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Zoe - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

547 Reviews
no score

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

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

Availability: Year-round

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

Our take on an American amber ale. Complex malt bill delivers notes of dark raisin, chocolate and biscuit. Copious additions of American hops yield notes of pine and citrus.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 547 | Hads: 2,239
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Ryan011235. Poured into an E&J Cask and Creme glass on 5/19/10.

Zoe is dark and rusty. Shades of purple and plum provide shadows to reds and umbers. A tall, frothy head is long lasting and leaves sticky lace.

This aroma is by far the best element of this beer. Its sweet and juciy, but piney and bitter at the same time. Lots of fresh pineapple and orange citrus. Layered below that is a sturdy pine aroma. Its very woody, sappy and green. Not a whole lot of room for malts to peek through.

There is plenty of that nice citrus in the flavors, but a very woody pine element is intense. Contrary to the aroma, the malts are attempting to show themselves. For the most part the malt base is toasty, with notes of a crusty bread.

The body is quite full, especially for the style. The puffy carbonation is not so lively that it gets in the way of this beer's fuller weight. The finish is spurred by resinous hop oils.

A very nice red. Its a decently big beer, in the same vein as a few other imperial reds, e.g. Uncle Rusty. The aroma is fantastic.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint sized bottle poured into a nonic. Lot#03-10-11. Thanks to AleLovinRuskie for this one!

(A)- Pours a fairly dark burnt sienna color. Produced a huge frothy and fluffy tan colored head. Great retention behing it that left lots of lacing in its wake.

(S)- A dry hoppy blast up front. Very very dry actually with some hoppy citrus and caramel malts.

(T)- A better balance than the smell foretold. A nice nutty/caramel richness with an even mellower citrus hop character. Still dry, but richer and maltier.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Rich and malty, yet dry and citrus-like hop aspect. Mild bitterness, almost becomes earthy as it warms.

(D)- A solid to great american amber. Malty and rich with an assertive yet balanced hop profile.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich deep reddish brown amber with an off white head that leaves some good lacing. Some chill haze. Color is what you want your beer to be. Very pretty.

I'm in the pine forest! Some malt, but it is all hops here.

Big juicy pine hop flavor, and it dominates. As the palate clears, you get some browned bread crust, good toasted malt, a little earthy edge. There is substantial bitterness here, but it is to the proper degree and there is a good balance. Not easy to find fruit in this one.

Medium body, decent carbonation.

Easy drinker -- a hoppy brew that you can put down pint after pint. Worth having.

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Photo of thebeers
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ruddy brown with a thick tan head. Sweet malt and piney hop aroma, both of which carry over to the taste. Fairly thin and well-carbonated mouthfeel. Like many from MBC, there's a somewhat watery backend, but pretty well balanced overall.

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Photo of GinjaSlice
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: not a great looking beer. Has this dark redish color with almost the pale hue. The head and lacing however are pretty good.
S: THe best part about this beer, i smell grapefruit, hops, and a piney resin.
T: To me this tasted a lot like an ipa. Very hoppy and bitter. I got lots of grapefruit out of it and as the beer warmed i got more and more resiny piney taste that im not a big fan of.
M: actually quite good very nice but a little sticky

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Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: I simply must remember to pour bottle-conditioned beers more gingerly. This beer is a dark amber hue with a quite-haze-free body and a strong effervescence. Head is three-plus fat fingers of pillowy tan foam with a nice lace. Not sure what else I'd want out of an amber ale.

Smell: great big dose of fresh earthy hops with a fair amount of citrus character and a complementary dankness. Quite nice.

Taste: sweetish caramel malt with a tons of dank, earthy, somewhat citrusy and almost moldy hops. OK, that was an initial impulse ... the hops are not as bad as I thought. It's good, but just a bit muddled in a way that makes it hard to pick out the flavors I prefer. So, overall, good, but brewers: you're treading a line here which could easily go bad on you.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice carbonation and a good creaminess. I like it.

Overall: while this beer is still pretty good, I feel like some of the dankness and muddiness of the hops detracts from overall drinkability for me. This bottle isn't terribly old (about two months), but perhaps this beer is better closer to its source.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: This pours extremely dark for an Amber Ale. Pours a very hazy dark copper with ruby red highlights. Has 1 finger of tan head that reveals a very nice layer of lacing.

N: Big orange citrus and tangerine along with some pine sap backing it up. Has a big sugary caramel backbone.

