Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Budweiser American Ale

I've noticed a lot of buzz about Budweiser American Ale. As far as I know, this is the first ale with the Budweiser name. (Anheuser-Busch has brewed ales under Michelob and other brand names.) Ever since hearing about this beer I've been very curious what a Budweiser ale would taste and smell like, so when I spotted a six-pack in Michigan over the weekend I decided to give it a chance.

I think Bud American Ale can easily be classified as an amber or red ale. My bottle poured crystal clear read amber-red with a rocky white head. It's a good looking beer. The label mentions dry-hopping, but I'm disappointed: I detect no trace of hop aroma. A fruity, cereal smell is all I can discern, nothing like the familiar citrus-like scent of the advertised Cascade aroma hops.

Once I'm able to work my way past the disappointing hop aroma, I'm struck by the smooth mouthfeel. If nothing else, this ale is smooth. A slightly tawny caramel malt flavor is evident with this beer, followed by a touch of hop spice and a quick talc-like dry finish. A very light hop bitterness lingers on the tongue after several sips. Overall, Budweiser American Ale is a bit lacking in body and hop character for me to buy this beer again, but it's inoffensive enough that I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me. That said, a much more pronounced hop aroma could make this beer much more interesting (at least to me.) Unfortunately for Bud, I think there are other established brands with better amber ales on the shelf around the same price range. Goose Island Kilgubbin is one example (albeit seasonal) and I think another would be Mendocino Red Tail Ale. These are beers I've had before, that I remember being a touch more interesting than Budweiser, but perhaps my favorite "American Ale" is produced by Rogue. No wonder I'm disappointed with Bud.

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