Why in the world do I keep falling into the same trap? Maybe it’s because I don’t get enough beer into my system to make a rational decision or perhaps, it’s just the way I am. A big doofus beer consumer who’s a pushover for a pretty label. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read the rest of this story.
It was about 11-sumthin’ on Thursday morning when I made my trek to the highly acclaimed, world renowned Morris Beer Store. Gail, the Beer Store Maven, was chatting on the phone while flipping through a large ledger of seemingly important papers. Multitasking. A talent which has eluded me. She had the phone stuck in the crook of her neck and was working intently. I decided not to bother her and proceeded to the primo beer shelf to make a choice. I had nothing particular in mind. I was going to wing it. I glanced about and, according to my memory scans, all was in order. But, hello. What’s this? A new addition.
It was stuck in that little minisection allotted for all the great New Belgium brews, Fat Tire, 2 Below, Mothership Wit to name a few. There was an unfamiliar face there. I picked up one of the new bottles and scanned the label.
You can drop everything for New Belgium’s Skinny Dip, a full-bodied beer that’s designed for the summer dress code. Cascade hops frolic with a splash of kaffir lime leaf creating a bright, citrusy palate that’s as crisp as chilling in a morning pond.
I imagined hop nodes frolicking with lime leaves in some sort of a cartoony porn movie. Nah. Too “as crisp as chilling.”
All of that and the fact that it was brewed by New Belgium with its excellent reputation for good taste, I decide to buy a sixpack of it, New Belgium Skinny Dip Beer, a seasonal summer beer. Minus $8.49 plus tax, I bid a fond “So long.”
As Saturday started to draw close, I couldn’t help but think about the beer I had just bought, versus that Lienie’s lemonade beer-ade I had a couple of weeks ago. Had I suckered myself again? Is this going to be one of those sixpacks where three bottles get left behind for guests? We’ll see.
It was a rough week. Ten hour days on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and eight on Saturday. I made it home at ten p.m. and it was instantly time for the Brew Review. I changed my shoes, grabbed my mug and headed out to the Manly Garage where the beer fridge awaits with all its ice cold yellow nectar and this week’s beer of choice.
The beer came up a darker color than usual… sort of a yellow orange It had a nice thick creamy head. The bubbles in the liquid started out large-ish but then settled to a uniform micro-bubble population. The head stayed the duration of the mug sippage, nicely coating the sides of the mug.
A sniff of the mug contents (thankfully) revealed no surprises. The aroma was pleasant. A nice pleasant brew recipe for sure. Let’s just do a swan dive into this beer right now. The first sip was slightly different. A little hint of caramel and not a lot of beer taste for the first time out. But wait. Taste buds take time to wake up.
As the sipping continued, the taste came forward. Subtle, mild and smooth. I might even say sophisticated. It was quite enjoyable. There was still the slight tinge of caramel and very subtle sweetness of the lime (imperceptible earlier.) Such a nice blend of flavors. I was into the third bottle when I had to take inventory to see how many were left. I did not want this experience to end.
This beer is a great tasting concoction which creeps up on your taste buds with no bad repercussions. It could be a session beer in that it tastes light and full flavored without getting you loopy. However, this is definitely not a lawnmower beer, one that you would think of chugging after sweating over a hot engine, barbeque or weed-whacker. This is a beer for the guys AND for the ladies. Nice. Pleasant. Smooth. It will draw you closer together. Try this beer this summer. Next weekend. Tomorrow.
Thank God, the trap I talked about earlier never sprung tonight. This was a good beer night.
Taste: A > like a trip to the beach for your mouth.
Smoothness: A+ > like an STP spill on your driveway.
Drinkability: A > better get more than 6 because she will drink at least 3.
Bang for the buck: C > a plus grade price for a very good beer. Do it. Do it now.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: “It’s not bad. Not bitter. It’s beery but light. And smooth. It’s not overpowering. More of something a woman could drink.” (Hmm. She seems to be getting better. I wonder if she’ll start her own brew review column.)