mouthfeel department and this has the best feel of any amber I've sampled.

I have mixed feelings about this beer as a whole. I have never cared much for amber ale as a style, but I do have to give Maine Beer Company props for creating a beer that is much better than any other amber I've come across. It is very flavorful; it looks and smells great, and it feels fine in the mouth. 7.2% ABV tells me that I'll probably be done with this after one 500mL bottle. Although this isn't my thing, it is very well executed. I could wholeheartedly recommend Zoe to the hophead who needs a change of pace from a constant diet of IPAs.


The Two Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz for Zoe, but only because I'm not a fan of the style. (2,001 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind Beer #12 from Khazadum

16oz? bottle pops with a nice hiss and blast of dank, piny hops.

Into a pint glass it goes, per the blind label. that is NOT the color I was expecting. Pours a dark amber or light maple syrup color with a monstrous four-finger head. The cream-colored pillow seems to just want to hang out with me a while; it just sits there and dissipates, bubble by bubble. As I drink, there are some hints of lace apparent on the glass sides.

Nose still dominated by some big hop aroma: resin and weed just permeate my nostrils. I think there's some nuttiness hidden in there, but this is a hop-forward beer, despite its perplexing color. I really have no idea what to think before diving in...Later I do get some subtle caramel, but barely.

What the hell am I drinking!?!?! My mind is so confused right now. The first sip is so much sweeter than I expected. There's a little caramel and definite roasted nuts, but after a few sips this gives way to a well-balanced bitter hop finish. I get no roasted malt on the back end, so this comes striaght from hop IBUs. What a confusing beer...

Despite its huge frothy hat, there's virtually no carbonation as I drink. I feel like I'm drinking out of a firkin and I like it. Pretty clean around the mouth, but there's a slight lingering slickness on the top of my moth that just won't go away no matter what I do.

Well balanced, and the palate makes the beer incredibly drinkable. I think there's some heat, so we might be looking at like 7.5%, but it still goes down quickly.

At this point, I'm incredibly confused. i'd think something like an imperial amber, or a super dry-hopped india brown ale. I think this is the most perplexing blind beer I've had to date. Not to mention, the unique shaped bottle is confusing me even more. (1,796 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Maine bottle from Ben, 500ml.

Pours a nice, deep clear copper with a crazy thick head that leaves some of the most impressive lacing I've ever seen. A full two inch cap sticks on top for the duration. I honestly can't think of a better looking amber.

Aroma is bright with floral hops and light lemon and pineapple citrus. There is still a noticeable caramel malt presence but the hops are the star in the nose.

Taste is almost as impressive with the toasted caramel malts taking the forefront a little more. That said the floral pine and grassy hops are still a major player and leave a bitter, dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and exceptionally smooth for the style. Sticky with hops but with a dry, slightly roasted character on the palate.

Probably not quite in Nugget Nectar territory, but this is a great amber - hop forward with the right balance of malts and body. Well done. (905 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark garnet color with a full one fingered greenish/off white colored head. The pour was absolutely beautiful as the foam raised when thousands of tiny bubbles made a break for the surface. Very nice.

S - The nose is filled with very earthy, grassy hops and a healthy dose of hops comprised of a pine/citrus/slightly floral aroma. Roasted malt is somewhat detectable but the hops are definitely front stage and center. It's a hop head's red ale.

T - Roasted caramel malt, mild chocolate underneath with a heavy layer of hoppy goodness scrambling over the top. The tongue is greeted almost immediately with a healthy mixture of floral bitterness, pine, and big citrus hopping. There's also an earthy and grassy presence. There's a slight warming on the way down and the hops clean the malt right off the tongue leaving the mouth coated with pine resins and citric rind bitterness that lingers for many minutes after the sip.

M - Gentle prickliness on the tongue with medium body.

D - Very, very good!

This is an absolutely fabulous amber red ale that's fine tuned for the IPA lovers in the crowd. (1,113 characters)

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: rich mahogany black cherry color, pillowy kahki head. the initial pour yields an active cascade of bubbles rushing to the bottom of the glass, with a quick retreat. fun to watch.
S: citrus, orange, bready malts, pineapple. nice hoppy attitude without truly giving away what lies beyond the nose.
T: awesome punch of bready malts jazzed with frivolous and badass citrusy hops. tons of attitude in this one with flavors all over the place, as mcdonalds would say, IM LOVIN IT!!!!
M: fairly high carbonation coupeld with a huge hop punch make this a mouthful, but its oh so enjoyable. its nice to get a break from the parade of palate crushing ipas ive been drinking lately. the hops presence is definitely there, but theres so much else at play here that its not so ominous.
D: for as big and hoppy as it is, CRUSHABLE in my book. so damn good i could drink it all night. another homerun from Maine Brewing Co. (911 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes:

appearance: amber dark red with a 2 finger head

smell: hops, malts,

taste: grassy, bitter, dry finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

drinkability: a little more dry then I like in my amber red ales. but not a bad representation. enjoyed quite a bit since we don't get distribution here in delaware.

