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: 322 | 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 mikeg67
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle. Pours hazy-amber with long lasting off-white head. Aroma is of citrusy hops, orange marmalade, caramel and bready malt. Body is full and tangy. Citrusy hops dominate the palate while orange fruit, caramel and biscuit malt provide some balance. Finish is long, grapefruity. Amazingly delicious brew. (313 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle; born on 100813
A - gargantuan beige head tops a deep red-amber ale, incredible head retention with chunky lacing
S - nice blend of caramel and piny hops with hints of grapefruit and bready malts
T - bitter and complex with caramel, burnt sugar, grapefruit, juicy, piny hops, toasted grain, bread crust - rye bread perhaps
M - thinner side of medium for body, resinous and drying on the palate with a bitter lingering finish
O - really liked this one, but at its price point I will not buy it again. (512 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT .9 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a teku glass

A - It is a deep amber color. It is topped with a large, rocky, tan head.

S - As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell pine resin and a little orange zest. It also has a tea-like smell.

T - I get an earthy malt backbone followed by a some citrusy hops, and finally, a hop finish.

M - Medium

O - This tastes like Noseratu is supposed to taste. This is a great, hoppy amber ale. (436 characters)

Photo of T-34-85
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice amber ale. A dark brown color with minimal head. Presence of a subtle yet pleasing piney hop aroma. Good toasty flavor and a smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

I was not sure what to expect with this beer, but found it to be pleasantly satisfying with a unique all around experience. Good beer. (306 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 9/10/13, poured into a HF glass.

Pours a dark amber clear body with a light tan head of high thickness, good retention, some lacing. Smells of piney floral hops and spices. Taste is enjoyably bitter with a nice spicy malt backbone. Mouthfeel is smooth, crisp, medium bodied, quite dry. Overall, a well-enjoyed amber ale, a style which is often macro-produced, but well executed in this case with abundant use of hops. (432 characters)

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

bottle dated 100813

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

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

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

m: medium carbonation. crisp. slightly dry

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

Photo of shigg85
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bottle from M & R Liquors in Manchester, CT. Poured into a U.S. pint glass. Bottled 9/10/2013; consumed about 55 days afterward. Really rich malty flavors and an absolutely beautiful body (maybe due to the bottle conditioning). The foam is always a treat on these Maine brews. The aftertaste is a bit harsh toward the end of the bottle, but other than that, this is a solid, amazing red ale! (400 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 500ml bottle with the date 7/23/13 (so just before the within 90 day recommendation).

A - Amber with very good clarity and a sturdy tan head. Fantastic!

S - A mix of citrusy and floral hops with caramel and bready malts. Nice balance.

T - Like the aroma, a nice mix of hops and malts. The hops are citrusy and leave a nice lingering bitterness. The malts have hints of caramel and dried fruits with elements of bread, toast and biscuits.

M - Creamy and smooth with a moderate carbonation. It really coats your palate.

O - I generally like hoppy or malty more than both but this one really brings the two together nicely. Well done! (651 characters)

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

1 pt .9 fl oz. bottled poured into a Spiegelau glass. Bottled on 10/8. Consumed on 10/21.

A - Brown in color with a tan creamy head. Gentle pour yielded 1-2 finger head. Lot of carbonation. Created irregular lacing as liquid receded.

S - White grapefruit, lime, and black tea.

T - Closely matched smell again with white grapefruit and black tea. Flavor profile not overly complex, but did not need to be. Very pleasant. Light malt backbone with some lasting bitterness.

M - Lot of carbonation, but very fitting with grapefruit taste. Lightly bodied and easy to drink. Crisp and refreshing.

O - A very pleasant experience and not at all what I was expecting. This beer is too easy to drink and very refreshing. The citrus presentation is nicely balanced with a black tea bitterness. I would gladly buy this again... would be awesome on a warm summer day. Loved it. (868 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red ochre color, almost crimson with a very craggy red tinted head. Super hoppy nose. Very resinous and piney, lots of citric peel. touch of grapefruit.

