Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beer Review, Shiner Cheer

It's been a while since I've had a beer at the house; so I figured I'll have one tonight before Beer Class.

I picked out a Shiner Cheer. I got this on Tuesday night when Smart@ss and I went to tucks on a beer run. I'm not normally a fan of Shiner's (Spoetzl Brewery) usual offerings (the bock for example) but their holiday cheer beer pleasantly surprised me last year.

It pours a pecan color from the bottle. That's good, because it's made with pecans. It has a decent head, that's got some yellow in it. The label is somewhat disappointing, as it says "Ale brewed with peaches and pecans and with natural flavor and caramel color", so the deep woody color doesn't come from the malt but it faked.

The nose is definitely peachy. There's some other sugary sweetness to it, but it's peach. It's slightly effervescent (bubbly) and a bit thin (thinner than milk, thicker than water). It doesn't leave much on the front of the palate, but does linger a bit in the back.

It tastes, of peaches. There is some malt and sweet after you get over the initial bombardment of peaches. There's practically no hops bitterness whatsoever. It may have some tartness from the peaches, but there's no bitter. Any that might be present seems to be more of a nutty bitter than a hoppy bitter.

Apparently, this is a dunkelweizen. It's a Bavarian-style dark wheat. That's good I guess, since beer class tonight is whet beers. I don't get any soft of dunkelweizen out of this.

When I had this last year, it didn't seem very remarkable at the beginning of the season. The last time I had it was in March or April, and it had mellowed out very nicely. If you pick up a six pack of this, go ahead and have a couple now, but put one or two away to see how you like it later. I liked it more after it had some months on it, but that's just me. Some people think aging beers goes against what the brewer was trying to do. I say, it's your mouth, put in it what you want to put in it. If you like something a little bit different than what was intended, do what makes you happiest. (That's why there's salt/pepper/ketchup/mustard on tables at restaurants; so you can eat things the way you want to eat them). Once you buy it, it's your beer, if you like it better with a couple months on it, more power to you.

Diatribe over...

As the beer warms, there's some more flavors that pop out. It's starting to get a cherry note to it. Also, the pecan is becoming more noticeable. It's still not showing itself to be a dunkelweizen. It seems like almost any beer style could serve as the base for this. Well, not just ANY, a wheat, strong, stout, plain old "ale" or "lager" would hold up fine. The peaches flavor would hold up to any "basic" beer and turn it into something special.

I'd recommend drinking this beer at a temp slightly warmer than your fridge. Chill it, then give it at least 20 minutes before drinking. It's good cold, but as is the case with most good beers, it's better warm. Here's a tip from me to you... if you don't like the beer that you are drinking when it's warm, then it's probably not a good beer.

I like this beer. I will like it more in a couple of months.

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