Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale - Coors Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,377 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beerphilosopher:
2.7/5 rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
This offering from Coors under the Blue Moon label pours a medium amber color with an impressively tall, rocky head of foam that presents a wet sand color on top of the beer. Active carbonation bubbles rise quickly from the base of the glassware through the crystal clear amber hue of the beer they're swimming in.
The nose is where things go awry a bit - queue the record-scratching stop here. Perhaps it is the fact that this beer purports to be a Belgian Abbey-style beer, but this is certainly not what I expected in the nose. I get notes of bready crystal malts, roasted grains and a very slight spiciness coming through. I don't get the tell-tale fruity esters you'd expect in an abbey-style beer. In fact, I'd seriously question whether this beer was brewed with an abbey ale yeast strain at all. If it was, it was at a very low fermentation temperature, as there are no detectable esters here. Phenols (spiciness) is minimal as well. The hop addition is a little aggressive for a Belgian abbey beer as well. Bottom line, this beer doesn't smell bad, in itself, it just doesn't smell right for the style it claims.
The palate confirms all of this with bready/biscuity malts, some minimal molasses-like character and English hops. The label also reports the use of Belgian dark candi sugar - perhaps a touch only. The beer is not dark enough or high enough in alcohol to have much of a dark candi sugar addition. Since candi sugar (derived from beets) is 100% fermentable, it doesn't contribute sweetness, really ... just some color and food for the yeast. I get dry grainy and bready amlts, some roasty notes and slightly spicy hops here - nothing to make me think this is a Belgian-style beer.
The beer is thin and aggressively carbonated. This is certainly consistent with the use of some candi sugar, but at 5.6 % ABV, this isn't a "big" beer by any account. The finish is very dry and slightly bitter.
At under 6% ABV, this is a user-friendly beer and not horrible in any respect. Again, if it didn't claim to be an abbey-style ale, I'd be much more forgiving. In fact, I'd be more inclined to believe this was an attempt at a British mild than I would a Belgian-style beer. The yeast is just not kicking out the fruity esters you need here and the mouth feel is just too thin for even a small Belgian-style ale.
I can't say I'd return to this one again any time soon, but points for the effort. At least the "Blue Moon" line is trying something new to appeal to the masses. That is, after all, who they're after much more than the beer geeks who might have issues with this beer posing as a style it just doesn't match.
Serving type: bottle
12-22-2008 16:48:02 | More by beerphilosopher
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Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale from Coors Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,377 ratings.