Surprisingly light and subtle compared to the nose but the bitterness is huge on this one! Clean light bubbly body hits the tip of the tongue, caramel malts follow along the mid palate, then BAM super resinous pungent hop character. Citrus rind, lots of pine, and bitter hop resin coats the back of the tongue and throat. Huge bitterness comes up after the swallow, lingers, and builds with every sip and swallow. Light caramel body and huge hop flavor. While most ambers are balanced, this amber uses a faint caramel back bone to carry hops along the palate. Alcohol is very well hidden in this brew. Allow this brew to warm a bit for more of the malt complexity to come forward and balance the hop a bit.

Possibly a bit too bitter for an amber and could use some more balance but an overall great beer. (964 characters)

Photo of mrz200
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This review is based on a bottle of the "best case scenario" I've had of Zoe. It varies in quality, and not just strictly based on born-on date, which is very important.

My personal tastes are less "imperial" and more "flagship" and to that degree, MBC is a great brewery. The hoppy amber (Troegs has one, Anderson Valley has one) is one of my favorite styles, and a good Zoe is one of the best ales I've ever had.

Doesn't taste as dark as it looks, and has that small-bubble carbonation and unique pine flavor that is in all MBC ales. The hoppiness is what varies the most in Zoe, but when it's right this beer is an amazing combination of flavors that is damn near perfectly made. (684 characters)

Photo of Infiniteingest
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Generally: A bar which I used to tend had the Peeper Ale on tap and I recall finding it very unexciting and very expensive. I fully intend to reassess Peeper soon, but in the meantime I thought I would try something different. Enter Zoe. I'm kind of excited for this one. Especially because this brewery is awesome and does all manner of ecologically/socially responsible things.

The Pour: I can't get my face near the glass because the head is standing a full inch and a half above the rim. That's pretty rad. A soft serve ice cream type of head. I see some sediment made it's way into my glass because I missed the Bottle Conditioned statement on the distractingly simple label. My bad. It pours a somewhat clunky looking dark caramel hue, and has some gravity it to it. Looks a bit like a couch in a 70s living room at first, but when backlit it's pretty and substantial looking stuff. It looks like nourishing beer [sic]. I want to have it for breakfast.

Face in the glass: Anyway, time elapses and I eventually get my nose in there. I'm getting a bouquet of delicious smelling chocolatey malts and a fairly epic dose of piney hop notes. A little bit of coffee.

Temperature: 50 degrees. I like this style a little warmer because all of the goods get lost when too cold.

With Regard to Taste: The malts are outstanding and the star of the show, but there's a very savvy hop presence that is as assertive as possible without getting in the way of the chocolate-cofee-tofee symphony of malts. Excellent carbonation keeps it "light". It really compliments the entire palate; on top of the lingering malts and the strong bitter hop finish I am getting notes of sea salt and caramel. This beer is absolutely delicious.

Epitoma: I stand corrected. It is expensive, but this MBC offering, at least, is worth it. Very soon, I will revisit Peeper with the sincere hope that I was just plain wrong 3 (or was it 2?) years ago.

Note: Go buy a bottle of this somewhere and eat a bacon-cheddar burger with it. Thank me later. Caramelized onions would rock too.

Serving type: Bottle 1 pint .9 oz (2,090 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Rustico in Alexandria.

The beer is reddish copper with a lasting tan head. The aroma offers hops, pine, caramel malt. Lightly sweet. Bread, biscuits, and malty body with a stinging bitter finish. Pine lingers in the back. Alcohol presence is fairly noticeable. Overall, I thought this was mediocre and undeserving of the high ratings it receives. The exorbitant expense of the beer (at various locations in the DC metro area) had kept me from purchasing it. It's an amber ale after all. I don't comprehend the price for such a beer. So I finally gave in and tried it. Disappointing. (595 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled June 3rd. Wish I drank this a little fresher :/

A: Pours a beautiful deep red color with a 2 inch head. Excellent lacing. I'd say they nailed what the appearance of a red ale should look like.

