Zoe | Maine Beer Company

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
603 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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ZoeZoe
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States
mainebeercompany.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
603
Ratings:
2,449
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
8.59%
 
 
Wants:
325
Gots:
476
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
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Reviews: 603 | Ratings: 2,449
Photo of cvm4
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very deep amber in color, fluffy light tan head that leaves behind great lacing.

S - Very piney hops with a malt sweetness in the background.

T - A bit of burnt caramel with a huge bitterness of pine hops.

M - Medium body with the same in carbonation.

O - This delivered in spades. Loved this hoppy & bitter beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly dark amber color with a very nice head; solid in both the stickage and lacing departments

Smell: For a beer of this age, this still has a strong floral, hoppy aroma about it; rather biscuity, too, but just imagine what it might have been like when first brewed!

Taste: The biscuity, dark bread malt backbone appears right up front and is a strong presence from start to finish; it doesn't take long, however, for the citrusy hops to make a stand, leaving a tangerine bitterness that combats the malt; again, I imagine this would have been extraordinary when fresh so I am going to bump up the score a notch

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Maine Beer Company is a brewery to be reckoned with if you are a hop lover; I, for one, am going to keep my eye on them as this is a great example of a hoppy amber

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Photo of cavedave
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More big thanks to Drazzamatazz for yet another stunning Maine creation.

Pours a brownish dark amber, slighlty cloudy, topped by a massive and thick head that lasts for the entire glass. Heavily hanging hinges of lazy lace lacquer the grateful glass.

Nose is medium aroma of caramel, citrus, lighter pine and floral, even lighter breadiness, still lighter tart yeasty hints. Nice complexity for an amber, very enticing.

Wonderful medium strength taste. It starts with the gentle tart grabbing some bready sweet, taking orange and grapefruit, a little bit of caramel, some ganja for a flavor session, and ends with the citrus notes inviting pine bitter over to dry out the finish. Tastes like a refined and more delicious version of Cascazilla.

Mouthfeel is very fine for the flavors, medium carb. that sharpens them, nicely viscous to allow them some staying power, and a clean clear out to make way for the next sip. Finish straddles the line between juicy and dry, wonderfully so.

My first MBC beer, and I must say I can't wait to try more. One of the best made beers I have had this year, just fucking delicious.

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Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Maine bottle from Ben, 500ml.

Pours a nice, deep clear copper with a crazy thick head that leaves some of the most impressive lacing I've ever seen. A full two inch cap sticks on top for the duration. I honestly can't think of a better looking amber.

Aroma is bright with floral hops and light lemon and pineapple citrus. There is still a noticeable caramel malt presence but the hops are the star in the nose.

Taste is almost as impressive with the toasted caramel malts taking the forefront a little more. That said the floral pine and grassy hops are still a major player and leave a bitter, dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and exceptionally smooth for the style. Sticky with hops but with a dry, slightly roasted character on the palate.

Probably not quite in Nugget Nectar territory, but this is a great amber - hop forward with the right balance of malts and body. Well done.

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Photo of farrago
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very foamy pour, fills up nearly half the pint glass, despite fragile, airy quality retains well and hovers over a finger for some time, light tan color, virtually no larger bubbles on the surface, the lacing is weak, a few splotches here and there at best. The liquid is clear and transparent, a very dark reddish brown, looks like the color of library furniture, sedate and serious, almost zero bubbles visible. The nose is expressive with grapefruit, pine leading into malted milk balls, chocolate, coffee and caramelized brown sugar, then veers back to earthy hops and leafy matter, apple and pear skin all you get for fruit, keenly penetrating and erect posture in the nostrils. Full-bodied for the character, has decent enough carbonation yet still sits like a bowling ball on the tongue. Leads with biting white grapefruit zest and green grass notes before the more roasty coffee, mocha steps up. Pine and flowers pull it away from malty sweetness and here there’s greater depth of apricot, peach and pear fruit. Some breadiness and a hint of summer corn but not strong enough to counteract the overall bitterness. Overall, appears to choose power and simplicity over subtlety, no complaints here.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Purchased in Portland, bottled 10 days ago.

A - Pours a very dark auburn with about a finger of dense off-white head. Darkest beer in this style that I have seen. Leaves an amoeba lacing

S - Intoxicating blend of malts; sweet and bready. Citrus hops round it out. Some spiciness that reminds me of a rye beer.

T - Starts with a big citrus punch and mellows with sourdough malts. Herbs and bitter hops on the finish with a clean aftertaste. Different and impressive.

M - Extremely smooth with a creamy feel. Drinks easily, but too full bodied to drink several.

