Posts tagged ‘leinenkugels’

Leinenkugel’s: Lemon Berry Shandy

By popular request (meaning my dad asked me to) I present to you my review of Leinenkugel’s newest (and year-round!) shandy: Lemon Berry Shandy. As my regular readers know I am a HUGE fan of Summer Shandy. The beginning of Shandy Season is the highlight of my May. Or as was the case earlier this year, the highlight of my February 29th. Despite my love of that lemonade beer from Chippewa Falls, I hadn’t yet picked up some of this new brew. Possibly because I had only been able to find it in 12 packs and I’m just not that interested in 12 beers I may or may not like. But I found a six pack two weeks ago, and now I’ve finally gotten some time to drink one!

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer. This is really an unfortunate category because it lumps Sam Adams Cherry Wheat (not that great) with New Glarus Raspberry Tart (amazing.) And it includes everything in between. Basically, these beers taste like the fruit or veggie added to them and there isn’t much else in terms of malt or hops to speak of.

Overall Impression: Do you like lemon? Do you like berries? Do you like them even more together? This is like the Powerthirst (warning-video link) of berry lemonade. Honestly, I didn’t like it as much as Summer Shandy but it wasn’t bad. Definitely more of a summer beer than a fall. Also, it tasted like a Honey Bear (Berry Weiss + Summer Shandy) and while this, being in one bottle instead of two, is certainly cheaper, I wanted something new and a little more different.

Appearance: Ooo! It’s pink! Okay, well, it’s pink-amber but hey, close enough. Head dissipates very quickly. Cloudy–basically looks like you put Berry Weiss and Summer Shandy together. I think Leinie’s might be trying to capitalize on the Honey Bear phenomenon.

Aroma: Kinda smells like lemon cleaner–same as Summer Shandy. It’s VERY lemony. And then you are hit with BERRY! (See what I mean about this being like Powerthirst? Read my all caps type in the voiceover style.) It also kind of smells like an Astro Pop shot (Smirnoff Ice + grenadine, drop in a shot of UV blue–awesome.)

Taste: Berry! And lemon! And….not much else.

Mouthfeel: Light, lots of carbonation. It pretty much feels like it should.

Try this if you like: Summer Shandy (I mean, they’re basically the same), Leinie’s Berry Weiss, Naked Dove Berry Naked (hands-down the best fruit beer I’ve ever had), New Glarus Raspberry Tart (not quite a beer…but SO GOOD)

3 stars

Leinenkugel’s: Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale

So, I learned something new today. “Big Eddy” by Leinenkugel’s actually refers to two different beers: a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, and a Russian Imperial Stout. Well, this review is on the Scotch Ale. Hopefully next winter I can locate the Russian Imperial Stout and give you faithful viewers a look-see at that.

sorry about my reflection in the glass

Style: Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale. The wort of these beers goes through a long boiling process, which carmelizes the wort, which gives this ale it’s deep brown/copper color.  These ales are sweeter and fuller-bodied than Scottish Ales, and have a more pronounced malt flavor.

Overall Impression: Yum! Honestly, this was a great beer for a cold and rainy night (even if it is May.) Light enough to drink right before bed but dark enough to be satisfying.

Appearance: Dark coppery brown color with minimal head. That may be because this beer was served at a little cooler than ideal temperature, though, so I won’t focus much on that.

Aroma: Chocolate, toffee, and caramel. My favorite things. This is the kind of beer that when you smell, you can’t wait to drink it.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor with caramel and chocolate notes. Big Eddy Wee Heavy pretty much tastes exactly how it smells. No surprises here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but not too thick. It’s a little too alcoholic (9.5%!) to be a session beer but it is light enough that it won’t put you to sleep right away.

Try this if you like: Founders Dirty Bastard, Sam Adam’s Scotch Ale, Dark Horse Scotty Karate (I hesitate to say this last one because this is by far the best Scotch Ale I’ve ever had, and you might be disappointed if you compare the two.)

4 pints

Leinenkugel’s: Summer Shandy

I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this beer to hit shelves in New York since it last left shelves. Shandy season is my favorite time of year….and there’s good reason for it. I. Love. Summer Shandy. In fact, I love it so much that I am willing to pay the exorbitant six-pack prices here in New York. And…on to the review!

