I do apologize for these intermittent reviews here and there but last weekend, I actually went hiking Angeles National Forest up to West Fork Trail Camp. It was a last minute thing, at least for me, and I had agreed to go hiking with my childhood friend, a high school friend, and his cousin. Apparently, these three have been hiking trails and mountains for quite a bit longer because I wasn’t expecting to hike an almost 6 mile trail on my first go.
Now, this isn’t some easy trail with nice scenery with bon fire pits, well ventilated restrooms and the usual amenities. No. This is one of those trails that, apparently, 10-year-old Boy Scouts kids would hike on a regular basis. In other words, it’s pretty hardcore. It’s almost like climbing a mountain, except it just falls short of that but it’s no “walk in the park” as they say.
Anyway, today, I’m trying out Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale and upon popping off the cap, I smelled a bit of nuts in it but not by much. On my first sip, I was expecting a really nutty flavor but I didn’t get that. In fact, I got something like a malt flavoring with a kind of heavy and dark taste, similar to Guinness. I wasn’t too sure what to make out of that heavy, dark taste but Guinness is the first word that came to mind but it’s not a Guinness. I know that much. It’s not bad, all things considered, but I was kind of expecting more.
And normally, I would find the ABV rating somewhere on the bottle but this time, I couldn’t find it at all. It’s not on the front label and it’s not on the back label. It’s not even on the neck of the bottle, which sometimes, I would find after peeling back the foil but nope. Nothing. But if I had to do it strictly on taste, I’d say it’s at least 5% ABV but the exact rating, I can’t really say. And the only reason I’d say that is because I have a fast metabolism and regular domestic beer won’t get me light-headed only halfway in. This one gets me light-headed after only halfway in (on an empty stomach, by the way).
Good news is that it doesn’t really leave much of a sticky residue on one’s lips, which is a plus in my books. A lot of other imported one’s I’ve tried thus far tend to leave a sticky residue, which tells me that on a “dry to not dry at all” spectrum, it’s leaning more on the dry side than the other. (I remember reading an article somewhere on the internet that describe the difference between a wine being dry versus not so dry and to sum it up shortly, it just means how sweet it is. The more “dry” it is, the less sweet it is. The less “dry” it is, the more sweet it is. But sweet doesn’t necessarily mean “sweet-tasting.” It just means on a scale, it has, relatively speaking, more sugar content in it than others. And this how it is with beer as well.)
All in all, I don’t know if I would buy this again at its sale price of $3.99 but I definitely wouldn’t buy it at its normal retail price, which is $4.99. It’s alright but nothing really stood out about it other than the fact that it doesn’t really leave a sticky residue. (It bears noting though, as a side tangent, that whenever I review a new beer or liquor that I’m actually reviewing the pint bottle (or as close to a pint bottle as possible) when it comes to beer and when it comes to liquor, it would be the standard 750 ML bottle (which is the same size as a bottle of wine. Just in case it wasn’t obvious from the pictures I post in my reviews.)
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