DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - SEP 26, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(750 ml bottle: Obtained in trade with hopscotch, thanks Eric!) I just donít know what to think of Cisco beers. I had an obvious infection problem with the last Cisco beer I tried, and this one has a mildly lemony aroma as well, so now Iím worried. I wish I could smell some malt, perhaps some breadiness, but alas, it just smells like gently tart fruit and stinky feet. But you know what? Itís a pleasant aroma now that Iíve gotten over the initial shock. As for the flavor, according to the tasting notes on the company web site, Summer Of Lager should have a "delicious bready malt palate and an assertive noble hop finish." What do I get instead? Tart and acidic, yet lightly sweet fruits. Itís not a horrible sourness that make your face crinkle, but rather just a gentle tartness with moderate acidity. But sorry guys, there is no breadiness here, and no noble hop finish. Whatís amazing to me is, despite being dominated by the mild tartness, this is still a remarkable drinkable beer, perhaps even enjoyable. Naturally, the beer is light and very clean on the palate, and very refreshing too. Thereís a slight dusty/chalky mouthfeel as well. Light amber/golden in color, fully hazy to the point of translucence. It pours a tall, frothy, white head that gradually settles to a thin, quarter-inch layer, but leaves one of the most intricate, artistic and beautiful patterns of lace Iíve ever seen with a beer, and the lace fully coats the glass from top to bottom. This rivals the ice crysalization that forms on windows during winter, or the sponging an artist might employ on a painting. But as beautiful as this beer looks, in the end, it all comes down to flavor. So, is this bottle infected? Honestly, I canít even tell. The acidity and tartness is light enough that itís enjoyable, and if this is an infected beer, itís the tastiest, most delicious infection Iíve run across. If itís infected, the brewery should determine the cause, replicate it, and release a new beer. But one thing I can say with reasonable certainty based on the brewerís tasting notes: I have not experienced how the beer should be, so Iíll try to rerate at some point in the future. Nevertheless, Iíve had no qualms about downing this entire 750 myself, and Iím sad that the bottle is now empty.
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 16, 2005
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 10, 2005 This was such a pain in the neck to track down, but it was definitely worth finding as itís by far one of this brewerís best offerings. Pours gold and cloudy with a lazy but persistent white head. Tastes and smells of lemons, lime, grapefruit and just about every tisane or citrus fruit you can think of. Extremely complex with a very nice albeit on the tarte end finish.
willblake (2645) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - AUG 14, 2005
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: APR 26, 2008 20050814 750ml bottle. Pale, hazed gold; tall white head that lasts and sheets lace. Aroma is bright and pleasant grain, fresh grass, and a hint of citrus tartness. Lemongrass and fresh cut grass flavors, dandelion. Brisk and pleasant finish. Touches of honey. Could stand a re-alignment as Iíd prefer that a beer of this type be more assertive up front, while this is mild and sweet.
20061209 re-tried at Capt Lawrence party with almost identical, though less verbose, notes and the same total score.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 14, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour is golden straw color with a thin bright white head...smell is very malty with some grassy notes too...taste is very grassy and crisp with hops too...nice...
SpringsLicker (3115) - Tennessee, USA - AUG 7, 2005
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Golden color with a tall creamy white head.
Light sweet honey aroma.
Lightly malty flavor with some hops that come in at the end. Needs a bit more depth and body.
porterhouse (1581) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - JUL 15, 2005
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: AUG 26, 2005 (Bottle) Pours a cloudy yellowish gold. Huge foamy white head with every pour, actually makes it hard to get any quantity of beer into glass, even from bottle. Head eventually diisntegrates into foamy pillows on surface. Not good lacing. Aroma sourish. Mouthfeel watery, tastes very sourish. Not good. Something really wrong here. Either I got a bad bottle or this beer is just way, way overrated. Reminds me of bad homebrew with sourishness. Bummer.
Re-rated 8/26/05 thanks to new bottle courtesy of Matt at Cisco Brewers. Pours a cloudy yellowish gold, frothy white head, good lacing. Aroma bready, citrusy, sourish. Lacing nice. Tastes lemony, sourish. Feels more heavy than light. Refreshing mouthfeel, but tart. Different for this style. I donít know, even with a new bottle, didnít quite find heaven here.
GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - JUL 11, 2005
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
I found this a difficult beer to rate for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Iím not a lager fan; however, I gave this some thought and think I finally came up with a fair and objective opinion. Mildly hazy drawn butter pour supporting a massive rocky white head which stuck around long enough to catch the opening and closing credits of The English Patient. Thick veils of lacing filtered light through the glass from top to bottom. Citrusy and sour aroma of lemons and hops with a decidedly "Lager Skunk" element. Slightly sour flavor of lemon and pale malt with yeast and more hops. Tart finish which didnít end as crisply as I would have expected. Overall, this beer had an interesting profile far superior to industrial swill lager but the skunky aroma and sour note made it difficult to truly enjoy; however, once pored, it is simply a gorgeous glass of beer.
IMtheOptimator (1161) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - JUN 25, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a clear effervescent gold with a large fizzy white head. Fresh piney aroma, very strong. Taste is clean and refreshing, with a pronounced hop bitterness and a piney taste... very reminiscent of Pislener Urquell, but seems smoother. Nice summer beer.
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 7, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
So a while back I rated this beer from what is now clear to me was an old bottle well past its prime, and withdraw any opinions I once held on this beer. Bottle, pours a clear golden color, with a large frothy white head. Pungent funky and skunky hop aroma. Iíve read complaints about Ciscoís beers being too carbonated, but this one doesnít fall into that category (and Iím fairly sensitive to high carbonation levels). Well balanced beer, with chewy cookie dough malts lingering for several seconds after each sip. The lemon in this keeps it from ranking amongst the top beers in this style, but it certainly is refreshing. Nearly perfect on the palate. Pricey, but I canít recall having a better summer seasonal.
haddon90 (1423) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 29, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bought this bottle from Atlantic City, NJ. Pours a kinda hazy amber color. Nice hopsy/citrus aroma. Great taste! Smooth, some tart/hops in the flavor. Lemony definitely. A great bear none the less.