brewski519 (644) - Morrisville, North Carolina, USA - SEP 28, 2010
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap at Tylerís Taproom in Durham - pours a an amber color with little head. Aroma of caramel malt and breadiness - with a faint hoppy scent (didnít really notice any of the mint). Taste is malty - caramel & bread - with some earthiness to it. Picked up some spruce hoppiness as well. Medium bodied - nice brew.
chandler0201 (638) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - OCT 15, 2010
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours light amber with small white head, low carbonation. Aroma of some bitter hops and bread. Tastes a bit of earthy hops, some breads and cereals and finish was surprisingly watery.
jtd6628 (357) - North Carolina, USA - JUL 10, 2011
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 1, 2012 Great beer. I love this lager because of its nice caramel flavors and hop flavor. I would recommend this to anyone.
devilben02 (260) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 28, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a rich, deep amber color with a substantial, creamy, medium-tan head. The aroma is faint but pleasant, with a combination of cereal grains, a light woodsy mustiness, and a little caramel sweetness. The flavor is much more pronounced, with characteristics of sweet brown bread, a little butterscotch, and a nice pine and floral hop bitterness. The fine, light carbonation is active yet unobtrusive, but it allows the bready sweetness to linger a bit more than I would have liked.
TheRabidBrewer (1) - California, USA - OCT 16, 2010 does not count
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 14/20
Interesting beer given I come from the land of Anchor California Common: San Francisco. ;-) Got this beer as a bonus from a trade. It was a bottle fill from a growler.
This is Fullsteamís take on the Cal Common style using the same hops and (I strongly suspect) the same yeast. The Fullsteam version has a deeper, richer caramel malt character. Anchorís version has more emphasis on the Northern Brewer hops and just enough malt to balance.
Fullsteam also has more fermentation character. The Cal Common yeast is a hybrid: a lager strain selected to ferment at ale temps. As such, it likes to through more esters than a typical lager yeast mostly in the form of isoamyl acetate or banana. In Fullsteam, it yields an interesting aroma most reminiscent of banana bread.
Aroma: Sweet banana bread with woody mustiness from the Northern Brewer hops.
Appearance: Light copper and mostly clear. Some fine suspension, but no chill haze. Thin white head the persists only along side of glass.
Taste: Initially malt forward, then quickly moves to a fairly bitter finish that is somewhat balanced by the malty caramel sweetness. The banana bread carries over into the flavor as well, but although quite unusual, is not unpleasant. The woody hop flavor adds a dimension that helps balance the caramel.
Palate: Medium body with mod/low carb. Smooth with no astringency.
Overall: An interesting take on a regional style. The additional caramel malt sweetness with the elevated fermentation character adds a dimension to the beer that takes it in a completely different direction than Anchorís Steam Beer. Fairly firm bitterness but with some residual sweetness in the finish that competes for dominance. A good solid beer.