Slumbrew My Better Half | Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)

very good
30 Reviews
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Slumbrew My Better HalfSlumbrew My Better Half

Brewed by:
Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
It’s often said there is a better half responsible for making us whole, and so goes the inspiration for this ale. Its whole is born from a single recipe of 2-row pilsner, caramel, honey malts and cereal grains that balance with Cascade, Mt. Hood and Saaz hops. One half of the fermentation is cold lagered and the remaining half is finished as a warm ale fermentation. The result is a smooth and composed imperial cream ale well suited for contemplating your better half.

Added by mduncan on 02-09-2012

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 124
Photo of heerboth
1.63/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This beer is simply not my taste. Cream ales are best kept light and crisp. This beer doesn't have enough backbone to handle the booziness. One of the worst craft beers I've had recently, but I tend not to like imperial pale lagers, and this beer is a close cousin to those styles.

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Photo of Ego
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

the first time I heard of an imperial cream ale was some years ago at the 3 floyds brew pub (a friend's brother lives in those parts), since then this is still a reluctant beast for most breweries. so with no further waste of time let's see what this thing is about

practically glowing orange, a nice white cap of about one finger of cream, the head fades quick but there is an ample army of antagonized bubbles boiling toward the surface, lacing is spotty but some legs are in there from the kicked up alcohol presence, put this near the top of a light and it almost looks like the pool that killed the terminator in T2, james cameron ain't got nothing on this...

kind of off color euro skunk smell, dry grains in a burlap sack, faint bitter honey, pretty nice but no blue ribbon

taste etc...
pretty devilish mouth feel, at once creamy and smooth but with just a pin prick of brisk carbonation, a sort of strange sweet-bitterness, definite kick in the north of groin area from the alkeehall, the best part of this brew is definitely the mouth feel... nearly flawless there... but (and you knew that was coming) the flavor is definitely too sweet for this taster, there is a little bitter finish that saves this from utter cloy-dom but this is not something I would reach for.

credit for going for it in a style rarely seen around these parts but the flavor is not my bag.. of chips

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Photo of DIM
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a chill hazed golden orange color. It poured with a thick, sticky, creamy head.

s: Grassy, spicy hops; grainy cereal; some cream as well.

t: Lightly sweet grains then some stronger honey sweetness. Faint grassy bitterness at the end.

m: Big creamy body with very active carbonation.

o: Very different; not bad but not something I'd want often.

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Photo of u2carew
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a two finger head that settles quickly leaving a thin lacing at the edge of the glass. Hazy amber colored body.
S) Subtle sweet aroma - caramel, brown sugar. Some astringent notes.
T) Bitter up front with malty sweetness mixed in. Hints of vanilla and caramel. Alcohol and hop bitterness in the finish.
M) Creamy. Medium, almost chewy body. Dry, slick tongue feel in the finish.
O) A decent brew. Points for creativity. Not your normal run-of-the-mill brew.

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Photo of Jason
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Crystal clear copper color, bubbly head on top. Yeast, ripe pears, spicy hop, orange pith and animal feed grain in the nose. Very smooth, creamy with a medium body. Biscuity throughout, bread crust and crackers. Lots of hop flavor; herbal, leafy, spicy, mild tobacco & orange peel. Hint of caramel and ripe fruit in the middle, finishes near astringent. A battle more than balance here, hops and malt don't seem to fully mesh together for me and while it is not a chore to drink it certainly is not a bomber I'd get on my own. I've had batches that were sweeter and a bit more palatable.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours somewhat hazy. Body is a pale orange hue that is quite close to yellow. A thicker, smooth head leaves sheets of lace.

S-Sharp, sweet grains. Some honey and an amorphous fruity aroma.

T-Sweet, grainy bread and honeyed biscuits or dough. Has a 'sharpness' to the flavor. I guess I will add the descriptor 'cream' here.

M-Medium bodied. Softer carbonation. 'Creamy'. A bit of alcohol heat surprisingly dry.

O- A cool idea but I'm not sure how much I enjoyed it. One full pint of those as enough for me.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle didnt check the date but this is a new brew

A - a slightly hazy orange/red body. off white head two fingers thick drop to a layer with nice alcing.

S - cream, orange peel, grainy malts, cotton candy.

T - spicy yeast hits first with grain and earth malts. some cream, cotton candy and citrus in there as well.

M - medium bodied with big carbonation (both in amount and size on the tongue).

