Blue Moon isn’t exactly an unknown beer by any stretch these days but they have been branching out with different flavors, some of which are quite good. Up for review today is their Iced Coffee Blonde which they advertise as a “golden-colored wheat ale made with Fair Trade decaf coffee beans.”
The beer pours a hazy gold with a thin, white head that doesn’t stick around long. There is some carbonation seen rising through the haze. The color was a little brighter than I expected for something made with coffee beans. The aroma offers a slight note of coffee, again not as much as one would expect for something brewed with coffee beans. There is also a slight note of bread and malt on the nose but that is quickly pushed out by an artificial sugar smell, like coffee creamer.
The first taste is surprisingly sweet for a beer. The sweetness evolves into a malt and bread flavor like you would expect with a wheat ale. The coffee notes are faint, very faint. You almost have to search for them with your taste buds. The flavor isn’t bad. The sweetness isn’t overwhelming and plays nicely with the bread and malt flavors. The coffee should be more forward here in my opinion, however. You notice it more on the aftertaste and not so much on the sip.
The beer was consistent throughout. There was no lacing on the glass as it drank. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium but still in the medium category, very similar to your typical Blue Moon. It finishes smooth and somewhat creamy.
Overall this is an interesting beer. I don’t know how I would have felt about a lot of coffee in the flavor but I think I would want a little more than what I received. The sweetness played with the bread notes well and made it feel as if I was eating a pastry with my coffee. Although I think this beer misses on a few points it isn’t a bad drink at all and I would have it again, especially as a lighter dessert beer. This could be a session beer if you are into sweeter things and it only clocks in at 5.5% ABV which is manageable. I do wish they didn’t use decaf coffee beans though as the caffeine would be a nice touch.
Blue Moon is getting back to their craft beer roots and have been introducing limited releases lately. Among them is their Pacific Apricot Wheat which is made with Washington apricots. We have tackled some of Blue Moon’s recent releases which you can see here.
Pacific Apricot Wheat pours a hazy, golden straw color with a thick, foamy, white head that rose to over two fingers at its height. The head did recede fairly quickly and left a tiny layer on top of the beer. The aroma was pleasant and consisted of apricot and some hints of malt and cereal. Apricot takes the lead on the nose though.
The first sip offered the sugary sweetness of the apricot followed by malt and yeast. The beer has a medium mouthfeel, similar to other Blue Moon offerings. It finishes slightly dry and crisp. The apricot really dominates up front and if you aren’t expecting, or don’t like, sweet beers you will not like this. If you are a fan of that sort of thing you might find this fun and worth giving a try. The glass laces well as you drink thanks to that thin layer of foam that stayed behind.
Overall this is an interesting beer. You have to be a fan of sweet beers to really get into this. However, it is an interesting flavor and would certainly be something to drink on a hot summer day. I don’t know how this beer would make during a session and don’t know if I would recommend having more than a couple in a sitting. It can be an enjoyable beer though in the right setting.
Blue Moon has been around for a while now, since 1995. They started small and are now owned by Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the craft and import division of MillerCoors. So, they might not technically be a small time brewery anymore but that doesn’t matter with us. They make beer. We drink beer. We review beer. Up for review today is Blue Moon Mango Wheat.
Mango Wheat pours similarly to the Blue Moon you know. This version has a little more orange tint to it but you still get that hazy look of a wheat beer with the thick, foamy, white head. The aroma was mango all the way through. It is strong and doesn’t allow many other ingredients to come through on the nose.
The first sip is mango first and foremost, followed by more mango, then finished with a slight wheat flavor that is overtaken by mango. Mango is a unique fruit. It can be too subtle or it can dominate the profile and this dominates. If you like mango this is right up your alley. There is hardly any beer flavor at all and it tastes more like a mango soda than it does a beer. The dry finish is the only real tell-tale sign that you drinking an alcoholic beverage. It feels medium-bodied in the mouth with moderate amounts of carbonation. The head reduces fairly quickly but there is a thin foam head on top as you drink but very little lacing on the glass.
Overall, this is pretty good for what it is, a mango flavored beer. Hardcore beer drinkers will find the fruit too overpowering. People who don’t like beer might find this to be an acceptable beer to drink. It really will depend on your palate and personal preferences. On a hot summer day this might be great to have at a ballpark, by the lake or ocean, at the pool, or to start off a barbeque or while grilling. If you like mango go for it, if you like beer with hints of flavors you might want to find another alternative. It is a good beer for what it is, a summer beer with lots of fruit flavor.