O - I was happy to find this beer so fresh on a trip to Maine. In the vast sea of hoppy ambers, this one isn't aggressively hopped and allows the malts to shine. Shows great balance as well as complexity in the malt profile. Hops are certainly present but don't overpower. This is one fantastic beer.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1.9 pint bottle into a Berkshire Mountain Brewers pint glass.

A: Deep, cloudy, burnished brick red amber color with a persistent and creamy two-finger head of foam which leaves some nice sudsy lace.

S: Lots of spicy and sweet hop notes, orange, citrus, pine, fig and raisins blend together to form a fruity and hoppy aroma with a warm and solid malty undertone.

T: Juicy and roasted caramel malts punch up front with fruity dates, figs and raisin before giving way to a wave of pine and tangerine hops with herbal, spicy and boozy smacking notes. Smoky and meaty almost at the finish, it wraps up with lingering bittersweetness and a hop slick.

M: Meium-full bodied, pretty clean with a slocik, bitter hop residue in the mix. Slightly creamy and well-carbonated.

O: Whoa, mama, what an American amber! The 7.2% ABV pushes this beer into the stratosphere of American strong ale, with its complex fruity and smoky malt profile combined with lush, bitter hops that provide a full-range of flavors. A really nice brew that I wouldn't mind grabbing again and even aging a bit to see where things go.

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Photo of vande
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - nearly bottle-colored brown...a very deep, murky colored brownish amber with a sandy colored, one finger thick head that quickly evolves into a light lacing

S - nice fruity hoppy aroma.. orange peel, coriander, grapefruit...fairly fresh smelling..

T - the fruity hops mixes nicely with the sweet malty goodness... yummy!

M - cold and creamy...nice,light texture...

O - well worth seeking out if you've not had it... as my friend would say, quite a tasty treat !

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Photo of koopa
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had Zoe dozens of times and can't believe I haven't reviewed it yet!

Bottle purchased at the Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier VT.

Appearance: Pours a nice medium dull burgandy with a 2 finger slightly off white (beige) crown that displays good retention and lace.

Smell: Piney resinous hops dominate the malty base. slight toffee notes and lots of bready notes stem from said malt base.

Taste: Same as the nose but with more balance as the malt flavor stands up more.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

overall: A very enjoyable and drinkable beer that I'm fond of. Extremely good when fresh.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a great looking deep amber color topped by a frothy, thick head of off-white almost tan foam.

S: Caramel! Its all about caramel in this beer. Nice and malty at first, but on a second sniff all I get are hops! Grassy hops to boot. Smells wonderful!

T: Its straight up hops! I love this beer! It kinda tricks you to expect something malty but it drinks like an IPA. Those grassy hops come through in force here. I get a tad of lingering sweetness on the finish as well.

M: Moderate carbonation, and a medium body.

D: Drinks quite nicely. If I didn't have to drive to Maine every time I wanted one..

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 3/25/14
Decent copper color hue with a pretty large frothy head with solid retention. Smells of hops, citrus, pine, and fruits. Moderate carbonation with some bitterness and stickyness to the mouthfeel. The taste though is where I got lost. Not spectacular and nothing over the top. Just kind of the typical pine and citrus. Seemed to be lacking flavor for me; not sure but maybe my palate was off or the 30 days since bottling has robbed the brew of taste. Overall I really wanted to rave about Zoe but I just guess I'll have to try it again to see if anything changes from my first offering. That being said; still a really nice beer just not my favorite from Maine Beer Co..

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Photo of divineaudio
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint .9 oz bottled on 02/09/12. thanks to valdieu2 for the opportunity!

a - pours a murky chestnut color that glows garnet when held up to a light. gave me a dense, two finger, creamy, tan head that lasts for quite a while. lacing completely coats the inside of the glass.

s - fresh baked bread, grapefruit, grass, and notes of grape.

t - mmmm. notes of grapefruit, red grape, and raisin all supported by delicious, nutty, chocolatey malt. a resinous, piney bitterness washes over before a lingering dry and bittersweet finish. very well balanced.

m - medium in body with just the right amount of carbonation. medium co2 profile.

o - really a wonderful beer and definitely put a smile on my face. much hoppier than most amber ales that i have tried, but that's a good thing. worth seeking out imho.

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Photo of dexterk1
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color is a nice amber with plenty of head.
Odor is a little piney and citrusy. Some malt comes through as well. A little bit of biscuit in there too.
Taste is hops up front. Transitions and becomes more complex. Some malt, toffee and a little grapefruit come through. Ends with some very nice hop bitterness.
Mouth feel is middle of the road. Not overly carbonated and not heavy.
Overall, an excellent beer from Maine Beer. Balanced and complex. Hits many of the requirements for an outstanding beer.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a tulip. Purchased in Wakefield ri. Bottled 2/26/13.

A - pours a hazy amber-cherry body with a 3 finger thick, dense, khaki colored head that reduces slowly to a mushroom cloud of frothy foam. Exhibits thick lacing. Picture
Perfect.

