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Mount Desert Island Ginger - Atlantic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mount Desert Island GingerMount Desert Island Ginger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.47%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Atlantic Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A refreshing wheat beer spiced with fresh ginger root. The process of making this wheat beer has been nicknamed "special ginger tea", due to the fact that we add over 20 lbs. of fresh ground ginger root into the boil.

We use pale malt, and wheat, as well as Target and Whitbread Goldings Variation hops to flavor this light, summer ale.

Island Ginger is particularly popular during the warmer summer months, though thanks to the ginger kick it has, it would also be warming in the cold winter months.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 11-04-2002)
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange blossom honey surrounding a stormcloud of fine yeast. Maybe the name and the contents are giving me ideas, but the large cap is precisely the color of ginger root. It's a good looking lid that is tight-bubbled enough to persist and tacky enough to leave the glass partially covered in attractive lace.

The biggest challenge in brewing an herbed/spiced beer, I imagine, is in getting the exact right amount of herb/spice aroma and flavor. By my nose, Island Ginger is pretty much right on. That doesn't mean it's an outstanding nose however. It smells like freshly grated ginger, but lacks pizzaz. Having said that, the flavor would do well to mirror the nose. With pizzaz added of course.

One had better like ginger before cracking the crown because this is one gingersnap of a beer. I like ginger (I don't love it) and it seems to me that even a little more would have been too much. The use of pale and wheat malts keeps other prominent flavors at bay and effectively keeps ginger at center stage. British hops are valued contributors, both in terms of flavor (less so) and bitterness (more so) even as they're buried under the spice barrage.

I can't help feeling that this beer is something of a one-trick pony. I'd like to see ginger share the stage with lemon zest. At least then I'd be able to conceive of sessioning it on a warm summer afternoon. As is, I'd get ginger overload after just one bottle. It helps that it's more bitter than sweet, but even that doesn't lend itself to one-after-another drinking.

The mouthfeel is what one would expect from what is essentially a pale wheat ale brewed by an accomplished brewery. It's as light and as airy as a summer seasonal should be, yet it doesn't deteriorate on the finish as so many APWAs tend to do. The carbonation is workmanlike rather than flashy and the mouthfeel is the better for it.

Mount Desert Island Ginger is a bit of a niche beer. I'm not sure if there are enough ginger lovers out there for it to sell like hotcakes, but then I could just as easily not know what the hell I'm talking about. It seems to me that being a little more ginger with the ginger root would have made for a better beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2006 13:48:58 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Dogbrick


3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an amber/orange color with a thin white head that does not last long. Aroma of sweet ginger and wheat. Light-bodied and spicy with a good amount of ginger flavor. Some malt and wheat in the background as well. More spiciness in the finish, again with ginger dominating. There is a touch of hops in the aftertaste too. The beer seems one-dimensional, although there is just enough going on behind the scenes to keep it from being below average.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 14:37:35 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Atlantic Brewing's ginger beer pours a cloudy orange-amber beneath a short head of creamy off-white foam. The head retention, however, is limited; and it leaves very little, if any, lacing about the glass. The nose expresses exactly what you'll find in the flavor: wheat malt and ginger. It's not complex, but enjoyable; and it's nicely balanced by a firm bitterness beneath the zesty ginger. It's medium bodied and crisp, which adds to its refreshing nature. Nicely done!

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 23:00:15 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of clvand0


3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light amber color with a very small head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is spicy and full of ginger. So much ginger that I don't get much else. The flavor isn't what I expected. There is plenty of ginger in there and not many other spices. There's also not much residual sweetness. The dryness takes away from the effect that the ginger could bring. The body is moderate to thin and the drinkability is ok. I probably won't have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2006 00:39:53 | More by clvand0
Photo of Phatz


3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very interesting beer. The first real ginger beer that I have had. And man is it ginger in a big way.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow color with little lacing.

Smell: The aroma is extremely ginger. Like a homemade ginger ale, or old fashion ginger snaps. Very ginger.

Taste: Sharp Pricks of ginger hit the palate first followed by a bready yeast attribute. Overall it is a very unique beer that I am happy to have sampled but it is certainly bold.

