Leafs93 (1671) - Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 4, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours deep dark amber with a off white head. Aroma is caramel and citrus. Taste is hoppy bitters with a hint of sweetness. Medium mouthfeel. Solid, another great beer by Maine Beer Co.
dagimp (715) - Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 3, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From one of those weird 500ml bottles into an oversized wine glass. Bottled on 4-5-12. Pours a very unique, muddy brown. Lots of thick carbonation which is slightly brown and spots of lacing. Aroma is grassy hops all the way. Mouthfeel is moderate and bolstered by a lot (but not too much) carbonation. Taste is very hoppy for an amber. This beer could probably be classified as a black (or more correctly brown) IPA. However, the hops are only slightly bitter and grassy taste with some tropical fruit, dominates. Very tasty and very dry. There is also the earthy/dirty flavor that was present in Peeper. must be from Maineís yeast. I like this beer a lot. The reason I wonít buy it too much is itís price. I paid $5 for the bottle and thatís steep for any beer, let alone an amber. Either way, happy to have tried it.
jgb9348 (4709) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - APR 29, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep chewy brown coloured body with a nutty brown glow and a dense, four centimetre tall light brown head - nice looking, but not like any other ambers iíve seen before. Aroma of fresh hops, citrus, floral notes, a bit of malt and a bunch of caramelised sugars. Medium-bodied; Strong hoppy flavour at first with a peppery, nutty maltines soon afterwards and a sweet caramel flavour at the end. Aftertaste is mostly malty with a good hop bitterness showing more citrus and floral hoppiness than anything else, with some good sugars, a touch of malt and a little alcohol noticeable. Overall, some good flavours and a pleasant complexity for the style, but nothing truly unbelievable or worth searching for. I sampled this 50 cL bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors in New York, New York on 29-February-2012 for US$7.00 sampled at home in Washington on 29-April-2012.
PhillyCraft (3184) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 29, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2013 Bottle with Tom, Pat, Tony, Dev, Dallas. Pours a purple medium head with good lacing. Aromas of butterscotch, diesel, pine, fresh fruit, sour cheese. More of a black ipa. Awesome beer. A little too astringent for my palate.
madvike (2696) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 28, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2012 Bottle from hbmason...thanks Tim! Has a 092911 code on the bottle. Not sure what that is, but whether itís bottled or best buy, this one probably isnít the freshest. Pours murky dark brown with a medium foamy tan head. Nice malty nuttiness on the nose with an earthy, herbal hoppiness. Dark cocoa in the taste, with a dark bread maltiness, some pungent baking spice, and a long, bold finish with some coffee grounds. Medium body with nice smooth carbonation. No idea what this tastes like fresh, but this is still pretty good as is.
Re-rate: Bumping this up a couple points as I had it fresh on tap at the Island Creek Oyster Bar. Lovely hoppiness over a toasted malt base. That is all.
mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - APR 28, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Murky, wet tree bark color. Looks pretty bad, to be honest. The aroma is unlike most beers of the style. Aggressively hopped amber for sure. Armor has plenty of caramel, pine, grapefruit as well. Really nice. Taste isote malt forward with plenty of caramel. Some faded grapefruit and something sweet I csnít quite describe. Some twigs and pine as well. Good. Medium body with sticky lacing.
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 15, 2012
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Nice, but hard to figure out what to do with an amber that is closer to a black IPA. Hazy and very dark, tan head, good lacing. Notes of caramel and citrus in the nose. Taste of hops, malt, hops, citrus, copper maybe or some off metallic note, leading to a slam of additional bitterness in the finish. Will try several additional times ... why not ... i have a whole case. I may conclude that it is a great dark IPA instead of an IPA pretending to be an amber.
kkipple (7) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - APR 12, 2012 does not count
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Big thanks to my NoríEaster buddy Eli for this bottle. Enjoyed late at night alone with the super-good Journey soundtrack.
Fine, fun, reserved label art. Reminds me of Japanese penmanship - elegant use of white space. The bottle opens with a snap, and gunsmoke, lots of it. Excellent beginnings.
A. Looks like an Oud Bruin. Deep russet, fall colors. A medium, uneven burgundy-tinged head lingers. Very little lace, spotty. Quite clear. The head, incidentally, lasts for ever.
S. In a word: grand. Terrific balance here, malty and "red" for sure, but lots of caramel malt. The comparisons to Nugget Nectar are inevitable. The hops are both fruity and herbal in measure. There is a soft, malt driven, polished sweetness and a perfume note (sandalwood?) that brings to mind the fine Hitachino brews out of the East. Some beers try to shoehorn in a lot of ingredients and hope for this best, Zoe, by contrast, is simple, direct, and mojo filled.
T. Simply the finest Amber ale Iíve had to date. Zoe is a masterful, magic blend of semi-sweet malt sugar and balancing bitter, nuanced hop. There is a tremendous depth to this beer, but like many such beers, itís very hard to nail down. Harmonious only begins to describe it. The hop flavor - earthy, damp, bitter, dry, green - blends so well into the malt - sweet, fruity, complex, gently toasted, red - that they become one. There are no steps or stages. The finish is gently sweet and fades out, leaving a dry, bitter-green finish that is long and moreish. This is amazingly well brewed beer.
M / P. Full, rounded carbonation exudes confidence. Zoe is absolutely sessionable, despite the rather high 7.2% alcohol, which is nowhere to be found.
Zoe is simply superb beer, a unique take on an little brewed style (in this case, Imperial Amber) and is such a self=assured, lush and harmonious beer that it deserves great praise. This is what American craft brewing is all about. I tip my hat to Maine brewing company. Everyone should enjoy Zoe.
jmilo64 (40) - Maine, USA - APR 8, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
drank 1/19/12 from notes. Nice head, deep amber color, hoppy w/ slightly sweet backbone. Really good beer.
chanokokoro (138) - Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured from 1 pint .9 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass
Pours a cloudy dark red amber with a two and a half finger beige head. Beautiful lacing. The aroma is a mixture of plum and black cherries, accented by grapefruit and citrus and a bit of grass and pine. Initially, the the flavor of dark fruit highlighted with grapefruit and citrus dominates transitioning to a bit of sweet malt and then finishes with piney hop bitterness. Considerable body supplied by a fairly hefty malt backbone for an American Amber/Red Ale, well carbonated and slick mouthfeel. A very enjoyable brew and very much on the same plane as Nugget Nectar.