O - its a good beer not my favorite of theres but definitely worthy.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge fan of this style, I will point out at first, but please don't think that fact figured into my scoring as I found this to be a pleasing but not too great beer.
The look and smell are pretty good - seethrough orangeish body with two-finger head that dies quick with lace patches on glass and a mix of some bitter, grainy hops and malts along with a sugary, caramel edge. The taste and mouthfeel of the beer just didn't come through as well for me though(who knows - bad tap line? old keg?) . There is a creaminess and smoothness to the beer, goes down easy but not watery, mind you, and there is some sweet caramel malt but it's either not enough or there are just too much hops because overall I found this beer to be grainy, sharp and a little bitter with a very dry finish. Maybe the ABV bled in a little or my beer had a touch of metallic taste but overall I'd say the sweetness was overpowered for a good but not great beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving some wispy bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and bits of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit malts, fruity yeast and grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of biscuit and toasted malts along with some notes of grassy and spicy hops towards the finish, the latter of which contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Faint amounts of alcohol are noticeable.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied, very smooth, and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice balance between the malts and hops. The smooth, somewhat full-bodied, and creaminess/smoothness of the mouthfeel its its strongest quality.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cream ales are notoriously difficult to make complex and tasty. This one accomplishes both. The color is very dark for the style--definitively amber. Served at the beer garden, therefore plastic cup and a small head. Only a couple of small dots for lace.

Nearly no smell. This belies the full flavor.

The taste comes across as if there was actual cream added. Very smooth and rich. Decent carbonation even if the richness makes it seem otherwise.

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Photo of acevenom
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a glass mug. The beer pours a clear medium shade of copper with a thick, white head. There are visible tiny bubbles rising in the beer. Some lacing is left behind as the head recedes. The beer smells of grain, caramel, and grassy and woody hop notes. The flavor is pretty sweet. I get the caramel and honey flavors up front. The grain and grassy and woody hops are also there. The back end bitterness is there and lingers in the back of the mouth. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The beer is slick in the mouth and goes down easily. This is a very good beer.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a 22oz btl pour Ed into a duvel tulip

A- orange amber, with a light brown hint, one finger slightly off white head leaves a bit of lacing, head disapates rather quickly into a light film that remains for the rest of the glass.

S- honey, sweetness, the cereal grain is noticible, can't really make out the hops, the aroma overall is a bit mild a sweet smelling.

T- caramel, lightly toasted cereal grain, honey, hops at the finish grounding the light sweetness, leaving with a lightly bitter hop and grain.

M- starts creamy and finishes dry, very well rounded medium carbonation that kicks an accent in the hop bite on the finish, just right, very nice for the style

O- an interesting brew, I have never had an cream ale before, but it deffinatly seemed appropriate with this beer, I enjoyed it, thought it had good drink ability a nice flavor. Deffinatley worth trying, another good brew Slumbrew, keep
Em comin.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
bottle 2-12
A- This beer pours a deep caramel body with a light beige head that last as a thick creamy and a sea of microbubbles support it.

S- The caramel malt is crisp and fresh with a hone malt aroma supporting it

T- The pale malt flavor has some nice caramel malt flavors to it and a touch of sweetness in the finish. There is an alcohol bite with a hop note in the finish while the hops linger a bit after the finish.

M- The light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and an alcohol heat

O- this beer has a nice full fresh clean malt profile with a big alcohol heat and hop bite punch in the finish.

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Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger slightly off-white fluffy head that fades fairly slowly with nice lacing, over pretty clear slightly rosy orange colored beer.

Nose has lots of light malts, but plenty of them, creamy malts, a hint of sweetness that almost presents a slight booze, a hint of a bready toasty malt, and the slightest hint of floral fruity hops.

Taste starts with toasty malts, plenty of caramel and toffee sweet flavors, toasty reddish malts, copper malts, a bit bready, and some creamy malts. A fairly big dose of sweetness brings a nice malty feel and hint of what seems like it would be booze but it doesn't come. A hint of fruity hops rounds it a bit but barely. Finish is drier but still a bit sweet, light creamy toasty malts, hint of floral bitterness and some sticky malts.

Mouth is med bodied, somewhat creamy, decent carb.

Overall not bad, but nothing special. Not creamy as I expected, tastes like it's boozier than it is, although nice malts, and fairly drinkable.

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Photo of Dope
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No bottle date that I can see, but this was just released a week ago or so.

A: Pours a beautiful clear ruby red. Good sized and frothy light tan head. Head fades away at a moderate pace with decent retention. Small splotches of lacing left behind. I really liked the color of this one for some reason, especially when held up to the light.

S: Mild and malty aroma. Sweet grains and lots of em. Kinda reminds me of sweet corn in a way if I'm honest. Maybe a little honey? Pretty simple but pleasant.

T: More creamy sweet grains with a big toasted bread component towards the middle. Surprisingly hoppy on the back end with some grass and maybe floral hops mixing in? Resinous too - quite drying to boot. It starts off like a cream ale but finishes more like a pilsner in my opinion. Actually now that I think of it, it's almost like a hoppy marzen in a way.

M: Medium bodied, pretty standard.

