Monday, June 4, 2012

Sebago Trekker Pale Ale

At the time of this review, the Trekker Pale Ale is the Sebago Brewing Company's newest release. It's a part of their single batch series and their fundraiser for the Trek Across Maine (an American Lung Association support). It was created at the event "Brewing for a Cause" where people who purchased tickets helped to create this concoction. Let's explore their experiment's taste:

If I had never seen the title of this defining it as a pale ale, I could have mistaken it for an IPA. It pours a creamy head that visualizes a pale ale (not as much lacing), but as soon as your other senses approach it things go the IPA way. You immediately smell hops on the more citrus side compared to Sebago's Frye's Leap IPA. There's also an interesting pine hue to the hops. If you're paying enough attention you can smell the caramel-malt going on behind the hops though. On your tongue you're brought back to the IPA effect of a tingling and citrusy-crisp hops, but the malt notes are a bit stronger. The body is on the rounder side and it ends with both aspects of IPA and pale ale once swallowed. A bitter kick and the malty dry.

This isn't just a classic pale ale, but an American pale ale due to the amount of hops used. I find it quite appropriate due to the title's cause and I will be supporting the event with this choice in my pint glass. It deserves the B (good) because of the tastes going on with some intensity but balance. I'd like to point out that the combination used makes this quite easy to drink as well. In addition to enjoying the taste, it feels good to "Drink for a Cause".

Saturday, June 2, 2012

J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon '10

My aunt just made a statement on Facebook: "Rainy days can be so Productive!" I'd like to point out that a rainy day is perfect for a cabernet with cheese and crackers. Rest is very productive for the future as well, so don't ever feel bad for enjoying such. So today I'm reviewing J. Lohr's Seven Oaks Cabernet on this rainy day.

The nose on this wine is a bouquet that's really hard to define the flowers on. The tannins are strong even after a good aeration, but you can tell dark fruits are going to be a big note in this experience. Once on your tongue things become more clear though. The fruits involved on the tastes are plum, dark unpitted cherries, and a certain aspect of blueberries. Being a Mainer I can't say this hue of the spectrum is exactly like the palate of a blueberry, because it doesn't have the exact sweetness signature in my state's fruit. It's really just the blue part of it. Besides fruits, there's also a velvety vanilla going on that compliments the body quite well. I'll end my tasting notes by saying the body is full but not 'round'. (Round being the feel of a sherry or stout beer.)

I'd make a different choice if I wanted the "dark side" (coffee or chocolate notes) of a cabernet, but J. Lohr Seven Oaks is a fine example of California cabernets and will be a frequent choice of mine when looking for the fruitier side of this grape. I'm giving it a B (good) because of this standard it set and because Seven Oaks is a fine choice for not just a rainy day, but any day.