Zoe | Maine Beer Company

602 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our take on an American amber ale. Complex malt bill delivers notes of dark raisin, chocolate and biscuit. Copious additions of American hops yield notes of pine and citrus.

Added by deltatauhobbit on 12-03-2009

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Reviews: 602 | Ratings: 2,449
Photo of stephens101
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber with a long-lasting fizzy tan froth. Caramel and herbal hops to the nose. Pine, herbal hops, persimmon, peach, various fruit skins and tea leaves on the palate. Dry and light to medium. Perfectly balanced and highly quaffable. Somewhat tame but never boring. Very nice.

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Photo of sommersb
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 04-01-2013
Freshness: Bottled 02-26-13
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Globe glass
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance has a big off-white head on the dark amber, clear beer. Head retention and lacing are excellent. The last pour adds some cloudiness from the bottle-conditioning yeast

Smell has spicy hops with big pine and citrus elements. Some caramel malts and dark fruits counter for an overall lovely bouquet

Taste has a fairly strong hop bitterness with typical grapefruit notes, but the malts show up with a bit of sweetness and keep things interesting so its not a one-trick pony. A bit of astringency is a negative factor

The feel is crisp due to the high carbonation. Finishes hoppy and semi-dry, but with some balance.

Overall a very nice treat. I'll admit this is typically not one of my favorite styles, but this is a very good rendition -- hoppy, but complex enough to keep me wanting more. Recommended

Thanks to DrewShal9 for this one!

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Photo of rudzud
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/10/11. Yep, oh so fresh. Poured into a duvel tulip.

A - My my my. Can every beer look like this please? Massive almost 3 finger dark cream coloured head sitting atop a very, very dark garnet pour. This head though, massive amount of side lacing with a head that just wont go away.

S - Really nice fresh hop aromas. Lots of big, fresh citrus and grapefruit aromas. There is some light malt sweetness but for the most part this is hop heavy.

T - Just like the nose this has awesome hop flavour with big time. A great citrus bitterness with a strong malty background that is overpowered by the hops.

M - Nice and slightly, subtly creamy but nicely carbonated with a good crisp, slightly dry finish.

O - Overall this is quite a nice amber ale. I think the malts get lots just a little with all those fresh hops, but I can appreciate the bitterness it lends. Very enjoyable brew from Maine.

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Photo of bosox941827
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into Harpoon Imperial pint glass; poured cold and warmed as tasted. Bought from the refrigerated case at Table & Vine W. Springfield, MA.
A - Pours a cloudy, amber/dark brown, nearly opaque with a thin film of persistent head on top that hangs all the way down the glass.
S - hops with a bit of malt in the background; I know there are Simcoe in here from the website, and that is right on with the aroma; might have guessed Amarillo too, but alas....
T - If I had closed my eyes when trying this I would have guessed it was a Black IPA; the hops are *in your face* and are very earthy and chewy, especially on the front end. It's seriously like eating a bowl of hops. The aftertaste is absolutely delicious, with a mouth-drying, soapy effect that is well-balanced by the malt bill. Very, very tasty. Alcohol is only slightly detectable as the beer warms.
M - Mouth-filling; very smooth (bottle-conditioning); finish completely dries out the tongue. Front-end has this almost gritty feel to it (not in a bad way).
O - Surprising beer; "amber/red ales" are not my favorite but I bought this b/c of the brewery. Glad I did - another great one by Maine Beer.

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Photo of deereless
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice looking beer, rust to burgundy in color, lots of lacing and sea foam, noticeable sediment – 4.50, S: Tons of biscuity malts, very crisp and citrusy for an amber, the hops really standout – 4.00, T: Lots of caramely malts and sweet doughiness, grapefruit and pith play a significant role with a touch of pine, more hops and bitterness than I’d normally anticipate for an amber – 4.25, M: Quite creamy – 4.50, D: Quality beer all around, very drinkable and worth scouting out – 4.50

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500mL bottle my parents were kind enough to pick up for me while they were in New England last week. Bottled 4/13/13. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours a deep crimson with almost three full fingers of off white head. Foam fades but leaves nice lacing.

