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Tarnation California-Style Lager - Baxter Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Tarnation California-Style LagerTarnation California-Style Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

30 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 205
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 34.17%
Wants: 7
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Baxter Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERMILER12 on 03-04-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tarnation California-Style Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 205
Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting Steam Lager from a can. Could be interesting, esp for a hot summer day like today. Bottom has a code on it, but no legible date, that's just as annoying as nothing.

Pours a huge frothy head that forces me to stop pouring early, hits 2+ fingers but fades back fairly quickly at least, decent spotty lacing, a clear but sediment laden nectar orange color, plumb of bubbles streaming up.

Nose is fairly steam-esque, a light doughy lager malt, light golden malts and toastiness, light and aromatic malts, with a little grassy hop kick to it, and a bit of a crisp slightly fruity lager note.

Taste brings more of the same, a coppery like malt, little toasty and doughy, with some almost but not quite grainy lager malts, mild straw, etc. That starts to wane as big hops kick in, mostly grassy and leafy, little herbal earthy as well, quite bitter dominating over the light crisp lager underneath. Finish is dry and crisp but big bitter grassy almost spicy hops, little herbal and earthy still, long lingering bitter finish.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bod, nice carb.

Overall not bad, I do like the malt base, and aroma is decent, but the hops turn up a bit too much on the taste for a nice lager, at least in this case it just overpowers it, something like American Darling they go well as the lager and malts are stronger and they balance, this just goes a little overboard on the hops. Still a nice crisp enjoyable summer lager.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%

On-tap 3/23/2014 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in a nonic pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains lager yeast, caramelized malts, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in. The hops presence is strong and floral and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are better choices within the style.

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Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chunky white head. Copper amber color and clear. Plenty of ring lace with a couple clumpy areas.

Caramel aroma from the toasted malt. Low hop nose.

The taste is better balanced--the hop is far more pronounced. Dry finish but with a caramel overtone. The aftertaste is biting and bitter, but not long lasting. Full body but the carbonation is high as well.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a crystal-clear, copper coloring, with a steady flow of carbonation, and a bubbly, fluffy, clingy, off-white head. Nose of toasted grains, subtle toffee sweetness, and roasted notes throughout. Flavors are roasted caramel sweetness forward, with an underlying hops bitterness and roasted character. Richly sweet throughout, on a slick, mid-body. The aftertaste is roasted, as well, with a sweet caramel characteristic, and some nutty notes mixed in. Clean, smooth finish. More body than what I would expect from the style, but damn tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12
oz. can. Has a bronze/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel, a bit of hops. Taste is malts, hops are present, some caramel, but not as pronounced as in the smell. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a smooth and refreshing beer that was consumed quickly on this warm summer night.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. can marked 03-31-14. Whether that is a canning date or an expiration date is unclear but I sampled it on April 19, 2014.

Handsome looking medium amber-copper color with a lingering cream colored head and good clarity.

The aroma has some caramel malt elements and a clean crisp hop character like a standard lager but beyond that it is fairly non-descriptive.

Medium, smooth body.

The taste has a bit more character than the nose with the same caramel maltiness but a decent bitter and dry finish. Drinkable for certain.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Pours a light, clear orange. White head that wisps away over time. Soft lacing. Was expecting it to be more yellow but I enjoy this color.

S-Lively lager yeast. Mostly malty besides that. A hint of floral hops. Very good representation of the Common Beer, at least in the nose.

T-Pretty tasty and vibrant. The flavor pops. Tangy lager yeast with some caramel. Bread crust maltiness. Light, floral hops in the back.

M-Quite drinkable. Well carbonated. Would be an easy beer to session.

O-Common Beer's have never been my cup of tea but this one is different. I've only had a few of the style butt his one is probably my favorite.

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Photo of cbutova
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- 12oz can poured to a pint glass with a lightly hazed, pale amber body. A cap rises to the top of the beer with a thick, creamy texture. The head reaches about two fingers with great retention and reaches ring status after quite some time. Lacing covers most of the glass in webs and sheets.

S- The aroma consists of a moderate dose of Northern Brewer hops, light toasted caramel grains and some light fruits. The hops are woody, earthy and herbal like mint just a bit.

T- Moderate hop flavors from the style signature Northern Brewer varietal. Overall they are earthy, herbal, floral and somewhat minty. Malts match the hop strength with light caramel, toasted, sweetness and a hint of nutty grains. Light apple fruits on the back end.

