Beer Review 0136: Coors Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat

Alright, so I know what you might be thinking: a review of a Coors beer? Well, we do review beer here, and this is beer, so…

First, let me get the negative out of the way. I believe that beers like Blue Moon, which is made by Coors but completely hides the fact on the bottle with the exception of saying the brewery is in Golden, Colorado — I think this type of beer is the biggest threat to the true craft beer industry. These type beers are disguised as craft beers, but are made by the big boys who have all the shelf space. And with that statement, I’ll say nothing further. Not trying to start a war here.

I’m also choosing to review this beer because this is a summer seasonal — released in APRIL. Seriously. Last time I checked, summertime ran from mid-June until mid-September. The expiration date on this beer is August 27, 2012, meaning it was probably brewed in February. Apparently, there is a somewhat scientific study out there showing that the first seasonal beer you see on the shelf is the drink you’re most likely to stick with throughout the season. I’m calling bullshit on that, and I’m saying that the early release of seasonal beer is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

The good thing about beers like Blue Moon are that they tend to be starting points for the fizzy yellow lager drinkers to venture into uncharted territory and travel down the road of palate expansion. While this type beer comes from the big eye, big guy watchin’ me…they do tend have much more flavor than the American Adjunct Lager, and often make people curious.

Blue Moon’s Summer Honey Wheat is meant to be enjoyed in the summer, and is a wheat ale brewed with clover honey and orange peel.

This one pours an average size head, quickly diminishing and fairly frothy. As the head faded, it left a very clean looking golden yellow beer, free of particles and sediment, and one shade darker than macro lager. There was no lacing to be found here.

The aromatics featured a large straw/grain/wheat profile, touched by a general sweetness that I didn’t necessarily identify as honey, just a vague sugary smell. There’s also a slight hint of citrus, maybe a bit of orange, but you really have to pry to get it. The wheat aroma was nice; this beer smelled very clean and like it would be refreshing, which is what you seek in a summer beer…but there just wasn’t much here to inhale.

On the taste, surprise: this ale is grainy and thin, with a big time wheat profile. This transitions to a finish that is soft with more of the grain and a taste of the clover honey, which lends a pleasant sweetness that isn’t cloying, thick, or artificial. And there’s a little orange peel there, too.

What we have here is generally a refreshing and non-offensive beer that is a good candidate for a session brew at just 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume). But what we don’t have here is much flavor, and there are other summer beers out there that do have plenty of flavor, plenty of refreshment, and plenty of sessionability (did I just make up a word?)

Coors Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat, 72 points. Price: $6.99 US for a six pack.

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