T: Big tropical notes are in the front. Pineapple, papaya, mango and tangerine along with something similar to sugar cookies. Mid-palate has bursts of big rich sugary caramel. Lemon, navel orange, brown sugar and a little bit of Tootsie Roll also makes an appearance. Finishes with toffee, grapefruit pith and resinous pine sap with a lighter intermingling of tropical and citrus fruits.

M: On the heavy side of medium bodied. Sticky and dry with a good bitterness.

O: This Amber is quite heavy on the malts but is beautifully balanced with the heavy hopping. Maine Beer Company really knows how to kick ass with the hoppy beers. Complex, easy drinking with no notice of alcohol.

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Photo of mschantz
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 11/4/14 dated bottle purchased in April 2015. Crazy that it remained on the shelf but curiosity overrode my best instincts and I invested none the less. Pours a deep brown reminiscent of strong tea with a huge fluffy beige head. Nearly fully opaque. Nose is vegetal with just a bit of herbal spice.while I imagine that at 6 months the hops have dropped off considerably, I found the taste to be quite balanced and pleasant. Rich caramel, malty Sweetness balanced on the back by hoppy bitterness. Would love to try this beer fresh.

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Photo of spoony
3.94/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of MrMonkey
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of bottles on a recent day trip over to Portland.

Pours an extremely dark brown with amber highlights when held up to the light. A three finger creamy beige head slowly fades leaving some thick lace behind.

The aroma is filled with lots of grapefruit, orange rind and pine. There's a hint of toasty malts in the background.

Taste is much more subdued in the hops department. It starts out with some toasted bread and sweet malts. There's a hint of roasted coffee and chocolate before some bitter, floral hops. Overall this a very well balanced beer. It combines the sweet, toasty malts of a good red/amber, with the bitter hops of an American IPA. It finishes with a somewhat dry nuttiness.

Medium-bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation.

A very interesting and enjoyable brew that straddles the line between styles. ABV is not noticeable whatsoever . Glad I picked up a couple of these, and I would grab more if I saw them.

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Photo of ronricorossi
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of nodder
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown and clear with a massive tan head. Fades to leave lots of fluffy lacing.

S- Roasted Maltiness and hops. Slightly dank. Smell is subdued.

T- Bitter hops with a big malty backbone. The bitterness surprised me in a good way. A very enjoyable beer.

M- Medium body with lots of carbonation. The alcohol is there but well masked.

O- I liked it. I would get again on occasion.

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Ipatsfans
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle dated 8/19/11 into a pint glass. Incidentally, big thanks to Maine Beer Co. - a small operation by any standard - for bottle-dating

Pours a very deep red, not quite ruby and not quite brown. One-finger off-white head recedes pretty quickly. Minimal scattered lacing.

The aroma is nicely balanced. For such a fresh bottle I expected a bit more hops, but there is definitely a strong earthy hop presence here. Some nice sweet malt for counterbalance.

Like the aroma, the taste demonstrates a great degree of balance. There is some initial and lingering bitterness from the hops, but there's also some very pleasing malty sweetness. Overall, it's a pretty sweet amber ale. There’s almost a sort of chocolate, brown ale flavor here, too.

Mouthfeel is good, if a little syrupy. I think the carbonation could be bumped up a bit on this one.

Though I prefer my amber ales a little hoppier, this is a solid offering from MBC. It's not trying to be Nugget Nectar, and for what it is it's successful.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed 2 weeks ago, bought at Winooski Beverages. Pours dark brown with abundant soapy off-white head. English hop and rich malts aroma. Soft mouthfeel, though bitterness erases the palate in the finish. Toasty malt. Very drinkable and tasty.Lots of thick lace.I could have bought more!

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle, Duvel tulip, bottled 8/18/11.

It's more than amber, it's all shades of deep red. Quite a sustained fluffy head still sits atop in latte brown.

As far as hops, it's showing the four month age, with toffee and candied fruits overshadowing what had to have been a nose chalk full of tropical fruit. Lots of candied orange peel and caramel malt. There's even some buttered toast and a smattering of alcohol.

The dominant flavors are candied orange peel, crystal malt, and bitter alcohol. Sort of a rearrangement of the aromas. It's standard Amber stuff, but very strong.

It hovers between thin and medium bodied. Regardless, it's a bit rough and bitter, which is a good counter to the crystal malt. It would also be better if there were a bit more carb.

