This week's Sunday Night Suds continues the Cinco De Mayo theme and reviews Blue Moon's Agave Blonde Ale.
Agave is one of those plants that people pigeon hole due to its use in making tequila. While tequila is the most well known use of agave, there is much more to this plant.
The agave plant has four main components: the flowers; leaves; stalks and sap. The stalks are commonly chewed as they have a sweetness similar to sugar cane. The leaves also have a sweetness and they are harvested for eating when the leaves are filled with sap. When the sap rushes to the flowers, people cut off the flowers so that they can harvest the sap. The sap is then processed to create agave syrup which is used as a sugar substitute. It is also used to create Mezcal or tequila, although the two spirits are not identical.
Personally, I am not a big fan of tequila and have only tried it on rare occasions (to paraphrase the commercial, I don't always drink beer, but when I choose a spirit, I prefer single malt scotch). As all the tequila that I have sampled has been silver, I have not developed an appreciation for agave. I mention this as an introduction to my review of the Blue Moon Agave Blonde Ale for reasons that will become readily apparent.
I first became aware that Blue Moon would be making an Agave Blonde Ale when I got an email from the OU with the list of new varieties of beer which are under hashgacha. The Blue Moon division of Coors has recently begun to add smaller batches of limited seasonal releases to their mix box. The Brewmasters Sampler Winter Box contained three standard Blue Moon, three of the rather bland Pale Moon, three of the usual winter selection - Winter Moon Abbey Ale and three of a special limited edition - Spiced Amber Ale. The Brewmasters Summer Box continued this theme by again providing three standard Blue Moon, three Pale Moon (have to find someone to take these off my hands), three of the wonderful Honey Moon Summer Ale and three of the limited edition Blue Moon Agave Blonde Ale.
Unlike the special limited edition Spiced Amber Ale, the Blue Moon Agave Blonde Ale lacks any particular strong flavor note and I have no desire to seek out the opportunity to buy six or twelve packs of this brew. The beer poured a rich amber color with some lacing, but not much of an aroma. The first Agave Blonde Ale that I tried was on the cold side and I did not find that I tasted anything but garden variety blonde Ale. I then had another the following day at a warmer temperature (only 2-3 hrs in the refrigerator) and I still could not taste much beyond average blonde ale.
If you are looking for an ale which is light on hops and lacks a strong identity, this beer is for you. But unless you really want to try the four flavors of Blue Moon in the Summer Brewmasters' Sampler Box, I would not recommend going out of your way to find one.
Blue Moon Agave Blonde Ale is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. For the experts take on the Agave Blonde Ale, please click here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/306/80193.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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