S- pungent pine, citrus, resin aromas. Very upfront and easy to detect, I can tell
This beer will be hoppy. das dank

T- Big malt character upfront- caramel , toffee, vanilla. Following this comes the hops- pine and huge weed resin notes. Smokey, roasty flavor on the finish. Aftertaste is bitter and borderline astringent. Super flavorful .

M- medium heavy body with medium carbonation. Fairly easy to drink.

What a beautifully crafted beer - you could call this a dipa and no one would question it, but the huge malt character balances out the hops and makes for a delicious red ale. Recommendable.

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Photo of Scrapss
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into the MBC ale glass

A: dark ruddy color with an ecru head that compacts from a finger to a half finger, with soapy lacing the whole time. Creamy tight carbo. slightly hazy, not hazy but not clear.

S: light quad notes. figs raisins and peppery yeast and breadiness. Hops are mild, piney and welcome.

T: Some malty tea notes with sweet dark fruit. The bitterness causes a sharp counterpoint mid-quaff. spicy yeast notes are mild.

M: Creamy medium-full body and nice velvety mouthfeel. Malt shines on finish with a slightly phenolic finish. Finish is neither dry nor cloying.

O: Another great showing from Maine Beer Company.

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pt .9 fl oz. bottled poured into a Spiegelau glass. Bottled on 10/8. Consumed on 10/21.

A - Brown in color with a tan creamy head. Gentle pour yielded 1-2 finger head. Lot of carbonation. Created irregular lacing as liquid receded.

S - White grapefruit, lime, and black tea.

T - Closely matched smell again with white grapefruit and black tea. Flavor profile not overly complex, but did not need to be. Very pleasant. Light malt backbone with some lasting bitterness.

M - Lot of carbonation, but very fitting with grapefruit taste. Lightly bodied and easy to drink. Crisp and refreshing.

O - A very pleasant experience and not at all what I was expecting. This beer is too easy to drink and very refreshing. The citrus presentation is nicely balanced with a black tea bitterness. I would gladly buy this again... would be awesome on a warm summer day. Loved it.

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Photo of brockdidntslide
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date of December 23, 2012 and many warnings to be sure to consume it fresh. OK. I got the message!

Appearance is deceiving since the taste and mouthfeel were much more impressive and exceeded my already high expectations.

It's expensive for what you get. They donate some of their profits to the sperm whale society or something like that, but it's well worth the occasional splurge.

If you like Nugget Nectar, this is 0.5 points better overall in my view.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to angrybabboon for sending me this. Bottling date is "02/20/13" at the time of consumption. In other words, old! But whatever. It does say to consume this no later than 90 days after bottling, so lets see how this has held up. Poured into a tulip glass from a 500ml bottle.

Pours a slightly cloudy, reddish color with a deep amber tone away from the light, as well as 5 fingers worth of head. Everything is really frothy and sticky, to the point of leaving lacing everywhere on the glass, as well as dense bubbles behind. Not too many bubbles in the liquid itself, but the enormous head makes up for it. Even after it settles down, it leaves behind a half finger that never clears up. Bless the bottle conditioning here - while not pretty, it makes this seem like an awesome homebrew of sorts. Here's hoping it tastes as good too.

Definitely showing signs of aging on the aroma, but for what it is, it's not bad by any means. There's an initial burst of alcohol soaked pine needles, dried citrus, tamarind, and candied vibe overall that quickly melds into extremely earthy malts, toasted biscuits, a smidgen of caramel, and lots of honey (with hemp) at the finish. Fantastic stuff - really lively and super flavorful, with enough bitterness, earthiness, and sweetness to balance things out. Unlike any red ale I've ever had to date. The hop profile alone transcends the style.

The flavor is actually even more complex and packed with flavor than the aroma is, somehow. At first you get an immediate rush of red, dark fruits (slight cherries, maybe, although not very distinguishable), but they soon morph into the citrus profile, and then dank (and I mean DANK) earthy grainy and malty characters. Extremely tannic - it's almost as if the residue from the hops and cracked grains are floating in this thing. Ends dry and slightly bittered, with some syrup, and then gradually descends in a refreshing way, without leaving behind too much astringency. A little bit of alcohol reveals itself at the finish, but the bready and hoppy sensations of the beer leave the mouth smacking for more. Very good stuff.

