Anderson Valley Summer Solstice

Reviewed by on August 19, 2014 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company

  • Origin: Boonville, CA, US

  • Rated On: August 18, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Cream Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Anderson Valley Brewing is situated in the valley of the same name, well north of San Fransisco in northern California.  The locals there have an English dialect called ‘Bootling’, which the brewery uses in their marketing – so the directive on the label is simply an ode to the relative longevity of their “good drinkin'”!

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, dark brassy amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, bubbly, and finely foamy ecru head, which leaves a few sparse streaks of grotesque, upward reaching arched lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of semi-sweet, raw pastry malt, a tad biscuity, with caramel, candy corn, and vanilla notes swirling about, and some soft, savoury spices. The taste is more sweet biscuity caramel malt, the doughy pastry element still strong, a slight drupe fruitiness adding to the mire, and the same cooking spices from the nose mixing with the earthy, leafy hops in a sluggish balancing effort. The carbonation is quite soft and understated, the body a serene medium weight, and smartly creamy in its unassailable smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, of course, the confectioner’s dream malt and low-key spices overwhelming a mildly bitter (and this is from California?) spurt.

Now this, this is a cream ale, I say – a nicely rounded, soft, yet full malt base, some quirky, but still workable side flavours, and an almost silky-smooth mouthfeel. Patio friendly, and not just for those with an itchy sweet tooth.  Bahl hornin’, bahl hornin’ indeed.

Brady White

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