Smells of nice pine and citrus hops with a sweet bready background.

Taste follows the nose but with even more sweet malts. Pine, bittersweet citrus zest, toffee, caramel, floral, slightly earthy, a bit of spice, a hint if chocolate and a dash of faint alcohol. Really an excellent blend.

Slightly oily medium body with zesty carbonation. Long lasting hoppy caramel finish.

This is pretty much exactly what an amber ale should be. Superb balance between the hops and malts. Highly recommended.

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Photo of oline73
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brez07 for this bottle. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark amber color with a reddish hue. There are two fingers of light tan head . The retention is good with some lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus peel hops with mild herbal notes and sweet malt. Really nice.

Taste: Really good, does not disappoint from the taste. Bitter citrus peel hops hit the tongue up front and stay with you the whole sip. There is some malt backbone and mild pepper notes. The finish is bitter like grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mildly chalky, smooth and tingly carbonation, the finish is quite slick.

Overall: I wouldn't say this is a perfect beer by any means, but it tastes fantastic. I'm really loving it and would definitely have another.

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Photo of b3shine
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to oversized snifter. Looks pretty good; very dark for an amber. Nice carbonation and lacing. Smells great; the hops are pleasant, as is the malt. Tastes great too; I'd put it ahead of Nugget Nectar. Great balance between the hops and the malt. Mouthfeel is good. Overall, a great beer that I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try.

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep ruby-brown with two fingers of tan head. Great head retention.

S - Aroma of sweet caramel malt and light citrus and pine hop. Lighter, subtle dark fruit aroma.

T - Pretty unique. Stronger dark fruit flavors with subtle chocolate and charcoal. Balanced with hops in the form of grapefruit and pine needles. A sweet and malt-forward offering with a small bittering hop presence that amplifies the overall taste immensely.

M - Medium body with an overall wet fell leading to slightly drying finish. Nice carbonation

O - Very very good beer. It is an amber ale through and through, which to me means expert balance between malt and hop, with sweeter malts and subtle hops. Far more true to the amber ale style that other much hoppier offerings like NN and Eagle Claw Fist. Wonderful!

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Photo of PRLRetailDrone
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Darker then I expected it to be, Zoe pours dark brown with reddish highlights. Two finger khaki head. Good retention and lacing. Piney hop nose. Mouthwatering. Tastes so much better then it smells and thats saying something. Lighter then expected but not thin at all. I could drink this all night. Another Maine beer that should be sought out.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep hazy rust color with a big foamy head that leaves chunks of foam behind. Smell is malty, with citrus and pepper. At first, taste is caramel and pine resin with a spicy finish and a bit of bite from the carbonation. As it sits, the carbonation dies back and a breadier taste emerges. Feel is light with ample carbonation that gets lighter through the glass without going flat. Overall this is very enjoyable.

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just like the label says I'm gonna "do what's right" and drink this beautiful beer.

Pours a dark brown with a nice egg white head. Looks rich and wonderful. The way you thought a Newcastle looked when you first had it way back in junior year of college.

The nose has hops hops and more hops. Very unique for the appearance. Taste is hop forward and I can't help wanting to call this an Amber IPA.

Awesomeness from Maine beer company.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Continuing MBC's tradition of donation, 1% of the proceeds from bottled Zoe goes to Allied Whale, a non-profit organization for preservation of marine mammals.

Had this a few months ago when it was first made, they premiered it at Sebago in cask format. Since cask and bottle can vary quite a bit, I thought I'd support MBC by purchasing their newly bottled Zoe. It seems this beer has made a transition from being more of a "black" IPA to a "hoppy" amber, although this beer is still dark enough to be considered either.

Pours a very dark amber, almost brown color, the head on this thing is huge and creamy looking, slight tan color to it and fades at a ridiculously slow rate, good amount of lacing.