MF- Light, crisp body that has a fairly creamy texture when agitated. Carbonation is at a high end level supporting the flavors present. Low-medium bitterness on the palate in the finish.

A nice balance is found between the earthy hops and toasted caramel grains. Very crisp and one that can be quaffed. Nice to see someone brewing a Steam Beer in New England.

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Photo of mynie
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red pour. Smells bready and malty with a tiny bit of hops like some kind of weird English mild mild. Tastes like it smells, like Sam Adams Boston Lager only not as well balanced because it's finish is far too tame.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #88 (May 2014):

Grainy, Biscuit, Level

This is what we need, more and more craft brewers coming out with extremely drinkable lagers. Baxter throws down with this tasty California Common that retains an impeccable balance. Not your typical lager but certainly worth a visit or few.

STYLE: California Common | ABV: 5.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

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Photo of mikeg67
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head. Aroma is of grassy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and smooth. Herbal hops and bready malt nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and bitter. Simple, drinkable brew.

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Photo of Etan
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

A: Nice amber orange with a dirty white head.

S: Light caramel maltiness, yeasty in the nose.

T: Taste is toasted malt, dry yeast, bit of green bitterness. A "malty" lager on first blush but it's quite dry compared to other amber lagers.

M: Light-bodied, creamy, crisp carb.

O: Definitely grew on me. Nice to have a sweeter lager that's not overly sweet.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. can into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

The color is a hazy orange/ amber with three fingers of foamy head and some thick lacing.

The smell has a slight fruity flavor that is just teasing a fruity pebbles aroma. It's like sticking your nose in the box before putting some into a bowl. There is a whipped cream aroma that is coming off the head as well mixed a slight malty aroma that braces the back of the aroma.

The taste is a bit lactic at first with a slight zing of carbonation and cream flavor. The malts come out after letting out a slight biscuit flavor that is a tad dry but also filled with a quick buttery flavor that gives into a tangy fruit flavor and finally a twang of bitterness at the end.

The feel of this beer is smooth with a medium body that goes down easy. There is some hop aftertaste that hides until the end and makes things feel bigger than before.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: hazy; bronze; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing that lasts a long time;

S: caramel/toffee with a metallic back note; a hint of earthiness;

T: very restrained flavor; a little malt sweetness, a little floral, a little sour; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: nothing bad, just not a lot there;

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Photo of u2carew
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can

A) Pours with a two finger head. Tight and creamy foam. Bronze colored body, nearly clear.
S) Subtle hints of caramel, citrus and pine. Not overly aromatic.
T) Pleasant malty notes. Slightly astringent grainy taste. Some fruity tones-apple with a grapefruit rind finish.
M) Crisp carbonation. Medium-light body.
O) A decent brew. I'd drink another one.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Baxter Tarnation
12oz can, date not legible

Pours a clear, deep gold. One-finger foamy head, average lacing. Nice color. (4)

Aroma is yeasty, lightly fruity with subtle ethyl acetate. Caramel malt. (3)

Flavor is malty and balanced, leaning a bit towards the sweet. Biscuity malt, caramel sweetness, nice Bock-like malt profile. Finish is clean, with lingering herbal bitterness. Hop flavor is in the background, some spicy and tea-like character. Mouthfeel is medium body, with medium-low carbonation. (3.5, 3.5)

Overall a pretty clean, solid offering from Baxter, definitely better than most of their stuff. Ends up being a bit too sweet and lacking crispness towards the end of the pint. (3)

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Photo of horshack7
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass is a slightly hazy amber colored beer with a thick off white and rocky head that leaves behind thick lacing as it thins out.

Aroma: Heavy grapefruit mixed in simple syrup, biscuity, twinges of butter. A light dryness lingers in the nose.

Taste: Crispness in the front with grapefruit and piney notes. Biscuty buttery texture on the palate and alight dry finish.