S: Well I have a bit of a cold right now so I'm not smelling this perfectly, but I'm getting some dark fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: First take on this is wow! what a hop punch. As it continues to hit the palate you get an impressive malt bill in which I get some plum and caramel sweetness. The finish has the hops and malt fade out in harmony - good balance! A lot of complexity in this beer.

M: Medium bodied with a dry finish that has a bit of a lingering hop bitterness to it.

O: Maine Beer Co. nailed it with this as they usually do. This isn't too common around my area but I'm sure that when I see it again fresh I'll pick up another bottle. Try this!

Side note: I paired this with some sausage and eggplant parm and though I don't usually like mixing beer and food, it was great together. (1,010 characters)

Photo of Deingeist
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Poured into pint glass, insane 3 finger head off the bat without pouring vigorously, cloudy dark brown amber, the color of Grade B maple syrup. Nice retention of the head which covered the beer to the bottom (even sipping slowly) but minimal to average lacing.

Smell- Malty, slight fresh tobacco, woody hops, and something that reminds me of a dog but not as bad as that sounds.

Taste- sweet malt and woody hops, then into a chocolate/coffee roasted malt character followed by fruit and esters. Pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Very well balanced. Carbonated but not soda, creamy but not cloying.

Overall- A great beer, quite expensive and not the best for a session, but a must have. I can't think of a much better looking beer, and the taste is up there with my favorites. (799 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date: 05/07/13.

Clear, dark reddish brown body, poured into a tulip glass, capped by a 1/2 inch head with good retention and lacing.

Smells of dark, chocolatey malt and piney and herbal hops with just a touch of mint. It sort of reminds me of being in a pine forest on a hot summer day.

Tangy malt taste with chocolate, and an intense amount of piney hops. The chocolate and hops reverberate on the palate, ending with a lengthy bitter finish and a touch of mint. Really quite a nice tasting amber beer.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, with a medium body and round, light carbonation. There is a tongue numbing level of hoppiness here.

This is heavy on the west coat hops, but is pretty well balanced and is a delight to drink. (739 characters)

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

Bottle shared with Jimbo last night

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

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

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

M: Just right

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

Photo of scotorum
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 16.9 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

a: A deep nearly clear ruby, a two inch tan head receded very slowly to heavy surface foam and considerable lacing.

s: Plums and/or some other dark fruit.

t: Dark malt balanced beautifully by fruity hops. Refreshing and delicious. Smoky dark fruit aftertaste lingers.

m: Moderate to chewy, lots of body and carbonation.

o: A superb brew, perhaps more like a hoppy Belgian Dubbel than the American Amber it is listed as. At $7 a pint most of us cannot afford to drink Zoe regularly. But it is a fine treat anytime. (577 characters)

Photo of deereless
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice looking beer, rust to burgundy in color, lots of lacing and sea foam, noticeable sediment – 4.50, S: Tons of biscuity malts, very crisp and citrusy for an amber, the hops really standout – 4.00, T: Lots of caramely malts and sweet doughiness, grapefruit and pith play a significant role with a touch of pine, more hops and bitterness than I’d normally anticipate for an amber – 4.25, M: Quite creamy – 4.50, D: Quality beer all around, very drinkable and worth scouting out – 4.50 (500 characters)

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

Its with the flavor of Amber but the proportion of IPA that Zoe comes to life. Much drier, hoppier and aromatic than your average Red Ale makes her a winner with Hop Heads!

Rusty reddish-brown in color, the ale pours with a creamy and quick separation of the beer's dark body and its bone-white frothy cap. Showing off its hoppy array, the ale glows dimly with garnet highlights through its dry-hopped hazce. Strong staying power and lacy collars of foam continue to show off her charming appearance.