The aroma is what I remember being amazing and it continues to be so, dominated by piney hops and citrus, there is some malt in there to lend some balance, but ever so slightly.

Taste has a bit more malt characteristic but still has that large hop presence, more piney and less citrus in the mouth, finishes with a huge amount of bitterness and seems like burnt malt, carbonation is at a good level.

I'd have to say I prefer this over the cask format (as I usually do though). The strength is well hidden so I could have multiple of these no problem, although I think my tongue would get worn out from that burnt/bitterness aftertaste. Still, another great beer coming from MBC (definitely not to be confused with BMC).

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Photo of jsled
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 4/5. attractive mostly clear amber/brown. a decent amount of just-off-white head, large bubbles, some lacing.

A: 4/5. strong wonderful fruity/citrusy. some sweetness. no real alcohol.

F: 9/10. bitter, malty, bready. slightly astringent. slight resin. but really well balanced, all around.

M: 4/5. very good. not overly lingering, though some expected lingering bitterness.

O: 9/10. a hoppy amber to be sure, but very well balanced and delicious.

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Photo of garbercury
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewedAwakening for the generous package...Good looking out Amy!

A--Nice deep amber with nice carbonation and retention.

S--Floral notes with a great balance of hops in the nose.

T--BALANCE. Great profile on this one, hops hit you but it has a smooth malty flavor that really compliments the beer, excellent.

M--Smooth, silky mouthfeel.

D-Not normally a hoppy beer guy, but this one is a great example of a balanced amber ale should be brewed. This is a terrific beer and I am enjoying it on a cool saturday, well done and recommended.

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Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle I picked up in Portland (Maine) a few weeks back.

The beer pours a dark, reddish amber color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose in this beer is really a thing of beauty and not what I normally expect in an amber... even a hoppy one. This beer is very perfumy, with considerable orange citrus, black pepper and even some light dank earth. The flavor profile replicates the nose for the most part, and I'm impressed by how well balanced this beer is. There's some moderate sweetness from the malt initiallly, but it's buoyed very nicely by a considerable amount of hoppy bitterness. This in turn leads to a fairly long, bitter, and impressively dry finish. The finish in this beer is very clean, with not even hint of the 7.2% alcohol in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, bitter finish.

This is quite well done. Impressive (to say the least).

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Photo of dgmirelli
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another Maine Beer Co awesome awesome beer
Look - darker amber Rich looking deep and semi translucent Crazy beautiful head and great lacing, smell lots o citrus and slight pine, taste - maltier w less hops big and smooth w long length w impressive aftertaste.. feel nice carbonation overall again a great beer. The standard for Red Ales as far as I have been involved, as w most Maine offerings something to buy and drink when one beer satisfies for the evening, drink in class!

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Photo of PVMT
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated 7/21/15. Not really a fan of amber ales, but this was quite good. Way hoppier than most ambers and is quite well balanced with very bready malts.

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Photo of SenorHops
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber to medium brown. A little on the dark side for an amber. Deep white fluffy head with thick sticky lacing drizzling down the glass as it dissipates.

Best word I can use to describe the smell is very pleasant, pine and earth meet light, bready & caramel malts.

Taste blew me away. This beer is truly a roller coaster ride between the hops and malts with the hops being more dominant. Back and forth from pine needles to bready, biscuit malt to citrus/berry and earthy hops and back to light caramel. The 7.2% ABV stays nicely hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly oily with a crispy, prickly finish.

This was one of the few beers that made me keep saying "wow" throughout my consumption of it. It was crazy the way different flavors popped from this beer with each sip. Drinking this beer was a very enjoyable experience. Quite possibly the best Amber I've ever had. Don't be fooled. These guys and their tiny brewery make damn great beer!

Bottled on date of 4-28-2011

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from baconsausage in the Small Aquatic Mammal BIF. Really excited to have the chance to review this one!

A-Pours a murky amber with a creamy off white head and some nice sticky lacing.