The CPJ (351 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. A dense finger of tan foam rests atop deep amber fluid and fades gradually, and leaving patchy lacing. It's not visibly active, and the color when backlit is reddish copper.

Immediately after the pour the nose is predominantly hoppy, but not so much after a few minutes. Mild caramel and moderate alcohol are the main drivers of the aroma, though some floral and fruity hops hang around, though not as pungent as right after the pour.

The hop presence is floral, fruity, and a little bit piny. The hoppy lead is joined and pretty much balanced by a barely discernible caramel malty base that is ever so vaguely sweet. The bitterness is gentle throughout, but persistent and piny after the finish.

Slightly low carbonation, with a rich medium body that dries out succinctly as it leads into the lingering bitter finish.

This is a good beer. Good balance, good hopping, good body. But the overall dry character of it, from the middle through the finish, is a distraction to me. This dryness is also probably why some love it. A little more malty and a little less dry and I would score it higher. (1,111 characters)

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

"Our Happy, Hoppy, Amber" Ale
Maine Beer Company
7.2% ABV

500 ml bottle with no freshness date poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks Ipatsfans!

More brown than amber, this ale poured a dark shade of burnt caramel with a beautiful light brown head. The suds formed in cascade, like a thick stout - dense and creamy, and held promise of good retention and lacing. Not exactly what I expected but good looking nonetheless.

Delicate hop aroma with the freshness of a pine forest and some caramel notes underneath. The hop aroma is reminiscent of West Coast stuff, and Daisy Cutter. Go figure. Taste is fairly amicable, with a decent amount of light bitterness and a good malt backbone. The hop flavor is fresh, and is rind like at times: always welcome. Again unexpected but there's a fair (for the style description) amount of roast induced, I believe, tannic character. Drinks more like a hoppy porter or black IPA, but that's just nitpicking. Finish is rather sweet for my liking and the alcohol is high as well. The body and the mouthfeel are spot on if you ask me, and overall the beer is quite pleasant for a brewery with merely 2 beers on its portfolio. Thanks again, Ipatsfans! A good drink.

Scores: Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4, Taste 4, Mouthfeel 4, Drinkability 4 (1,281 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ToasterChef for the bottle. Poured into a Nonick pint glass.

A very large light brown to cream colored head off the pour easily four fingers and more. Head forms real easily and evenly. Dark red brownish hues on the bottom, but almost the perfect looking dark brown spectrum amongst the light. Little bit of sticking carbonation on the bottom of the glass. Excellent and lots of great looking lacing while finishing the drink.

Bouquet is kind of muted, but does have much going for it on the nose. Simple malt, small hints of roast and caramel. Faint chocolate and hops. I just wish this smell was alot bigger but it is still good.

Taste is immediately hoppy but not overpowering. Malt taste is a little limited and masked from the nose, but gives a great medium body feel. Pine sensation briefly, but also with chocolate notes. Hints of grass but not quite getting there.

The more you drink the more the hops take over. However this is a real pleasant brew, and this is very good beer. It's quite complex and hard to find its nuances but I like complexity so this is my thing. (1,092 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle (bottled on 1/14/11) poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours an incredibly dark amber color...actually more of a brown color that is a touch on the muddy side in appearance. Three fingers of dark khacki colored foam with amazing density sits atop the beer for a long, long time. An even sheet of lace covors almost 100% of the glass above the liquid level - quite impressive.

S - Wow...hops! Thick aromas of citrus steadily rise from the glass - packed with grapefruit mainly. Some wonderful pine joins the mix. Really great and intense hops. Along with the hops is some earthy and roasty malt character. Very mild but still noticeable boozy alcohol aromas and a dusting of chocolate to round things out.

T - Crisp hoppy bitterness with some roasted malt that gives a bit of a burnt bitterness and blends in with the hops. Sugary and a bit of caramelized sugar sweetness up front. Lots of hops in the middle with loads of grassy and citrus flavors - oranges and white grapefruit and some pineapple too.

M - A touch on the heavier side of medium bodied. Carbonation is full and assertive. Hop bitterness and earthy roasted malt flavors throughout and linger into the aftertaste. Hard to criticize, but perhaps a touch too far on the heavy side for me in this style.

