GarrettB (1278) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 23, 2007
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: OCT 15, 2007 On sighting this ruby red can I immediately thought of Oskar Blues. Their defiant stand against glass coupled with exceptional brewing has given the shiny cylinder a new chance to wrap itself around brews par excellence. Having never tried SKA brewing’s work before I naturally extended Oskar Blues’ reputation to SKA. Both are based in Colorado and both are micros working with grains and metal. Of course, this was a mistake. The SKA ESB is a lesson in Mullerian mimicry – one species taking on the colors of another to derive the same benefits without actually exhibiting the same features. The head is webby, mottled and white, like an overflowing dome of soap suds. Meanwhile the body takes second stage with a hazy, dull amber blush. The aroma produces an effervescent cloud of orange and tangerine pith, clove, hops, old leather, a squeeze of lime and, most tragic, Windex. It’s like walking into a freshly cleaned Harley Davidson fashion store. This is totally wrong by itself, but for the SKA ESB to conjure that image with its nose is all the more discouraging. The spice character is the saving grace, but insufficient to combat the other bewildering smells. And yet, despite the overwhelmingly eccentric aroma, the taste is watery, loose and weak. Two light notes of malt and caramel amble through a pleasing carbonation, but both are too timid to make any impact on the tongue. The carbonation is precisely what I expect in an ESB, but this particular rendition is devoid of any flavors at all. I feel like I’m rating a wood pulp flavored soda. Good thing, then, that the flavors aren’t so odious as to abominate the whole of the beer. It’s simply too beige and too unengaging. It’s actually so boring as to be vexing. But, at least it’s a craft beer coming in a can. Whether or not the beer is any good is somewhat allayed by the fact that SKA is dabbling in cans, promoting a new market for those in need of non-glass, well brewed beers.
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JUN 19, 2007
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
From a can. Hazy brown body with a faint head. Bitter hop nose with refreshing orange citrus tones. Bland malty body with caramel and citrus hops on the end palate with a bitter mouth feel at the end.
eaglefan538 (2965) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - MAY 15, 2007
2.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Can from FBC, Flagstaff. The appearance was amber, ok head, decent lacing. The aroma was caramel and toffee, sticky aroma. The flavor followed the aroma, a total sticky caramel and tofee mess, some bittering hops in the finish, slight touch of grass. Mouthfeel was malty, caramel-ly, oily, icky. Again, SKA doesn’t impress, too bad I nightcapped a run of Beaver Street’s Pilsner, Stone’s IPA,and Orval with this mess. If I wasn’t driving, I’d have gone back and done something else, yikes!
HumuloneRed (751) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 22, 2007
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Got the beer at the craft brewers conference. 12 ounce can. Pours a clear light copper color with a white head, soapy lacing. Aroma has light malt quality to it with a slightly grassy note. The flavor is balanced and drinkable with nice hop and malt flavors. Well made and drinkable beer.
SoylentBlack (123) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 24, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
My favourite beer right now. Rich, full bodied. Good flavour and palette that are not too overpowering. Above average alchohol content. And easily recycled can!
jcwattsrugger (11670) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - OCT 29, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
on tap-pours a foamy off white head with yellow color. Aroma is medium/light malt. Taste is slightly sweet, medium malt, medium hops. OK carbonation.
ross (2128) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - OCT 23, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
From a can. I keep getting more and more surprised when I see beers in cans, and they actually do not taste like metal. This is actually a decent, very easy to drink session beer. Pours out a dark brown / yellow color from the can. Smell is malty and sweet with a little hops in the mix. Taste is smooth and refreshing, rich and flavorful. A pretty decent beer, and its following the trend of beers that arent half bad in the can. Could drink quantities of this beer.
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - SEP 12, 2006
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
Can: Pours to a mostly clear, though it is very slightly hazy speaking to course filtering, amber colored body with a large, frothy, thick and lasting eggshell colored head. The aroma is shows a fruity diacetyl, dms (yet another one from SKA), light biscuit, and hints of stale hops. The diacetyl and dms mess here is nowhere near as bad as their blonde ale - this one reminds me more of a poorly cared for english mild, stale & oxidized on cask. Taste is fruity butter, floral/grassy hops (though not very bitter), light biscuit, and sweet caramelized malt extract. Light-medium bodied, medium carbonation.
buerckholtz (33) - asheville, North Carolina, USA - AUG 3, 2006
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Out of a can, pours w/ a small white head. Lots of bubbles comming up to the top. Nose of faint malt and biscut aromas. plate of thin stale malt. High carbonation ending with a rather astrigent bitter hop finish. Not much hop aroma. ends with a slightly sour biscut flavor. Not impressed.
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 26, 2006
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Part of my never ending quest to rate every micro-can I can find. Orange colored beer with a big white head. Slight citrus aroma with lots of malt. Thin bodied with a smooth but unpleasantly so mouthfeel. Fruity malt flavors. ugh