Maple Nipple Ale | Lawson's Finest Liquids

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84
good
278 Ratings
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Maple Nipple AleMaple Nipple Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States
lawsonsfinest.com

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our hearty Vermont Maple ale is a unique and tasty brew loaded with local maple syrup and a kick!

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
278
Reviews:
74
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
13.78%
 
 
Wants:
66
Gots:
31
For Trade:
2
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Ratings: 278 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, maple, spices, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the maple doesn't really come out all that much in my opinion.

 530 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i am an egregious lush for anything maple, so this is inherently a biased opinion. i expected this to be a maple syrup bomb like some of the other maple ales coming out of the green mountain state, but what i found was something very different. maple always ferments out pretty efficiently, so if its maple flavored, its usually sweet, and when it has maple syrup and is on the drier side, you cant usually taste it all that much. in this one, i get as much of the wood and the leaves and the sap itself, prior to boiling down, as i do the finished maple syrup. its earthier, less sweet, definitely woodier and a different kind of richness, organic and rustic, the qualities i love about vermont itself. criticisms of its lack of maple presence must come from those who are not familiar with the tree or the process, as i found this to be a sort of lovely throwback and homage to the maple as a plant. layered beer where copper and caramel malts interweave with the maple. there is a fine nutty quality in the finish with the sugars, and there is even some balancing hops. lawsons keeps making me happy every time i get to drink one of their beers, and isnt that, afterall, the point of beer in the first place?

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Knapp85
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.25/5  rDev -66.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled-over silver pry-off unbranded pressure cap acquired in a trade with the gracious ICCULIS and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; this is me first Lawson's beer and I've heard nothing but fantastic things about the brewery. 8% ABV confirmed. I dig the simple no-nonsense label art. Unpasteurized and unfiltered - I like that.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a head of one finger height and healthy khaki colour. Good creaminess and attractive soft complexion. Good thickness and retention - about 3-4 minutes. Nice supple lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Even and consistent. No "legs" here.

Body colour is difficult to describe; it's a glowing murky caramel-brown with orange-peach hues. Some mild translucence, but it's nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Certainly appears unfiltered, but I wouldn't call it hazy or cloudy.

Looking good for a "maple ale." I'm content to review as an Herbed / Spiced beer as is currently listed, but I'm not going to very stringent as this style is sort of a rubbish catch-all anyway.

Sm: Rich maple wood and maple syrup - but real true syrup, not the crap you buy in the store. It's evocative yet subtle; I'm liking where this is going. Mellow nuts - perhaps hazelnut or walnut. The nuts and syrup blend well together in an attractive cohesive melange. Brown sugar. Perhaps birchwood. No alcohol or yeast character is detectable. Any hop character is minimal in strength and likely merely there as a preservative. Some cream. Subtle and below average in terms of strength. Brown malts. Light breadiness. Light fleeting cidery notes. As it warms somewhat, I get a bit of subtle spice; I'm terrible at guessing spices but I'd wager one of them is nutmeg. Not getting clove. Some toffee and caramel. I like the execution here, and as it warms I uncover more and more complexity. Really excited to try it.

T: Hm. Pleasant maple syrup is indeed the first thing I notice; it's spread throughout and supported by a pleasant unobtrusive brown malt bready foundation. Good body here. Slight cream. Brown sugar evenly sprinkled throughout. The spicing is subtle; maybe some buried nutmeg? Some woody (mainly maple) undertones. The nuttiness is buried, if present - certainly not as evocative as it was in the aroma. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Overall, it's an approachable well balanced flavour profile with interesting complexity - albeit less than promised by the aroma. I do like it, and there's some mild subtlety here, but I'm not blown away like I hoped to be given Lawson's' reputation. Very likable interesting stuff and unconventionally executed; I'm not convinced it's best examined as an "Herbed / Spiced beer," but there's intriguing experimentation here and it doesn't fit neatly into any style I've had before per se. It delivers on its concept - it's indeed a maple-driven ale. I just wish it brought a bit more to the table. Any hopping is unnoticeable.

Mf: Good carbonation. Smooth and wet. Not as syrupy as you might expect, and it never comes off too thick or overbearing. Nice presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile generally well, facilitating flavour delivery more than adequately. Not oily, harsh, or biting. Not crisp. Unrefreshing.

Dr: I guess this is one of Lawson's more available offerings? I'm far from blown away, but I'm not unimpressed. The beer overall isn't incredible, but based on this alone I do think Lawson's is a promising brewery to investigate. Would I get this again? Maybe in the right mood. It might even develop a bit with age. But the complexity, subtlety, and balance I look for in truly great beers just isn't here to full bore. I'm glad I got to try this and I'm far from disappointed, but I'm not able to get a good read on whether or not Lawson's reputation as an amazing brewery is justified. I like what I'm seeing, but I need more. A drinkable brew overall with intriguing experimentation, but nothing to write home about. Certainly worth checking out, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or go out of my way to track it down. Pleasant mellow stuff. Thanks again, ICCULIS!

If I had to guess/impose the style, I'd go with American Strong Ale. Definitely doesn't come off like an "Herbed / Spiced Beer."

B-

 4,578 characters

Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish amber with a half finger of off white head that fades to a ring with very mild lacing.

