Mike’s Authentic Shandy: Sweet Tooth

Mike’s Authentic Shandy from Mike’s Hard Lemonade Company in Chicago, Illinois pours a cloudy pale yellow colour that unsurprisingly looks like diluted lemon juice, with a loose white head that gets retained as a thin cap and leaves sparse lacing. This lemonade and lager mix has a fairly mild, yet overly sweet and syrupy lemon smell. The only hints of lager come from a dirty metallic note and distinct whiff of corn.

Mike's Authentic Shandy
This is Technically Beer

The taste of Mike’s Authentic Shandy is also quite sweet and dominated by what I can best describe as a concentrated, “hypernatural” lemon flavour. This shandy is medium-bodied with lots of fine carbonation, but is extremely syrupy on the tongue and teeth. Some tartness is perceived in the finish, but is swallowed by the sweetness provided by a seemingly unhealthy amount of glucose-fructose that lingers throughout the aftertaste and gets joined by a biting, metallic and chemical-like flavour.

Rolling Rock Extra Pale: Gathers Some Moss

Rolling Rock Extra Pale from Anheuser-Busch InBev pours an all-too-familiar pale straw yellow colour with a sizable white head that burns off in a few minutes leaving a film and sparse lacing behind. This beer smells of corn syrup and some kind of metallic or plastic aroma. I also get a wet grain smell as well as a slight ester-like quality.

Rolling Rock Extra Pale
This Classic Craft Beer Brand was Re-Introduced by Anheuser-Busch InBev

After a nice crisp start, I get a sweet, toasted malt taste from Rolling Rock Extra Pale. The beer is oddly sour in the aftertaste before going dry. This certainly is an easy-drinking brew. It’s light-bodied with a medium-high carbonation and a sort of earthy note in the finish.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest: March into Fall

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from the Boston Beer Company in Massachusetts pours a very nice amber-ruby colour with a rather large off-white head that burns off quickly without leaving much lace, but gets retained as a fairly thick collar. This traditional German-style lager has a surprisingly hop-centric aroma over a solid base of caramel malts. There is some bread-like character and a hint of plum, but it’s kind of muted over all.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest
This Seasonal Beer has a Wonderful Colour

Samuel Adams Octoberfest tastes primarily of toasted caramel malts and has a brown bread quality. The beer has a nice balance between sweet and bitter, and a slight lemon zest character comes through in the dry finish. It is fairly thin-bodied with a medium carbonation level and a dry, syrupy resin feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter with a slight floral note.

Southern Tier 2XIPA: Double Your Fun

This strong, American-style double IPA from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York pours a hazy golden-orange colour with a moderate-sized soapy head that gets retained as a collar and leaves a bit of lacing. 2XIPA has a very smooth aroma. It’s well-balanced citrus with a grapefruit tartness and tangerine sweetness, as well as a buttery tone and thick, biscuity malt backing. A piny alcohol tone comes through after warming, but it’s not intimidating.

Southern Tier 2XIPA
This Beer is Exceptionally Smooth for Its Style

2XIPA is also very smooth in taste, especially for the style. It has a syrupy, butterscotch sweetness at first. A maltiness takes on characteristics of dark rye and a bitter, almost sour grapefruit-like citrus kicks in at the end. The beer’s collar sticks around forever, contributing to a fairly thick and creamy mouthfeel. Its high ABV makes itself known in the finish with a warming sour bite before going dry on the back of the throat.

Shock Top Belgian White: Shockingly Decent

This mass-market witbier from Anheuser-Busch in Baldwinsville, New York pours with a huge frothy white head that burns off within a few minutes on top of a typically cloudy and slightly rusty, iced tea-coloured brew. The smell of Shock Top Belgian White is mild, with banana taking the forefront, accented by bubblegum and a hint of spice.

Shock Top Belgian White
This is Possibly the Best Beer Anheuser-Busch Makes

Shock Top Belgian White has a rather mild, but crisp and refreshing taste. An orange-lemon-lime peel blend used in the brewing process is noticeable without being overpowering and coriander comes through on the finish.

The mouthfeel is quite thin and watery for a witbier, with very little carbonation after the head burns off. This is definitely a macro-brewed “BL Lime” take on the style that I can best describe as “semi-filtered”. An orange flavour lingers on the back of the tongue between sips.