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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer AleGritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale

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159 Ratings

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Ratings: 159
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 13.73%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-25-2003

You can't put summer in a bottle, but we may have come close! When the weather gets warm we roll out our summer seasonal, Vacationland Summer Ale. Vacationland is an Extra Special Golden Ale that's light in color but full-bodied, with a snappy hop finish. A bit of extra time in the conditioning tank rounds out and mellows the ale. We use generous portions of pale malt with just a touch of wheat malt to give VSA unique flavor that?s richer than most summer brews. Cascade leaf hops add a delicate and forward hop character as well. It's the perfect brew for all things summer.

22 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 159 | Reviews: 98
Photo of billybob
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a clear golden color with a three finger beige head that holds to a eighth inch cover on the beer and some fair lacing. citrus and piney aromas. taste, bready, citrus, grapefruit rind, metallic taste from the beginning and lingering after the finish, not enjoyable. mouthfeel light and carbonation ok. i'll pass on this one, much better beer out there.

Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a typical pale color. Aroma has some spice with the usual hints of malt and fruitiness. Taste is somewhat different though. It's seemingly more bitter than Gritty's Pale Ale with some alcohol taste and fruitiness around the edges. I can't really detect much else. No citrus. Hmm. I would probably rate it above the Gritty's Pale Ale as it fits better with the style. Still a decent summer ale.

Photo of albern
2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a golden yellow with a nice creamy white head. If not for the head, I would have rated the appearance at about a 2.5 - 3. There is good amount of lacing. This is a very clear beer that is well carbonated. The smell is sweet, subtle, but not much there. The taste is very average and maybe a little disappointing. This is a light bodied beer, with some sweetness in the middle, a bit of an imbalanced hoppy afterbite, and not all that refreshing for a summer ale; and it doesn't have that fruity base that makes a good summer ale. You can taste a bit of wheat, grain, citrus in the middle, but only subtley. As the beer warms more flavors come out, and there is a better balance in the after taste. I'm not interested in trying this one again. It just isn't that interesting.

Photo of jdhilt
2.18/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a five finger off-white head that goes quickly, leaving traces of lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is balanced, but strong hops are in your face at finish with a lingering soapy, bitter aftertaste. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours an amber gold with a medium tan head. The smell is pretty aromatic with a sweet malt and floral aroma. The taste is very hoppy,like an ESB, with some sweet malt that's very good. The m/f is light with a nice balance that makes this a very good summer beer that could be a session beer in the hot months. Cheers.

Photo of sstackho
2.8/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Best Enjoyed Before Date of Nov 06. Cavear: I drank this after a game of ball hockey, and just about any beer tastes good after that. Poors a light straw with quite a bit of carbonation. Little head and no lacing, but that could be due to my glassware. Light aroma of hops. Tastes to me more like an enjoyable well-balanced lager than an ale. I don't own a lawnmower, so I will just have to label this as a good post-hockey beer. Nothing outstanding, but definitely enjoyable.

Photo of ColForbin
3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vacationland Summer Ale is packaged in a 12oz bottle with no discernible date code. It pours an orange color with a fluffy white head. Darker than your typical summer seasonal. Aroma is wheaty with some slightly piney and citrusy hops as well. Very tasty, somewhat tangy, with a nice dry hoppy finish. Light-to-medium bodied, and very very drinkable. A great summer seasonal, I just wish I discovered it before the summer was nearly over!

Photo of Dithyramb
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one of the many Maine summer brews that we sampled last week while travelling through. Had this one in both bottle and draft form. Of the various offerings (Geary's, et al) this one came off as a bit more amber, with wheat and slightly more bitter overtones. Great session brew while looking out over the craggy coastline.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2 12 oz bottles poured into a large mug.

Pale Golden, mildly active. 2" thick white head, decent retention.

Picking up on sour notes, wheaty and hopped.

Taste has a good balance of wheaty flavors and hoppy bitterness, slight sour effect.