S-Deep roasted malt with floral and earthy hops. A very nice biscuit character as well.

T-Very nice earthy character in the front with some good caramel malt. Hops are nicely present while still taking a back seat to the malt. Very nicely balanced, really flavorful.

M-Medium bodied, a bit dry.

D-Excellent. Very nice depth of flavors and great complexity for the style. I like it!


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Photo of TK5150
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours brown with amber highlights. Nice two finger beige "bottle conditioned" head. Great lacing. Very nice looking beer.

S- Pineapple, peach and orange, hints of caramel and chocolate maltiness.

T- Pineapples, oranges, piney mango, caramel, chocolate, hints of roast, estery spice.

M- Surprisingly, this feels very full in the mouth, with perfect carbonation.

O- Very surprised by this one, especially with the clear presence of chocolate. Great stuff, highly recommended.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review this beer is the #2 American amber / red ale on the beat of beeradvocate list. Received recently in a trade, thanks. Beer served in a pilsner glass.

Beer is reddish brown and hazy with a nice off white head lots of lacing and carbonation.

Aroma is hoppy, earthy, piny. Smells nice.

Beer is medium bodied and very hoppy, chewy grinding, nice. Moderate bitterness, great finish. I'd have it again for sure.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this at Eastside Beverage Co. in Portland, ME. 500ml bottle shared with grub. Served in a pint glass. No freshness information that I could find, but I get the sense this turns over pretty quickly.

A - Pours with a generous two-plus fingers of light tan foam. Retention is superb, and the lacing is splotchy and pervasive - things eventually settle to a thick cap. Surprisingly, dark brown body, perhaps too brown to even be called a red ale, let alone the "hoppy amber" described on the bottle. There are some copper-amber highlights when held to the light.

S - Initially it's a nice fresh burst of aromatic hops - citrus, pine, and general fruitiness. As it warms, a true red ale malt character emerges, with caramel apple, cotton candy, and toffee.

T - The taste is a little less successful in my book, as some of the complexity and depth of flavor vanishes. There is a lot of bitter grapefruit hop character, that eventually reveals some caramel malt at the back of the palate before finishing with more bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. Never gets overwhelming, but I could have stood for a touch more hop flavor and complexity here.

M - Soft body, good lively carbonation, chewy medium body that's big enough for 7.2%. Finishes with light dryness and a bit of enamel-coating hop oil.

D - I had no problems with the 250ml in my glass, and would gladly have finished the rest of it. It's a shame I didn't buy more of this one, as it's a very successful and enjoyable brew. Looking forward to more offerings from these guys.

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Photo of DIM
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Probably the darkest amber ale I've seen. This was a dark coppery color, bordering on brown ale territory. It poured with a sticky, thick, chunky head.

s: Fresh, zesty citrus jumps out of the glass. God I love hoppy ambers, especially happy ones. Near perfect balance provided by sweet caramel. No trace of the 7.2% abv.

t: The fresh citrus aromas don't quite translate into the taste, but this is still damn good. The sweet caramel is great, not at all cloying. The citric bitterness at the end has a bit of a leafy quality that wasn't in the nose. Just a trace of pleasant warmth.

m: Slick bodied with creamy carbonation.

d: Thanks Joe, I was really hoping you'd include one of these. Feel free to send more anytime. Another great one from MBC, really glad I got to try this.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy brown/copper shimmer, finger fluffy khaki head,
stunning lacing display

S: grapefruit aroma, pine, clean biscuit malt

T: grapefruit, lemon peel, mild caramel, biscuit bread
pine smooth bitter finish

M: med/heavy body, smooth/creamy mouth

O: WHAT ON EARTH!! Thank you Maine brewery for
making such a fine beer experience and for my wife
for randomly grabbing this bottle today. I will
DEFINITELY be buying more of their beers. Smooth,
hoppy, oily biscuity, is it possible for a beer to have a
little bit of everything? yep.


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Zoe from Maine Beer Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,449 ratings.
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