D - This is an excellent beer. I had heard quite a bit about this one and was definitely excited to give it a try. Definitely lived up to the hype and my expectations. Looking forward to having more of these and trying some of the brewery's other offerings in the near future. A bit heavy to be extremely drinkable, especially in warmer weather...full of flavor and really good beer - probably a couple in a session is enough though. (1,713 characters)

Photo of Ipatsfans
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Not sure if the number printed on the label is a bottled date, or just a batch number. MFG011411...could be January 14th bottling...could not be.

Pours a dark brownish color, slight crimson appearance when held to the light. Much darker than other Ambers I've had.

Smell is sweet and hoppy, some light grapefruit notes, with a little roasted something or other in there. Can't place it.

Taste is unexpected. Hoppier than it smells, kind of dry and biter, and does not contain the sweet finish I was expecting. Finish is more malt and hops.

Biter hop taste is left in the mouth. Malt remains. Light carbonation, but just about right.

This is a drinkable beer. I wanted to like it more than I do. I would drink it again, but will not seek it out. (794 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.39/5  rDev -19.3%
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. (869 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from baconsausage in the Small Aquatic Mammal BIF. Really excited to have the chance to review this one!

A-Pours a murky amber with a creamy off white head and some nice sticky lacing.

S-Deep roasted malt with floral and earthy hops. A very nice biscuit character as well.

T-Very nice earthy character in the front with some good caramel malt. Hops are nicely present while still taking a back seat to the malt. Very nicely balanced, really flavorful.

M-Medium bodied, a bit dry.

D-Excellent. Very nice depth of flavors and great complexity for the style. I like it!

HV (588 characters)

Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark cherry brown with two fingers of head.

S: Roasted caramel malts.

T: Tastes a bit like a well hopped porter. Malt and caramel is the predominant taste with citrus hops.

M: lightly carbonated and a bit thin.

D: Very drinkable, not overpowering, yet interesting enough in flavor to entice. Reminds me of a black ipa with a better malt profile and a more straightforward citrus hoppiness. (397 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This finally made it to MA, yay!

Creamy almost 1 finger head gasses slowly with lacing over darker molasses brown color.

Nose of fresh earthy and floral hops, some dark earthy malts, bit of fluffy dark malts, touch of roast.

Taste starts rich and creamy dark malts, bit of fluffy roast and almost chewy nougat, toffee, earthy and slight nutty malts, earthy and floral hops, light spicy, fresh hops, not too bitter, light fruit hops as well. Finish gets a bit more bitter, with a nice lingering hop character, light toffee, roast, and earthy malts.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied with good carb.

Drink is great, a nice hop character not too bitter, the dark malts add a nice flavor without too much body or syrupy flavor. Very well balanced, tasty. (758 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very cloudy dark copper with a wispy, thick head that leaves a nice amount of lace.
Hoppy as hell with lots of pine, herbs, rosemary and some mild citrus.
Tastes the same as the smell with a lingering aftertaste of spicy herbs and wood.
Feels creamy and smooth and is a pleasure to sip. (288 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a cloudy dark red/brown with a very large three finger foamy head that sticks around forever. Leaves great lacing.

S: Very hoppy - pine aroma and a little bit of citrus. Extremely earthy and grassy. A slight malt aroma (caramel), but lots of hops, really inviting.

T: Really like this one! Very hoppy with some nice tropical fruits, pineapple, orange. Has a very complex malt bill, with some noticeable caramel, toffee, and some toasted malts too. The grassiness from the aroma comes through as well.

M/D: Medium bodied, very crisp and refreshing. Extremely drinkable, would love to have this one stocked in the fridge for sure. (643 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to twelvsies for including this as an extra. Brought these bottles down to St. Louis and split for some non-beer geek friends, to see what they thought. Poured into tulip.

A - Pours brown, off-white head, good lacing, thin cap.

S - Bitter dark chocolate, malts, roast, nice piny hop bitterness.

T - A nice mix of malts and hops. Chocolate, roast, floral notes, slight citrus. A really big bite of hops on the finish that really caught me off-guard. Yum!

M - Light, smooth and crisp, good carbonation for the style.

D - Very easy to drink and enjoyable. We finished this bottle quickly and my buddies really enjoyed it as well. Give it a try! (658 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark amber thick thick head with pleanty of lace

Beautiful hop aroma eathy piny. Wonderful very fresh

Nice very nice start with a slight caremel malt and quickly becomes hoppy and finishes all hops. The bitter becomes prominant but isn't offensive a well rounded hop taste very nice (296 characters)

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