Well, it’s still hella hot in D.C. Naturally the weather leads me to be sweaty, overheated and a little cranky when I get home. When summer drags like this, I tend to have one thing on my mind…cooling off with an ice-cold summer brew. Combined with Josh’s recent call for LIBA readers to send in pics of their favorite summer beers, I knew I needed to keep my reviews of summer beers going so our faithful readers are well prepared for the dog days ahead of us.
This week, I’m checking out two new summer seasonals, Magic Hat’s Wacko Summer Ale and Mendocino’s Blonde Ale Summer Seasonal. I’m a big fan of Magic Hat but haven’t tried Mendocino, so I’m psyched to see how they turn out.
First up, the Magic Hat. With a name like Wacko, I was definitely curious to see how it would live up to the billing. Fortunately, the pour quickly answered my question. This beer pours out to a crazy rose hue – I’ve seriously never seen a beer this color. It’s got a decent foam crown, with some light carbonation and a toasted wheat beer with light citrus notes. Unfortunately, the weirdness also pulls through into the taste. It’s really carbonated and seems empty. I can’t really say there’s any flavor except for a floral taste to start, with a slight malty and bitter aftertaste. If you’re looking for a beer with body, this isn’t it, even with a decent 4.5% ABV.
Next up comes the Mendocino. The pour was definitely what you’d expect a from summer ale – light carbonation, a pale yellow cloudy color, and just a touch of foam. The aroma is quite enticing, with a light toasted wheat base accentuated by hints of fruit and spice. Serious yum. The taste is just as good as the aroma – it starts out with a tangy wheat flavor which transitions into a citrus aftertaste. The alcohol is a little sneaky with a 5.0% ABV. This beer is really well-rounded in every aspect and is an ideal summer brew – light and refreshing.
Overall, I’d give the Mendocino high marks. It’s a great all-around summer beer and really enjoyable. The Wacko is notable mainly for its color, but not much otherwise. I’m a little surprised at how many summer beers I’ve had to review to find only a few winners, but I promise I’ll soldier on.
Last but certainly not least, I’ve got to thank Josh for hooking me up with this sweet LIBA shirt. It’s pretty much awesome and the back is emblazoned with the title of “top guest beer reviewer 2009-2010.” Who says blogging isn’t profitable?!?