Mouthfeel: The tight carbonation bubbles give it a soda like feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: One goes down nicely, as it is a new and interesting taste. A beer this unique is always fun to try, but I certainly would not want to drink this all evening.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2006 00:00:04 | More by Phatz
Photo of ggaughan


3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Beer poured a hazy orange color with a thick white head into a tulip glass. The aroma gives you some ginger hints but is dominated by the malt tones and a bit of hops. The taste is like the aroma, mainly malt tones but you get a bit more ginger on the tongue. Overall the body is rather light and the taste does not linger for very long.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 01:36:34 | More by ggaughan
Photo of Brent


2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The ginger spice in the beer seemed bland and washed-out, lacking the spicy bite of fresh ginger root or the aromatic note of candied ginger. Moderate malt with some caramel influence which tended to overshadow the vague ginger flavor. Not a bad beer, but it did not call for another.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 21:35:49 | More by Brent
Photo of Higravity


4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh man do I like ginger. If you don't like ginger or ginger ale you won't care for this beer. Nice pour golden hazy sparkling with a nice white head. Smells like ginger with a sweetness that is lingering in the background. The taste is ginger and it is a little spicy bitey with a smoothness that brings in the wheat and finishes a touch sweet before the ginger dominate the aftertaste. Thin and light this is refreshing cold, I could see several of these going down with some BBQ.

I must admit I did take some and mix with Goslings rum and had myself a very nice "dark & stormy". I am all for enjoying this beer on its own but man did it make for a hell of a d&s.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 13:25:51 | More by Higravity
Photo of BEERchitect


3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a terrific experiment: wheat and ginger. They combine for great sensations in the flavor and feel. Initial sip takes on lemony, a light belgian tartness, and a whollop of ginger flavor. The ginger plays 'hot' on in the mouth, combined with the modest alcohol, it becomes very spicy and dry. The wheat takes on citrus and bready aromas that translate well to flavor. The wheat base also becomes very American, which thins the body and weakens the flavor. If a German wheat base were used (allowing the creaminess of offset the spiciness), this would be a much better beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2006 17:37:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of kmpitz2


4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy peachy color with a patchy and thin head over top. Bubbles boil up, making swirls apprear atop the brew. I'm amazed that the head can't find a way to form, even with the solid carbonation. Aroma is very fruity and gingery. I get notes of apircot and banana with a very nice gingery zing. Lots of sweetness. I like it. Flavor is a little less bold than the aroma. The ginger is there on the start. It tastes like there is a bit of wheat in the base beer, as it has a slightly creamy flavor that I associate with wheat. If I would take the time to read the beer label before I start my review, I would see that this one is called a wheat ale brewed with fresh ginger. Mouthfeel is moderate, with a moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles. I think this beer really hits a homerun with what it sets out to be. It is every bit a wheat beer brewed with ginger. The ginger is very fresh and spicey, but not over the top and offensive. This one is a winner in my book.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2006 22:51:54 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a pretty decent beer. It was a hazy orange color with a medium head and some nice carbonation. It had a sweet, spicy aroma. It tasted malty, with some spiciness (ginger), which was nicely warming. Fairly assertive, a fun beer to drink, not something to drink a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2006 22:57:16 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Suds


3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a light, hazy orange color with a thick, moderately dense white head. Bottle conditioned. The aroma is fixed with a spicy ginger character and a bit of malt and faint hops. There’s a little maltiness underneath, and the ginger isn’t overdone. It’s floral, herbal, and just a little yeasty. The beer is fairly light, and well carbonated. It’s just slightly sweet in the foretaste, with ginger coming out in the midtaste. The herbal and spiciness of the ginger linger through the finish. It’s sort of refreshing, and I kept thinking that it would go well with sushi. It’s not a satisfying, outstanding beer in it’s own right, but I think it is an excellent use of ginger. The spice doesn’t overwhelm the beer, and it’s something different.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2006 13:07:43 | More by Suds
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear light orange with a nice fluffy 2" head. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: ginger is easily detectable.