O: It's not bad, quite simple and definitely seems to defy the style. Being an "imperial" cream ale it makes sense, doesn't taste like any other cream ale I've ever had. It's definitely got much stronger malt and hops than any cream ale I've tried, which is good and bad I suppose. Stronger, sharper flavors but loses the lightness, smoothness and the plain drinkable simplicity of a cream ale. I had a hard time scoring this one and waffled quite a bit.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #63 (Apr 2012):

LOOK: Rich amber, touch of haze, big creamy white head

SMELL: Fresh cereal grain, honey, alcohol, light herbal, clean

TASTE: Firm, semi-viscous, smooth, creamy, toasty, sweet grains, honey, orange peel, bitey alcohol, herbal and earthy linger

Cream Ales, an ale/lager hybrid of sorts, are greatly underrepresented and often misunderstood. Slumbrew reminds us how fun the style can be with their dangerously delicious Imperalized interpretation; a cold lager blended with a warm ale. Perhaps a bit too sweet, but the complexity and sheer drinkability quickly forgives and forgets.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives copper-colored with a creamy, though small head; decent retention and a smattering of lace

Smell: Toasted bread, caramel, vanilla and a hint of stone fruit

Taste: Toasted bread, vanilla and caramel build the sweetness factor, with some booziness arriving in the middle; after the swallow, there is a subtle but distinct herbal citrus peel character that lends some balance; the finish, however, marks a return to the sweetness that is apparent from the outset

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting twist on a much-maligned style; there is definitely a "cream soda" element to this beer; I like some of the subtle touches but, at the end of the day, the sweetness makes this difficult to consume a complete glassful

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Better Half pours an opaque bronze color with a frothy head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a coating of lace on the glass.

The aroma isn't very strong, but has sweet notes of orange, cream and a touch of pale malt. It reminds me of an orange creamcicle.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is creamy with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor is sweet with some mild fruit and spice notes. Orange peel and cream are blended with caramel and pale malt. Vanilla is also present. A mild bitterness and a touch of grass is at the end. Once gone the orange and cream flavor lingers on the palate.

An easy drinking beer that reminds me of an orange creamcicle. Nicely balanced with no dominating flavor.

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Photo of birchstick
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker golden color with a creamy white head that leaves a nice lacing down the side of the glass. A lot of vanilla and Some grain malts taste is sweet vanilla upfront that faded to a bit of grain and then back to vanilla. Nice creamy body goes down well. Pretty solid cream ale - full of vanill flavors that work really well.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere local.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" beige head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Head holds on admirably, with very sticky lace. Aroma is sedate but balanced.

Taste starts sweet, citrus in the middle, with a strong bitterness through the close. Alcohol bite lingers after the swallow. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, and drinkability is good. Just about what I would expect an imperial cream ale to be like.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, tiny bubbling inside of a copper, amber, umbre, color. Quick head, not retention.

Well toasted bread crust and cereal grain aroma. Smells a little syrupy and Summer fruity. A little alcoholic warmth.

Bready, fruity flavors. Lots of toasted barley, bread crust, biscuits and cracker. Good malt profile. Maybe a little grassy hops, but hardly noticed. Sweet, yet grainy. Small warming effect from the alcohol content.

This is a syrupy, sweet, yet easy to drink cream ale that I would recommend to any malt head.

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Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mild copper color with a one-finger head into my glass. I was hoping for something straw-colored but this isn't too bad.

Sweet with grain and perhaps a bit of corn (though most likely not) as well.

Yep, this is a cream ale. Sweet to bitter malt with that bite that reminds you of the big boys.

Lots of lingering sweet malt. More body than Genny Cream. Finishes cleaner too.

Very good! Don't see too many examples of this style around here, especially an imperialized cream ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/29/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery amber color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very bready with a hearty malt character followed by sweet flavors of caramel and a touch of fruit. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. There are also touches of vanilla and chocolate in the background. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is a very good beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Damian
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank on-tap at Picco Restaurant, Boston, MA
Served in a pint glass

Slightly hazed, copper-amber appearance. The liquid was capped by a small, khaki colored head that deposited a thin sheet of patchy lacework along the glass.

The nose was sweet and fruity initially. Berry notes were apparent. Touch of caramel and biscuity malt sweetness. Surprisingly, as the beer warmed, the nose faded and all that was left was a dull maltiness.

Lots of interesting things happening in the flavor profile. Like the nose, it was sweet and fruity. Strong peach notes. Hints of orange zest. There was a robust caramel malt presence. Some discernible berry-like flavors. I thought I picked up strawberry notes. Moderately hoppy finish. The hops were crisp, piney and earthy. Overall, quite flavorful and remarkably well balanced. At 7.2% ABV, this drank remarkably well.

The mouthfeel was incredibly plush and smooth on the palate. Full bodied for the style.

Calling this beer a cream ale (or even an imperial cream ale) is a bit misleading, as it bares absolutely no resemblance to other versions of the style that I have sampled. Regardless, My Better Half really impressed me. If you appreciate unique beers that push boundaries, then definitely give this a shot.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 05/06/12 notes. Big thanks to jslot38 for this one and BigSexy410 with the assist. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a murky reddish amber color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet fruits, cream, vanilla, fruity malts, and bready malts. Not too sweet, and lots of cream.

t - Tastes like cream soda. Tons of cream and vanilla, as well as some fruity malts, toasted malts, bready malts. Very nice, even more cream then the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body. Awesome mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a great cream ale. Just a ton of vanill and cream, and super smooth and cream and easy to drink. Would like to have it again.

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Slumbrew My Better Half from Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
3.8 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
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