Feels thin and light, mildly active pop.Easy to drink.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The brew is being sampled at room temp poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours clear gold like champagne and a fluffy bleached white head develops 2 inches even with a gentle pour.
Aroma is a mixture of white grapes, grassy hops, and a bit of bready yeast. Overall the nose is very mild.
First sip reveals the expected light body with very fine yet tingly carbonation that tickles my palate.
Flavor is briefly sweet fruit and general sugar, but rolls to a slightly bitey citrus rind hop finish. The hops are much bolder on the finish than expected and dry my mouth out considerably on each sip.
There is no hint of alcohol and I would guess its around 5%.
The beer is easy drinking and has a crisp hop bite on the finish to keep it interesting. Quite a nice experience and one that I would buy again for a hot day or just for some mild brew drinking.

Photo of bjohnson
3.72/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an almost clear copper amberish color. Not much head and slight retention.
S: Fruity notes come through first. Mostly apricot, lemon, and grapefruit. Slight floral presence too. Slight malty background peaks through.
T/M: Carbonation blast up front followed by a bitter, dry finish. At first, the carbonation stings the tongue subdueing the flavor profile a tad. When the carbonation slows down a bit as it warms the flavors are allowed to breathe, making it more enjoyable. Floral and grassy hops can be noticed. Coating on the tongue after the intial sting. Good bitterness in the aftertaste.
D: This one would probably quench a thirst on a summers day. Worth a try. Smooth and easy drinking.

Photo of mcowgill
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper/amber hue with minimal head. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising to the surface.

S - Slight buttery aroma with a malty presence that is not overly impressive.

T - Slight buttery taste, very crisp and malty. It's also bitter which is interesting. The aftertaste is dry.

M - Light bodied beer with nice carbonation.

D - Another drinkable summer beer although not my favorite.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this summer ale pours a great coppery hue, with bubbly white half finger thick head, light amounts of carbonation are visible

S - hmm, aroma is an amalgamation of many subtle flavors, i can pick out lemony-citrus aromas, hops, and a grassy/hay type aroma

T - this beer tastes much bitterer than it smells, hoppier than i expected, very tasty

M - bitterness is a bit overbearing, could use a dash more of a citrus sweetness to balance it more, otherwise great

D - moderate, tasty but a bit too bitter

Photo of krantul
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gritty's comes through again. Summer Ales just aren't the kind of beers that knock your socks off, but this is already my favorite example of the style. It does everything you want a summer beer to do, without taxing your patience with too many orange peels or a bushel of lemongrass. I could happily purchase a case of this beer to have a summer ale on hand for whenever the mood (or weather) struck me, but it might not last too long.

Appearance - Vacationland pours a copper-golden hue, a mite bit darker than its peers in the style. The quantity of wheat in many summer beers often lends a cloudy haze, but this is beer is crystal clear. My pour resulted in a brief, fluffy head that quickly receded.

Smell - Nothing remarkable going on here, just a citrus, floral whiff. Pleasant enough and not overwhelming; some summers really shove a lemon wedge up your nose, but this isn't acrid.

Taste - Crisp (but not overwhelmingly bitter hops) stand out in the flavor. The malt character is pretty light but supplies a bit of sweet caramel to the taste. It's pretty clear that the citrus qualities of the beer are incidental to hops; there's no fruit being squeezed into this beer. Has a very nice wheat finish. Definitely wheat in here, but not a tremendous amount. Tastes very fresh.

Mouthfeel - It's fairly smooth and has a bit of a fuller body that one expects from a summer ale, but it's still relatively light. Carbonation is crisp enough for refreshment without turning Vacationland into beer soda.

Drinkability - Hey, this is an easy-drinking beer. I wouldn't complain if this were the only thing in the house, particularly on a balmy day. It goes down nicely and has enough beer character to keep you interested.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty nice beer. It's an orange color with a small to medium head. It has a floral, grassy aroma. The taste is sweet and malty, with some nice hoppiness. Good, assertive mouthfeel and very drinkable. Where I live in Maine, I think it's comparable in taste to Geary's Summer.

Photo of HoorayBeer
4.02/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gritty's Vacationland was not a bad summer ale, a little different than the other standard summer ale's around here, but not much. Had a hoppy aroma, lots of hops coming through. Had a hoppy flavor of course, with a sweet aftertaste. I could not quite identify the aftertaste, maybe a maple flavor? With a smokey finish. Really quite interesting.

Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this would be fitting to have this as the first beer I had at Gritty's during my short vacation in Maine. Clear yellowish orange in color with a 1/2" head. The head reduces to a soft surface foam. Some mild lacing develops on the glass.

Aroma is of strong citrus which was a bit of a turn off. The taste was much better as mild malt, light bitterness, weak butter, and lemon zest produces a refreshing flavor.

Lighter in body, with a light crisp mouthfeel. Finish is mildly dry and relatively clean. Nicely drinakable.

Photo of villainchiwwin
3.91/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured from 12 oz. bottle
deep but bright golden hue that turns deep orange toward the center of the glass with lazily rising bubbles. thin head that quickly disappeared; no real lacing. floral nose, whiffs of malt and caramel, butter. taste matches smell - floral and malty with sweetness at first joined by a faint citrus note, with a mild hop bite to balance the finish. flavor seems to echo gritty's best bitter or brown ales, maybe because of shared malt content. conservative carbonation made for a smooth and silky mouthfeel that avoided becoming thin while remaining light enough in body to maintain a high level of quaffability. overall a but light but plenty of rich sweet flavor with enough hops to pin it down. this is a killer hot-day session beer!

Photo of ybnorml
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clean orange/amber beer. Has a big off white headand just a little lace.. The aroma Is a light sweet butterscotch with a light spicey hop background and a hint of lemon. The butterscotch swetness hits your tongue first but is moved of quickly by a snap of hops bitterness with a hint of citrus in the background and a dry light finish. Good summer beer.

Photo of moulefrite
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright amber and sports a light coat of creamy white. Champagne like carbonation. Aromas are hoppy and somewhat fruity in a citrusy way. In the mouth the beer cleanses and scrubs with its ample bubbleage. Flavors favor hop and the beer is all around fairly light and simple. Just like the season I'd guess. Nothing serious here just a zippy pale ale that goes down easy and leaves a bitter tang as it trails off onto the gentle finish.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle.

This ale poured a clear, amber color with tall, off-white foam that clung to the glass and left lace. There was also a good, steady stready of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The smell was malty with a touch of dry caramel. The taste was malty with a very light sweetness. There were some fruity and floral hops followed by hop bitterness in the finish. Well balanced overall. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and medium carbonation. The finish was dry with a lingering mellow flavor. This was a nice, easy drinking ale. Perhaps it helped this beer to age quite a few months in my refrigerator before I got around to drinking it.

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a bright clear amber with a medium white fluffy head. Aroma is light, mild spicy hops and some sweet lemon-lime citrus. Maybe even a hint of bubblegum.

Taste is mild, dry and citrusy. Malty background, mild hops, buttery, biscuity, finishes slightly sweet with a nice lime flavor. Surprising moderate depth for a simple summer seasonal without the typical knock-over-the-head lemony flavors.

Mouthfeel is light, delicate, very well done. Highly drinkable and very refreshing for an amber ale. In my neck of the woods, summer ales are usually golden beer-flavored lemonades and this is a welcome change from the old routine.

Photo of longpondbeerman
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear honey amber with a medium fluffy white head. To the nose it is very citrusy--mostly lemon, some orange. The bread and butter taste dominates initially, and unfortunately there's not much follow through after that--maybe a little hoppines as it moves to a little bitter finish. A good, light brew.

Photo of yankeeheel
2.3/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden amber with a large white head. Lots of retention.

Smells slightly of caramel and a hint estery.

Scant amount of pale malt turns slightly bitter and the goes a little buttery, like 99% of their beers do. Bittering hops are not quite on. This seems like a very wayward brew.

Thin mouthfeel with little texture..

A pour out for me.

Photo of Stimack
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured to a golden yellow color with a small white head that had pretty good retention for it initial size. Seems to be a very carbonated brew! The aroma is very buttery and a little sweet. The taste follows the aromas with crispness and a little bite at the end. Over all it is not a bad brew, a very drinkable one. For a summer brew, I feel it is missing something. A lot of better choices available in the warm months that I would go for before this brew.

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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.