So…what is shandy? Shandy is the term for beer mixed with lemonade. If you took Leinie’s Honey Weiss and mixed it with lemonade, you’d get Summer Shandy. Leinie’s calls it “the perfect summer refresher” and I completely agree. After a hot day of laying on the beach or sitting out on the balcony reading, all I want is one of these.

Summer Shandy is light, crisp, and very citrusy. You can tell it’s brewed with lemonade just by smelling it. It has a lovely golden color and pours fairly clear with a decent head. I could drink this beer for days. Literally, ’cause it’s only 4.2% ABV. It is not bitter at all, so for those of you who don’t like the taste of hops, this is a good one for you.

I don’t have any “try this if you like these” suggestions because I’ve never had a shandy from any other brewery. If you know of one, I’d love to try it. (Side note: mixing Berry Weiss with lemonade makes it a hundred times better.)

Now, maybe this beer technically isn’t worth five stars, but this is MY blog and this is one of MY favorite beers, so take that, arbitrary rating system.

5 Stars

Leinenkugel’s: Limited

Thanks to Mom and Dad, I got a delivery of Leinenkugel’s! Today’s selection is their “Limited”, which has been in and out of rotation for the past 25 years. Its last appearance was as “Northwoods Lager” about 3 or 4 years ago. This is one of the things I like about Leinie’s–their beers rotate, so your old favorites may disappear but they will always be back!  On to the review:

Leinie's LimitedThis beer was just like I remembered it: crisp and smooth with a clean finish. It is a very typical Leinenkugel’s brew–not very hoppy, not very malty, not fruity, but still pretty tasty. I immediately wanted to go tailgating. Leinie’s makes all my go-to tailgate brews and this one is no exception. You get a significant amount of taste compared to an American adjunct lager, but you get it on the cheap! (At least in Wisconsin you do…nothing is cheap in New York.)

I’m only giving this beer three stars because while I REALLY like it, it isn’t too exciting.

I’m heading down to NYC for the next two days, so hopefully I’ll have some beers to write about when I come back!

Try this if you like: anything else Leinenkugel’s

Brewery Spotlight: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Every once in a while I’d like to take a break from reviewing beers and spotlight some breweries. And we’ll start with my absolute favorite, Leinenkugel’s, even though it’s only really a semi-craft brewery. Any place owned by Miller just can’t be completely craft in my mind.

The Leinie Lodge

Located in Chippewa Falls, WI, Leinie’s, as it is affectionately known, has never made anything I wouldn’t at least try. There is only one that I’ve tried that I can say I will not willingly drink ever again: Berry Weiss. I just am not big on overly fruity beer. Give me Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat any day, please and thank you.

That said, Leinie’s makes beer for everyone. And they rotate most of their beers. Get ’em while they’re cold, people! There’s a delivery of Leinie’s Limited coming to my apartment in two weeks. Can’t wait!

They’ve got Original and Original Light (which are really not that good, those are more for the “I usually drink MGD but want something with flavor today” crowd.) Also in the run-of-the-mill category are Honey Weiss, Red, and currently Classic Amber. For spring/summer beers, you’ve got your choice of Summer Shandy, Sunset Wheat, and currently 1888 Bock. For those of you who like dark beers, you can hope you can find a Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout around, or go with the classic Creamy Dark. Leinie’s Oktoberfest is a great fall beer, and so is Fireside Nut Brown. And of course for those of you who like your beer to taste like a cocktail, there’s Berry Weiss.

As I mentioned, Leinie’s rotates their beers. Limited was out a few years ago as Northwoods Lager. They change the name but not the recipe. Classic Amber was out a long time ago as Amber Ale, I believe. So if you didn’t get to try Big Butt (a doppelbock) a few years back, just wait a few more years and it’ll come out again!

One of the best things about Leinie’s is that it’s available in a lot of places. It doesn’t have the national distribution of Sam Adams but it’s getting there. I can find Honey Weiss and whichever seasonal is currently out at my local Wegman’s. In Wisconsin you can find it all in your local grocery store or gas station, and you can find all the flavors. You can even get Original, Light, and Honey Weiss in cans for your tailgating needs.

The other best thing about Leinie’s is that it’s cheap. If you think good beer has to be expensive, think again. Now, Leinie’s doesn’t have to-die-for beer, but for $6 for a six pack you really can’t go wrong. Sure, you can get a 30-pack of Miller Lite for $12 in Wisconsin, but wouldn’t you rather have a 12 pack of Summer Shandy? I certainly would.