Cold Spring Moonlight Ale | Cold Spring Brewing Co.

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Cold Spring Moonlight AleCold Spring Moonlight Ale

Brewed by:
Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: Black & Tan

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KeefD on 04-27-2008

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 46
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.88/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monster 1 quart/32 ounce/"double pints" can. I couldn't pass this up when I saw it for $2.75.

Pours a clear iced tea color with a 1 inch beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random small splotches of lace slide back down into the remaining beer. Smell is of grains, caramel, and interestingly enough - vinegar. Ehh. Taste is pretty watery and is of malt, caramel candies, and a slightly sour vinegar taste as well. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with the weird vinegar quality going on. Not too good.

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Photo of mothman
3.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into bud American ale glass.

Pours a half finger of slight tan head. Not very good retention. Leaves some splattered lace. Color is a dark cherry brown.

Aroma: a fairly big malty beer. Kind of has a cherry tart taste to it. Some raisins and plums. Nothing like a brown ale.

Taste: a lot of sour fruits. Cherries, plums, raisins. Nothing I would expect from a brown ale. Some malts balance it out a bit

Mouthfeel: somewhat tart and a little crips. Medim bodies with a good amount of carbonation. Ends with a fairly clean aftertaste.

Overall, this is no brown ale. It was kind of sour. It wasn't horrible, but it just wasn't to the style. If I want a brown, I will get some surly.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark bronze with a rosy glow when backlit with wan morning sunshine. The two finger lid is khaki in color and has a tight-bubbled texture that promotes longevity. It gains a little more character as it melts and is better than decent at lace deposition.

The aroma is mildly pleasant, with 'mildly' being the operative word. Oddly enough, vanilla bean is especially prominent. If blinded, I'm not sure that I could have correctly identified the style. Speaking of which, CSMA isn't a brown ale at all, it's a mixture of porter and bock. Black & Tan would be a more appropriate choice.

Moonlight Ale is more interesting than it is good. Having said that, along with the rest of the Cold Spring lineup, it's much better beer than these guys released when they were Gluek. That sounds like a disease: "I used to be Gluek, but I've since been cured".

The brewery's website lists the ingredients of the component beers, with many of them being the same. The porter uses caramel and chocolate malt, while the bock uses only caramel. The porter's hop bill includes Cascade, Tettnang and Mt. Hood; the bock uses only the last two. Moonlight Ale actually tastes like a cross between a brown ale and a cream ale.

Mild cocoa notes combine with vanilla and make this offering taste like the beer equivalent of a weak chocolate malted (the kind made with ice cream). It lacks any sort of depth, but it isn't bad if your expectations are low. Sweetness just edges out bitterness on the finish.

All things considered, the mouthfeel is decent. More heft and more creaminess would be nice, but what has been provided is a cinch to drink and has neither annoyingly low or annoying buzzy carbonation. Freedom from annoyance is important in borderline good beer.

Moonlight Ale is another step forward for a brewery trying to distance themselves from the disaster that was Gluek. It's always nice to see a company who is looking to improve their products. This one is at least worth a single or two.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

For whatever reason, the bars of a song often sung by Bugs Bunny and his cohorts runs through my mind whilst I ponder this beer. Oh well. This stuff pours a slightly dark garnet-sienna topped by a finger of short-lived glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuit and a light bit of roasted malts. During a few sniffs, the biscuit comes across as mildly charred. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a vague, blunt sweetness, not unlike corn syrup. It's like an artificially-sweetened "beer" flavor, the one your non-beer-drinking aunt will tell you all beer tastes like. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly slick feel. Overall, I think I just don't get this beer. It tastes nothing like a traditional black-and-tan, much less one's constituent parts. I think the overarching sweetness and lack of any real character beyond that hinders this stuff from ever achieving much of anything.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.42/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

CAN you believe that the two things I was contemplating were Yuengling's Black and Tan and David Bowie?!? Why the latter, you ask? "(Let's sway), Under the moonlight, this serious moonlight ..." Let's dance with another quart CAN, disguised as a "Double Pints"!

