Sunday, August 14, 2011
Beer Review: Oskar Blues variety pack
This month's case is a variety pack from the Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. Their shtick is that they're the premium beer that is sold in a can. If you've been to a beer distributor lately, you've probably at least seen their Dale's Pale Ale. One the one hand, being the only craft beer served in a can makes them stand out. On the other, I put off buying it for a long time because I didn't take the can seriously. That turned out to be a mistake, as this was yet another excellent case of beer.
The variety pack came with three varieties, a six pack of Mama's Little Yella Pils, six Old Chub's Scoth Ale and twelve Dale's Pale Ale.
The Pilsener is what you would hope the Miller's and Bud's of the world would be, but, alas, are not. It's light, yellow and carbonated just like the big boys of the American beer world, but, surprise, has actual flavor, not just the imaginary flavor that only exists in beer commercials. I typically go for stronger flavored, darker beers. I usually reserve Pilsener-types to when I'm playing softball or when I'm eating tacos. That usually means an Iron City on taco night in my house, but when I substituted this beauty instead recently, it took my taco night to a whole new level.
Scotch Ales are my favorite type of beer. This one gets the flavors just right. It's dark, malty and smoky. It's not very heavy, but does leave a lingering aftertaste. I read some reviews that described its carbonation as very light, but I actually think the carbonation could be stepped down. I thought this beer was best enjoyed after dinner when you are planning on just having one brew and taking your time with it.
The Pale Ale wasn't as sharp as what I would have expected. It's got the hoppy flavor of a Pale Ale, but it's almost muted and doesn't stick around very long. Instead, it has a very nice, almost sour malty aftertaste. This a great beer to accompany something like a steak on the grill.
All in all, I was very impressed with this case. I'm always glad when a variety pack contains a wide-ranging variety of flavors. I won't necessarily be running around to grab another case immediately, but it's one I'd come back to when I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for.