Notes: Very well brewed great dryness as well as a good balance between hoppiness and sweetness. Cheers.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a creamy, very light amber/rich golden color with a silky, off-white head of medium-sized bubbles. In body, the beer is clean and translucent, with just a slight haze from the beer’s rich coloring. Bubbles are a constant fixture within the beer, and punch towards the surface with quite a lot of tenacity, keeping the head rocky at about a fourth of a finger’s width. The head leaves some nice fluffy lacing as it moves down the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of caramel, cream corn, slight cider, herbal hops, and a finish of sweet bread. The cream corn is a little strong in the nose, but not off-putting. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet with a bitter back finish that balances out the beer. There is a little earthiness in the beer, adding slight complexity, but really this is a simple sweet and bitter beer. In flavor, it tastes of cream corn, crackers, soft caramel, and very faint watermelon. These flavors slide into a finish of herbal and grassy bitter hops that blend and mellow the sweetness, leaving a slight metallic twinge on the finish and aftertaste. Again, the DMS seems a little high in the initial sip, though it’s nicely drinkable and inoffensive. As you drink more of the beer, the bitters tend to grow and provide a nice bite that covers up much of the cream corn character. In the mouth, the beer feels light bodied with just a little gelling. The carbonation is fluffy and full, and the mouthfeel is silky (nearly syrupy) with a nice little crispness on the finish. After the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly wet, but fairly neutral, making it perfect for another sip. From the can I detect little to know change in the drinking experience, aside from the slight metallic bite, which is actually quite pleasant in this particular beer. Overall, the beer is refreshing and simple. The DMS is a little high, but still manageable, and the flavors are all inoffensive. I’d place this a step above the Adjunct Lagers. It’s easy to drink, refreshing, and mild in flavor. Not a bad beer, but not amazing either. A nice, simple (almost) session lager.

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Photo of illpass78
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint on draft at Borealis in Portland, Maine.

Appearance: Pours a neat clear amber with a fluffy white, or maybe off-white, head. Carbonation heavy. Leaves some nice lacing. Looks like an amber lager; king of like a Yuengling to my eyes.

Aroma: Smells clean and crisp with some nice floral hops in the background.

Taste: Nice easy-drinking lager. Tastes sweet and malty with some nice hop bitterness. Some biscuit and bread-like character in there; maybe a slight bit of toffee. Slightly complex but eminently quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Easy on the palate with a nice hoppy finish.

Overall: Baxter seems to have phased out Amber Road in favor of this brew. I dug Amber Road a lot but this is a really good beer and will probably appeal to a broader audience. I had one with a grilled cheese on a sunny day and it was, as we say in Maine, of the finest kind.

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Photo of TangTKE402
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Pours nicely from the can, with a chestnut brown color, white head, and decent lacing. Mostly clear and inviting. Sweet malts up-front on the nose with caramel, cherries, and not much else detected. Very light aroma. Taste is clean and refreshing. Malty, with a hint of damp basement in-mouth and a dryish finish. Sweet tea, wood, chocolate caramel, and a touch if sediment round out the flavors. The mouthfeel is pretty unobtrusive, with a clean finish and polished overall feel. Overall it's a nice lager, but lacks a distinctive trait to help it stand out.

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Photo of rorykanderson
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Crisp, refreshing lager with a little more hops and way more malt that separates it from the pack. An enjoyable beer to pluck from the cooler and down on a summer day but not one I would seek out.

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Photo of buzzarooski
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

LOOK: Nice Golden Color, White Foamy Head Disappears Quickly
SMELL: Subtle/Mild
TASTE: Good Over-All, Not Over-Powering, Slightly Bitter Finish
FEEL: Smooth and Mild Carbonation,

OVERALL: Good Solid Lager with above average ABV (5.3%) that Doesn't Over-Power You....I enjoyed It....and will Purchase it again....But I WON'T be Rushing Back To The Store for MORE.

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Photo of sprat1960
3.24/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: Copper to orange in color; completely transparent. Lots of medium-sized bubbles. Pours with a large 2+ finger white head that dies down leaving an uneven layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Few patches of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Malt, grass and extremely mild hops. Smells like a good commercial beer; nothing special.

Taste: Sweet malty start, followed by a mild hoppy finish. Nice and smooth. Lighter flavor typical of a good lager.

Feel: Lighter in body; slight tingle from the carbonation; slightly dry finish.

Overall: A decent lager; nice flavor. Would be good to drink with pizza or Italian Food or burgers when you want something lighter to accompany the heavy food. Would also be good on a hot summer day. A very good commercial quality beer.

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Photo of Brackh
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours a brownish color with little head. Very faint smell. A decent little lager. Malty and an easy finish. Nothing spectacular here. Overall good though.

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Photo of jimboothdesigns
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice redish amber with a nice fine 2 plus finger head. Very nice smell and taste. Reminds me of an Octoberfest. Has a smooth malty taste and has a slight hop bitterness in the end. Not too sweet.

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Tarnation California-Style Lager from Baxter Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.