With summer right around the corner it felt like a good time to dive into some of the summer beers that are starting to make their way into stores. Narragansett Del’s Summer Shandy stood out among its peers in the refrigerated case tonight. It features two Rhode Island icons in Narragansett and Del’s Italian Ice.
It seems as if everyone is doing a Summer Shandy these days. However, the Del’s Shandy has a slightly different taste than other shandy’s I’ve tried. You definitely notice the lemon aroma when you first crack the can. You almost expect this beer to be a lemonade with beer mixed in rather than beer with the lemonade poured in. Then you notice the color of the pour. It retains the golden hue that a Narragansett Lager features. Most shandies has a slightly paler, cloudy hue.
As the beer rolls over your taste buds you notice this is a little sweeter than other shandies. It has the tart kick to it that you expect from a beer flavored with lemon but this definitely has a slightly sweeter, maybe even delicate taste.
The lemon in this shandy is nice but you almost want more of that lemon kick but the finish is smooth and similar to a typical Narragansett Lager. As you go through the glass and the beer warms the lemon taste actually dissipates. I have never experienced that in a beer. The foamy head also disappeared rather quickly and the lacing on the glass was almost nonexistent.
I expected much more from the Narragansett Del’s Summer Shandy. The can looked like an Italian ice stand and made me think of warm summer nights at the ballpark, county fair, or a day at the beach. While I could see myself drinking one of these in any of those situations I would need this beer to stay ice cold throughout.
The second beer was straight out of the can and that played better. I still was wanting more lemon tartness but the beer held up better in the can than poured in a glass. The issue with it needing to be ice cold was still there and the lemon flavor still dissipated over the course of drinking it but it was a notch above being poured so I highly recommend forgoing the glass and drinking from the can or bottle.
Overall this was a bit of a disappointment. It isn’t bad by any means. If you like shandies you might enjoy this one. At the very least it would be drinkable. I wouldn’t turn one of these down and might even buy one when out and about in the summer but I don’t think I would go out of my way for one at home.