Hops, hops and more hops leap from the glass and strike the olfactory senses with IPA characteristics. Lead by fresh-sawed pine, the quintessential scent of ripe white grapefruit, under-ripened oranges and leaf. Buried underneath is the supporting hop scents of bread crust, pecan, slightly scorched caramel and a fresh-kilned barley aroma that stops shy of toast.

Then to taste, the IPA demeanor continues- its dry malt taste is barely sweet with mildly burnt toffee. The more bready counterparts of crust, nuts, and grain keeps the malts suppressed in order to allow the hops to shine. The middle palate gleams with sharp citrus flavor of the peels and pulp of just-ripe grapefruit and oranges. As the beer makes a quick transition to finish, the rise of pine resins and an overall leafy taste carries the bitterness to an unbelievable crisp and refreshing closure.

Medium-light in body, the expected crystal-type sweetness is avoided and allows the ale to trend light and dry right from the get-go. This quick work to finish makes drinkability a breeze. However, the ale is so crisp, clean, and dry that it exposes mild astringency from both hop matter and grain husk. Its moderate alcohol warmth hides behind the bitterness- just as does in American IPA.

As an Amber Ale that trends IPA, the proportions have been rearranged- suppressing malt sweetness and body in order to celebrate true American hop character gives this clever ale an edge for hop lovers. (1,967 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber color where the body is somewhat transparent but still looks a pinch cloudy with an off-white head with a slight orange tint to it.

Smell: Nice potent hoppy scent that you feel as you're pouring this brew into the glass.

Taste: A very complex taste...you feel the strong hit of hops. Has a sweet citrus feel to it that feels a bit like pink grapefruit. Very very bitter, you don't need to know how many IBUs this beer is to know what you got yourself into. Delish.

Mouth: Medium to heavy body....ridiculously sticky, just a little bit dry.

Overall: I bought this on being random and feeling to try something different. I never heard of this beer till actually reviewing it. Though not advertised as an IPA, it is! Has every property you could ask for and for you hop heads this one is addicting so don't say i didn't warn you. Salud! (890 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Well, what do you know? Raul did it again: snagged himself another goodie. Now, this isn't a "see a hottie on the 405 and speed up to check her out again," kind of beer; it's more like Raul just walked by a slightly above average girl at South Coast Plaza, liked what he saw, but felt no reason to look back.

Solid Red, better than the majority, but not worth getting in an accident over. (390 characters)

Photo of JAFoley
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep dark red/brown opaque body, with a huge thick tan head.

S - Bready malts and grapefruit

T - Bitter hops rush forward followed by a deep woody and malty base.

M - Slick with moderate/high carbonation. Fairly thin without detracting from flavor

O - I'm really loving this beer. So crisp and pungent, incredibly drinkable. I'll be picking this up again, but not as often as I'd like considering I paid $6 for a pint bottle... (437 characters)

Photo of nimrod979
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle. dated 7/23/13. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep clear amber in color with a thick frothy slightly off white head. Crazy long retention and sticky lacing throughout.

Aroma: Piney and citrusy hops. Caramel and biscuity malts.

Taste: Fresh grapefruit. citrus, hop oil. Caramel malt sweetness. Dry biscuit. Finishes with a piney bitterness. Very nice actually.

Mouthfeel: Dry mouthfeel. Medium bodied. great balance with the hops and malts with the hops taking over a little in the finish. Overall It's an outstanding brew. (548 characters)

Photo of Mycryan
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours into a large two finger head that really holds strong, dark amber brown, slightly red when held up to light.

S: Huge malt, biscuit, maybe some black pepper, hops are certainly present

T+M: Wow thats good.. great carbonation and body, intense malt sweetness up front with some dark fruit, biscuit, honey.. awesomely hoppy but more of a lingering hop finish. Dangerously easy to drink it seems

This beer rules I'll be getting some more for sure (454 characters)

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