Smell: Quite sweet and malty. I'm picking up some brown sugar and a mild apple smell. There is also some alcohol.

Taste: Malty and a bit sweet with a fairly strong bitterness throughout. The finish contains some brown sugar and maple as well as some alcohol. Not bad, but not nearly as interesting as I had hoped.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium and a little bit sticky. The carbonation is tingly and the finish is dry.

Overall: I wanted this to be spectacular, but it was just alright. Oh well, still not bad.

 693 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of largadeer
1.59/5  rDev -57%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bubba83 opened a bomber of this. Thanks, Kevin.

Copper colored, the body is cloudy, almost opaque. A small head forms and retains pretty well.

Maple, toast and oxidation on the nose. A lot of cardboard. This smells very off, oxidation is overwhelming.

Palate is also dominated by cardboard, really oxidized and stale with a bit of maple behind it. A little toasted bitterness comes through in the finish, and an odd medicinal flavor. The body is thin. This is pretty bad.

 474 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderate copper color with a half-finger of white head. A moderate amount of a white head and a bit of a thin collar as it goes down. The nose brings some slight maple character. Very faint indeed. There is a bit of sweet grain and some brown sugar there as well. The taste is slight molasses and brown sugar in addition to a bit of maple character. Medium body with pretty good carbonation. Not my favorite Lawson's beer, though glad I got to pick this bottle up.

 494 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a medium amber in color with some orange, copper, and red highlights along with a light amount of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light tan head that slowly reduces to a couple of small patches with a very thin film covering the majority of the surface and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall this is a light to medium aroma with some sweet bready malts with a touch of caramel, toffee, and maple syrup. Just a touch of woodiness.

T: There is a moderate to strong amount of malty sweetness to this brew including brown sugar, caramel, and maple syrup with just a touch of toffee. The beer is sweet but not cloying at all and there is a bready backbone to it all. Slightly earthy...

M: Slightly less than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with a touch of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: I was a little disappointed, I was really hoping for a lot more maple presence to this beer (especially with it being called maple nipple). It was an interesting and fairly unique beer but nothing out of this world. Alcohol is fairly well hidden for this big a beer.

 1,178 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Kegatron
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz foiled topped bomber into a couple of snifters. This was from Batch #152 Bottle # 57.

Pours a hazed, rose-hued amber, topped with a tight finger of creamy off-white head. This retains with a thin layer of bubbly froth, which just rings the sides with robust foamy lacing. The aroma is VERY smooth in the nose, with the sugary and slightly roasted character of the molasses mixing with a rather robust fruitiness from some citric hops. Notes of bread and some caramel round out the back. You can just tell that this is heavy from the way it sits in the nose but the flavors keeps a silkiness to them that I'm digging.

The taste is sweet up front, with a backbone of bread and caramel. There is definitely an aggressive bitter edge to this from the hops, along with some quite flavorful fresh citric notes of orange and lemon. The molasses is not overdone at all and a has a bit of a burnt roastiness of it's own going on, as it mostly stretches through whole way through but is REALLY coming out to me in a flush across the back end of the profile. The finish is a combo of dry, roasty, bitter, and earthy but it's the residual sugars from the molasses that linger the most. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp yet creamy feel that is equal parts lively and bubbly on the tongue. I just can't stress enough though how ridiculously smooth and easy this is for a 9% beer. No alcohol is detected whatsoever and I would have never guessed how big this was, except for the warmth that slowly started to creep across my face as I was working on this.

Wow, this was a VERY pleasant surprise that slowly worked its magic on me and a buddy as we got through two bottles of this. I think that this is one of those beers that you have to "get" and this completely worked for me. I loved how the molasses worked with the bright citric fruit notes and that big but approachable body makes for some fantastic sipping during those cold late fall nights. This beer just screamed Vermont to me. I nominate this as the official state beer!

 2,041 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: bottle from Warren Store, Warren, VT

Poured into a Heady Topper stemless snifter, a clearish maple brown color (appropriately), with a finger or so of foamy white head that receded to a wispy layer, leaving some short-lived lacing on the glass. Woody aroma, bready, with hints of maple. I've learned from homebrewing that maple is an extremely difficult sugar to work with, and after the yeast noms it up, it's hard to get any maple aroma or flavor remnants, so all things considered, the maple in the nose was adequate. Taste was similar to the smell, woody, bready malts, caramel, maple was more subtle at first, but came out more as the palate adjusted, moderate earthy hops, and a decent booze kick for a dry finish. Medium body, tasty, very good overall. Just don't go in expecting to get a pure glass of gooey sweet maple syrup booze.

 852 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of mdfb79
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/12/10 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to Thorpe429; thanks for sharing this one Mike.

a - Pours a mahogany amber color and one inch of white fluffy head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, maple, molasses, fruit, and a hint of alcohol.

t - Tastes of caramel malts and maple again up front, and then wheat, fruit, sugar, molasses, and alcohol. More alcohol than the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent spiced beer but something in the taste was a little weird to me. I enjoyed the smell but not the taste as much. Probably wouldn't seek it out again but would give another try if I came across it.

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Maple Nipple Ale from Lawson's Finest Liquids
3.7 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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