Taste: green grapes, ginger, and some granny smith apples. Malt levels are lighter than expected, and there was a bit of lite bitterness.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Lighter in body. Short aftertaste as onl some ginger linger briefly.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not great. A different beer that would probably go good with some Chinese stir fry. Interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2006 23:34:01 | More by Gavage
Photo of gqfiji


2.38/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

a: a blonde color, nice khaki head that fades quickly

s: starts with a citrus, but the scent of ginger grabs at the end

t: the first wash lets you know it is a wheat beer, as it settles, the mouth salivates and enjoys. unfortunately, the ginger rears and lets you down. dont get me wrong, i like ginger, even ginger beers, just not the taste of this fellow

m: cant get away from the ginger kick. but it has a good feel to the tongue, not a bad lingering burn. soft

d: one and done for me my friends. i recommend trying it, but after that, its on your shoulders

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 02:47:50 | More by gqfiji
Photo of santoslhalper


2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearence: Pours a hazy, dull orange with a huge, frothy white head.

Smell: Smells like Indian food!! Hell yeah!! This brew smells fabulous with a nice yeast tang, clean ginger, and strong wheat flavors. Brilliant smelling!!!!

Taste and Mouthfeel: Gah'damn is this dissapointing. It tastes the way it smells, only very weak and unbalanced. The ginger is way too strong, the wheat is almost non-existent, and it leaves a foul sulfery taste and the end. Ouch!!! The mouthfeel is creamy, but a bit thin.

Drinkability and Overall: Wow!! What a huge difference between the taste and the smell. One of the best smelling wheat beers I've ever had, but one of the worst tasting. How crazy is that. Oh well, I gotta give Atlantic props because this is definitly a good idea, although not executed as well as it could have been.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 00:47:52 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of profzoom


3.83/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As a fan of ginger ale and ginger beer since I was a kid, my eyes were immediately drawn to this offering as I perused the cooler of my local beer store, excited to go home and try it out.

It pours a hazy bronzish pumpkin color with a healthy head and very visible carbonation. The smell is bittersweet, with only the tiniest hint of ginger.

The ginger is definitely more apparent in the flavor, which also has a relatively strong wheat taste. It is a wheat ale, after all.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed. The kid in me wanted an overpowering ginger sensation, which this does not deliver. Also, I thought the coupling of ginger with a wheat ale rather odd. It seems like it might be more at home brewed in a lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2006 02:56:01 | More by profzoom
Photo of bjohnson


4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color with an initial head that dissipates pretty quickly. Has some dark colored spices floating around at the bottom.

S: Aromas of wheaty malts with a light ginger hoppy background. Hints of fruit in there also, possibly pineapple or orange?

T: Hoppy ginger flavor that dominates with a slight orange taste in there. Malty finish and aftertaste with the ginger hanging around.

M & D: Mouthfeel is pretty good. The taste of ginger is very refreshing. Kinda carbonated but not too overwhelming. Drinkability is pretty high on this offering from Atlantic Brewing Company. Depending on if you like ginger or not will determine how you like this one. Would be good with sushi! Emma gives it two thumbs up as this is mostly her rating.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2006 01:17:19 | More by bjohnson
Photo of CortexBomb


3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice pour. straw yellow with a 1 inch white head on top of it. Smell is spicy with some ginger (as expected.)

Flavour is largely dominated by soft, sweet wheaty malts and is accentuated by the spice from the nose, and the ginger. Finish is mildly hoppy. I don't think this beer is breaking new ground by any means, but this is a nice easy drinker.

Mouth and drinkability, both a shade above average. Some nice top of the mouth hops bite adds to the mouth. Drinkability is good because this is such a smooth drinking beer. Very crisp and refreshing.

I'm surprised to say that an herbed beer is a real smooth drinking summer style beer, but this definitely is. I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 00:48:08 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper, sediment present in the glas, coating the bottom and floating around. Thin tan head with some light lacing. Smells of grassy malt, ginger and some yeasty fruitiness.

Taste is also that grassy malt backed with a solid ginger bite. I feared the ginger may overwheln the beer and the palate but happily that is not the case. Quite well balanced with the spice assisting not dominating the overall flavor. Crisp and light to medium bodies. An easy drinker as well. A pleasant surprise, would be nice on a cool spring evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2006 18:47:52 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of nlmartin


4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a very nice clear orange coloration. The head was a short lived off white coloration.

Smell: This beer smelled great. There is a ginger bread quality to the smell backed up by a bit of citrus and cinommon.