I do NOT like the construct of these CANs! Short of inverting the CAN, beer drips down the side during the pour due to the placement of the opening. Wotta waste. Onward! My pour created a finger of thick light-tan head that sat like a cap above the beer. Color was a deep amber with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Color me impressed! Nose had a vinous sourness, like grapey vinegar. Oof. Mouthfeel was medium with a lot of off flavors vying for superiority on the tongue. These included that same grapey sourness, a metallic tang (nothing to do with the CAN), and a bitter chocolate flavor. Double oof. Finish was not quite as bad with the chocolate lingering along with a better dried fruit taste as of raisins of prunes. Overall, though, it was not going to replace Yuengling's B&T in my cooler. Next!

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Photo of Tone
2.9/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of roasted malt, yeast, tart malt, grain, and slight metallic. Barley fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level and noticeable tartness. Tastes of yeast, metallic, slight hops, slight roasted malt, and some grain. Overall, the grain and tart flavors are too off-putting.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from mondo 32oz can into a pint glass. This is the most awesome can I've ever had the pleasure to hold.

Appearance: body is a clear medium-brown hue that poured with an enormous four-finger head. Foam is a light tan/ivory color that has good staying power and leaves a rather copious amount of lace. I'm rather pleased with this beer's appearance.

Smell: aroma is dense and malty. Sweetness is the name of the game here, with caramel and fruity notes which seem more estery than hop-induced. A bit sweet for me, but really not bad.

Taste: sweet and malty, just like the aroma. I really like the subtle fruit and caramel flavors here; there is also what seems like a tiny hint of butteryness, but not in a disgusting way. There's a bit of a hop flavor in the finish but bitterness is pretty mild. Not too bad a beer, I say.

Mouthfeel: not my favorite. Carbonation is low and, while body is not exactly watery, it doesn't have a lot going on. Not horrible, but not great.

Drinkability: surprisingly drinkable. The brewer claims this is a mix of a bock and a porter, and I believe it. As pre-mixed black & tans go, this beer fills the bill pretty well for me.

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Photo of beertunes
1.54/5  rDev -49%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

BUTTER!!! Poured from 32oz can into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear brown-amber color with about an inch of light tan head that light-to-medium retention and no lacing. the beer bubble and popped audibly, like a 7-Up, when poured.

The aroma was just butter. This beer was a textbook example of Diacetyl problems in beer. There was just a hint of grainy malt showing through, but the butter dominated. The taste was also overwhelmed by the butter.

The body was OK, kind of medium-thin, and very carbonated. Drinkability was terrible, due to the butter. Try this beer if you're curious, or a ticker (like me), otherwise avoid.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice auburn tone. Clarity is pretty good. Thin creamy head of light beige froth. Lacing is moderate in amounts. Some dark malts on the aroma with a dusting of cocoa and roast. Here's another even keeled easy drinker from Cold Springs with decent, but not bold, flavor traits. Once again, very light hints of chocolate and cocoa. A little roasted malt character too. Brown malt comes to mind too. A little chalky. Nothing "off" about these beers from Cold Spring anymore, but nothing that really grabs my attention either. That said, I'll put em back no prob if offered to me.

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Photo of xnicknj
2.81/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

ginormous can poured into pint glass. thanks to mrmiles for this during the Nice Cans BIF II

Pours an auburn brown with an enormous head, leaving plenty of spotty lacing as it fades to a thick film.

Some faint fruit sweetness, mild caramel malt and roasted tones in the nose.

Begins with light toasted grain, faint metallic caramel, and some stark lemon zest. Bread crust tones float through along with understated hops. Light sweetness and barely noticeable hops finish this off.

Thinner body, slightly sticky, a little dry. I suppose this is drinkable, but only in the sense of slamming a 32oz can, which can be fun in its own right.

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Photo of morimech
3.06/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with ruby tint. A large off-white head forms atop the beer and has good retention. It does settle to a thick cap. Moderate amounts of lacing is left on the glass.

Not much for aromas. A little roasted malt and nuts. Very faint.

Has a roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate and nuts. Has a clean finish. Does not have big or complex flavors, a bit dull.

The body seems to be thin but the carbonation isn't harsh so it is ok.

