26 January 2010

Widmer Drop Top Amber Ale

Widmer Drop Top Amber Ale (bottle)
Portland, OR
5.0% ABV

(Full disclosure: This bottle was given to me gratis by a representative from a distributor.)

I'm not a big fan of Widmer's Hefeweizen, as I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to wheat beers in general, but I quite liked their pale ale. How will the Drop Top fare?

Pours orange-red, hazy, with a bit of soapscum in the place of head. Tinges of yellow as I hold it up to the light. Smells more sour than expected, lots of sweet maltiness with a distinct sourness up front. Hints of dry hops. Overall impression of the nose is sweet and fruity, slightly tart.

The beer also has a bit of a sourness in the flavor, mostly in the finish. More prominent, however, is a strong hoppy body and a touch of citrus in the malt profile. Aftertaste is clean.

Moutheel is moderate-to-thick, with a slight hoppiness and a crisp carbonation.

What is it with amber ales and a touch of sourness? I've had at least three amber ales from microbreweries with a distinct sour flavor, and yet I wouldn't consider it at all a feature of the style. It's tempting to consider the sourness a flaw, but I doubt that a brewery with the size and reputation of Widmer would make such a mistake. Age is also not a factor, as this one has been in the bottle about six weeks at the time I drank it. Maybe it's some sort of strange function of the caramel malt.

My overall BA rating: 3.3/5

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