Taste: This has an initial sweet push that turns to a ginger bready spicy tartness.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a very light body. The beer also has a very crisp and clean mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This beer is great regardless of how cold it is outside. This will be a great lawnmower beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 14:04:34 | More by nlmartin
Photo of ElGordo


3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden-orange hue topped by a creamy, bright white one-finger head. Aroma of light floral hops, light sweet malt, orange peel, ginger, and honey. Palate is sweet up front, with notes of honey and sticky buns. Ginger comes out mid-palate, bringing a touch of spice. Finish is stronger ginger with a bit of citrus. Body is nice - light and slightly creamy. Tasty, yes, and probably much better suited for a summer day than a cold night in December. Nonetheless, I'm still not a huge fan of ginger-spiced beers in general.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2005 06:11:56 | More by ElGordo
Photo of BamaScholar


3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another Frugal MacDougal find...

Poured from the bottle with a calendar of freshness dates but none of them stamped or marked out...

Pours a hazy, topaz / light orange. Lacing was good...beer acted much like a witbier or hefe.

Nose is none too complex but awfully nice, like opening the spice cabinet for two or three things...ginger, citrus, floral elements.

The beer is clean and crisp and, IMO, doesn't lean too heavily on the ginger. It's a nice focus but backed up by a strong foundation. It is not over- or underwhelming.

I enjoyed the beer very much, but maybe it's a bit of a one-hit wonder. More than two, for sure, would be overdoing it. Time to branch out and try something else different.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 21:39:25 | More by BamaScholar
Photo of woodychandler


3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of my fellow LNCBC Mug Club members brought a bottle of this back for me while in Maine on vacation. Thanks, Mitch!

It poured with a big, fluffy white head, but it rapidly dissipated and then disappeared almost entirely. The color was a cloudy medium to deep amber, but the color was secondary to the smell. Man, was it ever rich with ginger! I caught it on the nose, then again on the palate, and one last time on the finish. The bottle's label identifies the beer as "wheat ale brewed with fresh ginger", but everything is just overwhelmed by the ginger. I liked the ginger, but it became a case of a little going a long way. I could see this as an accompaniment to a Thai meal, but on its own, it was a bit much. The mouthfeel was very full, almost creamy. An interesting beer that I am glad to have had the opportunity to review, but it wa just not my personal cup of tea.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 01:53:14 | More by woodychandler
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer for the first time the day before the New England Beer Festival at a pre-party in Cambridge (I think) Massachusetts. Enjoyed it and the other Atlantic Brewing offerings, so I grabbed a 6-pack as part of my stash to take home and share. Figured it would be good for a tasting since I've never had anything like it!

Poured pretty nicely - goldenrod color with about a finger's worth of foam on it. Very little lacing left afterwards, a bit of brown "sediment" floating in it too. Not quite sure if it was the ginger or not, but it contrasted nicely with the opaqueness of the brew.

Ginger is obviously the primary flavor, and there are citrus, lemongrass, and malt notes underneath. Froths up nicely during each sip, and the aftertaste is a bit like uncarbonated ginger ale, with just a bit of metallic flavor intertwined as well. A very interesting brew - refreshing, unique, and I can picture it being a great pairing with Thai or other southeastern Asian food. Not the best of summer beers, but it's definitely worth a shot and enjoyable nice and slow. Another wonderful offering from Atlantic Brewing!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2005 08:43:48 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of Hibernator


4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mount Desert Island Ginger
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass
There is a "best enjoyed before" calender, but nothing is notched off [purchased in Maine]

Pours a hazy, light orange color. Random spotted lacings on the sides of the glass.

Pleasing aroma of wheat, citrus and ginger.

This is a very clean tasting brew. Juicy sweetness and dry wheat flavors in the front of the sip with a distinctive ginger finish. Maybe I am bias because I enjoy ginger, but this beer has such a nice charteristc about it. The ginger flavors are very real tasting and work well with this style beer.

I poured this beer and drank it quickly. Why? because this is a well crafted beer. A refreshing wheat ale with the magic of ginger flavors blended in. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 21:35:26 | More by Hibernator
Mount Desert Island Ginger from Atlantic Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.