Nothing wrong with this beer but it is rather uninteresting. No need to buy this beer again.

The Cold Spring website states this beer is a blend of a porter using Cascade hops as bittering and Tettnang hops for aroma and a bock using Mt. Hood hops. Seems to be an odd combination.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.13/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I bought it because it's in a can-bottle. Poured minimal head on a dark brown body.
The aroma has a mild roasted malt with a little crushed grain.
The flavor has a mild sweetness from the roasted malt with a mild bitterness at the finish.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Well, it tastes like an average porter was mixed with an average amber bock.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.15/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown with a ruby tinge, filtered so you can see through it even though its dark, medium carbonation, 3 fingers of fluffy tan brown head.

S: Fruit cellar, American craft brew meets musty cobwebs in an attic scent, some dark Munich Dunkel hops reminding me of this style in scent and appearance, light faint dark chocolate and coffee scent.

T: I get the porter like qualities as well as the amber, largely making it taste like a lighter version of a porter. I get the chocolate, stout like qualities and coffee, as well as tar and burnt rubber notes near the end. Also, American amber comes through as well through the entire body. The medium roasted slightly citrus qualities of this style also present. Very pleasant, very drinkable, keeps me coming back for more.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Smooth yet dark and complex.

O: Great look, love the huge can, many porter like qualities in the scent and taste, and the amber qualities mix well with this in the taste. Really impressed over all and want to keep sipping. Glad to have found this one a Paul’s in China.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

32oz can served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear, amber color with a good sized off-white head that lasted quite a while leaving a nice coat of lacing behind.
S - toffee/butterscotch sweetness.
T - toffee sweet malts upfront with a hint of bitterness attempting to break through, the sweetness wins out in the end.
F - medium bodied with medium carbonation.
D - it's ok.

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Photo of hardy008
2.23/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes.

Dark amber color with a small tan head with fair retention. Smells of malt with some cherries. Not a very strong aroma. The flavor is light, with watered down sour cherries and some sweet malt. Light bodied, with decent carbonation. Not the worst beer I have had, but I will not be seeking this out again.

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Photo of budgood1
2.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out a cola brown colour with a thin tannish head that reduces quickly to some spotty lace. aroma is some light chocolate covered cherries, with a bit od floral hopping, also. they say this is a blend of a porter and a bock, and i can sense that in the taste. it's all very muted and with some chalky malted milk ball flavours roaming about...and a strange sour fruit taste that is sort of off putting. in fact i don't like it at all. the body is medium light, with a cola mouthfeel. drinkability is just ok...easy quaffing enough but i don't care for the taste.

#3 in the five pack sampler. another brew that might be a step forward for cold spring...but they might have to go back and rework this one.

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Photo of KeefD
1.83/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle, with a label that reads "From The Land of 10,000 Lakes" with a night-time forest image complete with full moon, into an imperial pint glass. Also reads "Brewed with Glacial Mineral Water." Sounds interesting to say the least. The name "Moonlight Ale" sounds like a ripoff of Boulevard's Lunar Ale.

Poured a very dark amber to brown color, translucent, with a thin head that dissipated rather quickly. Leaves no lacing and seems a bit dull.

Smell is of some sweet bready malts, but very light and not much else.

Taste is much the same. Very watered-down malty flavor. Light caramel flavor. Not much in the way of hops. Slightly sweet at first becomes acidic and dry at the finish.

Crisp and dry mouthfeel. Carbonation is good, but it's very light bodied. Not the best brown. Maybe it was the glacial mineral water. Would not drink again.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.26/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown body with a quarter inch of medium tan head. This ale's head is soft and light and fades away to leave remnant wisps on the surface.

S - Aroma consisting of brown sugar, cherry and a hint of banana bread.

T - There's a subtle smoke flavor over a base of weak chocolate, pungent fruit and a bit of malt. The finish adds a tinge of bitterness but it, like the smoke, is very subtle.

M - The feel is only slightly coarse. This texture adds to the character of the brew by bringing out some of the subtle flavors.