This reminds me of an excellent homebrew, in many ways, and what's even better is that it reminds me of my own English IPA homebrew I did a while back! This is superior in many ways, but how a mass produced beer like this one can contain so many of the fresh, tannic aspects of homemade beers of this kind remains a mystery to me. Very flavorful, and never too heavy. This is an ode to bottle conditioning, and I hope more American breweries will continue to follow it. You can tell a lot of love and care went into this. For those of you bored with the American amber style, give this a shot. It's great.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours brown in color, slightly hazy and deep red hues. Head is thin about half a finger off-white almost pink. Head also retains nicely and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Smells very nicely balanced. Grainy husky malt aromas work nicely with aromas of sweet maple and mildly nutty malt. Malt plays nicely with fresh lightly fruitier hops that have aromas of mango Papaya and hints of grapefruit.

Taste is great. Malt is forward and has some light grainy and toffee flavors before a slight fruity and predominately piney hoppy mild bitterness persists through the midsection. Light floral notes finish on the exhale.

Mouthfeel is good. Moderate to high carbonation is cut by a good amount of hop oils and resin and malty stickiness. Nice balance keeps this highly drinkable with a good body.

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Photo of W_Des
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber body and has a nice piney nose. It has a medium malt body that is bready in taste. This is a very good hoppy amber and a great offering by Maine Beer Company.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown and can pick up some hoppy smell. Nothing to remarkable for the sight and smell. The taste is very smooth with an ok hoppy presence which for this beer fits well. It's more of a light hop upfront and a very smooth finish kind of sweet finish. Found myself guzzling it down always ready for another sip. Overall, another impressive beer from Maine Beer Company. This is definitely a beer to share with friends, wish it came in a six pack.

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Photo of illpass78
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

16.9 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with some red around the edges. Fairly heavy carbonation and a big cream head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma: This beer has a piny, buttery, biscuity, grassy smell. It's appealing for sure. Very aromatic.

Taste: Raisins and dark fruit dominate the taste of this beer, which also has a booze kick and hefty malt presence. There's also biscuit, grass and apricot. Some mild figs, too, and some noticeable citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, which is a good depth for this beer, because a heavier body would make it a little too "big." It's reasonably dense, but approachable.

Overall: Sip it, savor it, and enjoy it. Another great beer from MBC, everyone's favorite simple-label-loving brewery. You really don't need to go nuts on bottle designs when your beer is this well crafted. It strikes me as kind of an IPA/amber hybrid, and will appeal to fans of either.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber hued beer with a foamy light tan head that leaves tons of lacing. Smell is citrus pine and sweet malt. The taste is orange and pine with a nice caramel sweetness. Really nice brew.

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Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This finally made it to MA, yay!

Creamy almost 1 finger head gasses slowly with lacing over darker molasses brown color.

Nose of fresh earthy and floral hops, some dark earthy malts, bit of fluffy dark malts, touch of roast.

Taste starts rich and creamy dark malts, bit of fluffy roast and almost chewy nougat, toffee, earthy and slight nutty malts, earthy and floral hops, light spicy, fresh hops, not too bitter, light fruit hops as well. Finish gets a bit more bitter, with a nice lingering hop character, light toffee, roast, and earthy malts.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied with good carb.

Drink is great, a nice hop character not too bitter, the dark malts add a nice flavor without too much body or syrupy flavor. Very well balanced, tasty.

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Photo of weizenbob
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This classy looking 500 mL bottle was received in trade with umfskibum. Thanks Josh. It was bottled on 1/27/11. I popped the cap and poured the bottle into a goblet. An aggressive pour yields about 2½ fingers of foamy khaki head. Retention is excellent. A lot of sticky lacing lines the glass. The beer is a very dark amber tint, darker even than most brown ales.

The aroma is giving off a lot of citrus hops. Tangerine and grapefruit come to mind. The sweet smell of caramel wafts through the nose. I'm detecting rye grain in the aroma which is unexpected and enticing. This is different than any amber ale I've smelled.

The taste is bitter, fruity and clean. Grapefruit bitterness strikes first and maintains a presence through the entire flavor profile and aftertaste. A sweet honey-like fruitiness follows and blends nicely with some earthy grain flavors. Alcohol is noticed on the back end but I would not have otherwise guessed that this was a 7.2% ABV beer. Persistent bitterness lingers in the mouth long after the swallow. It is indeed a very full flavored amber.

Zoe is medium bodied with little carbonation. It feels good in the mouth though not outstanding. However, the style has never knocked my socks off in the mouthfeel department and this has the best feel of any amber I've sampled.

I have mixed feelings about this beer as a whole. I have never cared much for amber ale as a style, but I do have to give Maine Beer Company props for creating a beer that is much better than any other amber I've come across. It is very flavorful; it looks and smells great, and it feels fine in the mouth. 7.2% ABV tells me that I'll probably be done with this after one 500mL bottle. Although this isn't my thing, it is very well executed. I could wholeheartedly recommend Zoe to the hophead who needs a change of pace from a constant diet of IPAs.

---

The Two Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz for Zoe, but only because I'm not a fan of the style.

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