While it's nothing revolutionary, it is very well done. I like sweetness as long as it's well tempered, preferably by hop bitterness, which it is here.

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Photo of gdkersey
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - quite a bit darker than I imagined, perhaps it was the glass. dark reddish-brown. fair amount of carbonation, had to let it settle before pouring more.

S - earthy, grassy hops. brown bread.

T - roasty malt backbone. the hops do their job well and this is an extremely well balanced beer. there isn't a crazy amount of hop flavor (compared to something like Nugget Nectar), but that is not a bad thing, great tasting beer

M - carbonation is a bit on the high side, but doesn't take away too much from the beer

Overall, great beer from a new brewery...looking forward to seeing what else these guys put out.

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Photo of Etan
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Libbey stout glass. Bottle sent to me by Valdieu2!

A: Pours a dark orangish brown with a spongy tan head. Nice retention and lacing.

S: Nose comprised of citrus and tropical hops. Sweet orange, pineapple.

T: Waves of buttery caramel malts, pineapple, grapefruit, rindish bitterness, mint, peppercorn, and spicy alcohol mixed up altogether. Smooth.

M: Frothy and medium-bodied.

O: Mellower than most hoppy reds I've had, but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 500 mL bottle from FluffyMcTingle; thanks for this one! Bottled on 02/09/2012, and consumed now in my DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark brown color with deep ruby hues; the body was much darker and more opaque than I had expected for the style. A massive amount of light tan head develops and lingers for virtually the extent of the drink. Scattered patches of lacing remain on the glass. Very good presentation here.

The aroma is of a peppercorn spice laced with earthen hops. In terms of the spice, it makes me think of the glorious peppercorns that often adorn bacon. No bacon here, but that's the kind of pepper I'm thinking of. Some citrus, pine, caramel, and a touch of roasted nuts (almond, cashew?) even come through behind it. Rather hop-forward on the nose overall.

The taste is comprised of earthen, dirty hops in front of a spicy and slightly roasty center (reminiscent of a nut brown in that regard). Delicate citrus and pine notes struggle through along with some almond, nut, and caramel towards the end. As with the nose, the earthen hops and peppercorn flavors hog the palatal stage.

Mouthfeel is crisp and spot-on with regards to carbonation, but the drink finishes rather dry and with a lingering, resinous coating on the palate. The nutty flavors seem to linger a bit as well.

Overall, a good amber though one I feel is a bit non-traditional. Not that that’s a bad thing by any means, but I was expecting a slightly different experience from this one. Either way, this is another solid offering from Maine Beer Co.!

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Photo of billab914
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. It poured a dark caramel color with a bit of reddish colors to it. The head settled down to a thin covering and left some great lacing as it did.

The aroma shows off both the hoppy and malty qualities pretty well. Some zesty citrus with a grapefruit bitterness mixes with some sweeter malty, toasted, slight caramel character.

The taste shows slightly more of the malty flavors to it. More of the sweet malty, caramel flavors come through along with some toasty flavors. Towards the finish the hops really step it up with some grapefruit citrus and bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some nice malty and hoppy flavors to it. Very enjoyable beer overall, and a good version of the style.

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Photo of dank203
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 week old bottle. 2 glasses, poured my initial 12-14 ounces in a pint glass, then the rest with yeast into a smaller glass to examine. pours murky brown. bit of sediment from what I can see through the murk. spectacular hop aroma. lot of bite, clean, subtle bitterness lingers

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Photo of mattbk
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark amber, almost brown. Fairly hazy. Nice light tan creamy head. Looks good.
S: Nice fresh grapefruity, floral aroma. Some light orange too. A bit dank. Not much in the way of malt through the aroma, but I'm guessing I will get it in the flavor.
T: Mostly grapefruit, orange, dank hops. The body is actually fairly light and the malt character is very light. APA-IPA level bitterness, not overwhelming though. This is really a darker IPA; if it was lighter it would definitely be an IPA. Still, it's tasty, nice fresh hop aroma and flavor, definitely some dankness. I would have preferred a bit of malt to round this out.
M: Mouthfeel should be a bit higher on this, it's fairly dry, medium-light mouthfeel. The carbonation is nice.
O: Solid beer, really just a slightly darker IPA though. I would have liked to taste more of the specialty malts used in this beer. I'd recommend to hop heads for sure though.

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