~ I will be the first to say I am not a fan of brown ales. However, this brew has offered me a new light. I've said to those who don't care for stouts and porters that they need to try one that's very good before they'll realize how much they like them. This is apparently true also with the brown ale. Thank you Cold Spring Brewing Company. And please tell the Clements family, "hello and Chris hopes to see you all this winter."

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Photo of yamar68
3.55/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This whole series from Cold Spring has become my go-to disc golf beer. Each one I've tried has been more than decent, it's cheap and it's a big old can... gotta love it.

Pours an oaky amber orange with a slight off-white head, average lacing. Nose has some mellow, sweet malts. Toasted bread, sweet grains. Pretty nice. The taste is smooth, subtle. Subdued enough to drink a 32 oz can. Just a dialed back version of a high quality black and tan. Totally drinkable. Not too sweet. This beer is a bargain.

Serving type: big ass can

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Photo of StoneTSR
2.55/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saw this in a big can at Binny's and decided to give it a shot.

APPEARANCE: Poured a very dark brown, flirting with black. An enormous, foamy and bright, white head erupted from the can and it took me a few minutes to pour a full pint. Some lacing was noticeable by the end of the pint.

SMELL: An intensely malty and sweet smell wafted up through the foam. It was just slightly too sweet for me, but it did not offend me too much.

TASTE: Sweet, malty and brown sugar are immediately noticeable. As the smell suggested, it is on the sweet side, but the tail end of the sip does provide a tiny bit of bittering balance. A mild smoky flavor is also detectable.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly oily to start the sip with a bite of sparkle towards the back end of the sip. Overall, on the smooth side though.

OVERALL: This is would be a pretty easy beer to drink if I had more of a sweet tooth, but this wasn't quite my style. That said, it did not completely turn me off of Cold Spring. I would be willing to try another of their beers in the future.

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Photo of climax
3.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the daylight.... this one pours a reddish brown, cloudy and somewhat flat, head and lace were minimal.

Nose is predominately cocoa, malted milk balls, some fruit sourness and a bit of bitter from the hops.

Taste is pretty much along the same lines. Cocoa and malted milk balls, slightly fruity and bitter.

Feels is very sharp carbonation, body isn't all that heavy and a bit chalky.

Not bad, not great, not bad.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.45/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bob's Market/ LA at a good price for a massive can, like $2-3 bones. Atthat price your expecting crap, this is pretty decent for the price, and I might say a deal. pours a deep brown, has some good malt on the nose. Taste is pretty simple for what it is, bubbly maltt smoothness, i guess that's a black and tan in a can. Good stuff for the price, better than expected.

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Photo of BrewMaven
3.46/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big 32oz can for 3 bucks? What's not to like?!

Pours a nice deep copper and sprouts a big fluufy tan head that slowly recedes to a 1/8inch cover and leaves splotchy lace.

Aromas of soapy vanilla and yeast? Yeah, sort of a hollow yeasty smell.

Taste had an initial hit of aluminum and grain..Subsequent sips lost the metallic taste. Also has mildly sweet malt and a little roastiness at the finish. Mouthfeel is on the light side and pretty slick. Nicely carbonated.

ABV isn't listed but I'd tend to think it's fairly low since this 32 oz can had about the same effect on me as a 16.9 Polish strong so I'd figure on 4-5.5% or so.

Not a bad deal for the price all things considered.

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Photo of MillRat
3.06/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a double-pint can into what else? Two pint glass for SWMBO and me. Nice amber-brown beer with a cream-colored head that fades to a persistent ring that doesn't leave much lacing behind. Aroma of malts and toffee, no hops yet. If I had to put this in a category, I'd lean more toward a session-ABV scotch ale. Lots of caramel and toffee, and the hops are only there in a supporting role. The body a little on the rich side for true sessionability. Over all not a bad effort, and a decent beer in a package that will get into places that ban glass bottles.

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Photo of potownbill
3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottom line on this brew is that it is non-descript.
Appearance: clear brown, thin off-white head, dissipates quickly
Taste: Sour fruit, tart maltiness, but overall not very complex at all
Smell: bready, some sourness
Mouthfeel: decent carbonation, but on the thin side.
Drinkability: Certainly not a drainpour, but not something I wanted to savor.

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Cold Spring Moonlight Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
3.02 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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