I had originally intended to use July as a month to rally everyone to their local brewers and try the freshest possible beer that you can. To make a relatively long story short I saw this beer on a the shelf at my beer store and couldn’t resist. I have heard amazing things about Intuition Ale Works since I arrived in Jacksonville, and when the attendant who happened to be in the area as I was eyeing this particular brew compared it favorably to Magic Hat #9 I was almost obligated to give it a shot. Furthermore, this is the first beer I will be reviewing exclusively from a can. This is sure to turn some people off, but I’ll give some additional thoughts and comments about this at the end of the review. The beer is a Kölsch, which I have no shame saying I’ve not only never partaken in but also never heard of.
- ABV - 4.5%
- IBU - 20
- Price - $7.99 for a 6-Pack
- Availability - On tap locally or 12oz Cans
Appearance - Beautiful haze free yellow, orange color. While it makes a beautiful head on the initial pour it dissipates incredibly fast. The head, while it remains, is a nice snow white color, matching up with the color of the beer itself for a very satisfying image. If only the head stayed I could provide it with more than a 3/5 for appearance.
Smell - Gentle hops aroma, with an almost fruit like scent deeper into the experience. As it warms you get a good idea of the malt character, which is slightly bread-y and the fruit scent becomes more significant. A very reserved aroma. I’m hesitant to say there isn’t much too it, as I think it may simply be that the smell is intended to give the picture it does. Was I satisfied with it? Absolutely. Did it leave me craving a sip of the beer right away? Not exactly. A 6/10 for smell.
Mouthfeel - A medium leaning towards light weight to the beer. The comparison to #9 really shines through here, as it approximates that mouthfeel. Well carbonated and refreshing. I’ve heard the word “crisp” used to describe mouthfeel before, and it feels quite appropriate here. A 4/5 for mouthfeel.
Taste - As always, it seems, the hops hit first giving a very light bitterness that is followed quickly by the malt. The malt is the staying taste, slightly sweet and pairing with some sort of fruity characteristic, which I want to identify as either apple or pear. Very drinkable and refreshing. This is the sort of beer I look for when hoping to introduce folks to craft beer. It isn’t strikingly different from the standard beers people are familiar with or even drink regularly. The taste isn’t too complex and off putting for those who don’t fully comprehend them, and most importantly: it just tastes good. No problem at all rating this a 7/10.
Overall - 20/30
So why in the world would I recommend a beer that I rated as low as I did? Is it because it was made locally? No, not at all. Is it that the other aspects of the beer such as smell don’t matter as much? I would say no, considering I tend to really enjoy those aspects personally. I recommend it because it is very approachable. A beer need not be the most complex or supreme example of it’s style to be drinkable and enjoyable. This is the perfect example of what I would consider a transition beer. Next time you have a bar-b-que or pool party, try filling your cooler with a beer like this instead of the American Lager alternative. Don’t let my comparison fool you: This isn’t a light beer, and it will assuredly not be some folks cup of tea. But you never know when you might introduce someone to a new favorite.
Now, on to the issue of canned beer. A number of craft beer drinkers (and this tends to be those who are just beginning to drink beer) view the can as a sign of lack of quality. This is far from the truth, so let’s dispel that rumor. Cans have a number of distinct advantages over the bottle. First and most important is the fact that they block 100% of the UV rays that tend to have a negative or skunking effect on the beer. It also tends to reduce the impact of air on the brew, as it can be sealed much tighter in a can. People also tend to fault cans for adding a “tinny” taste to the beer. Most modern beers avoid this problem by lining the beer can, preventing any metal tastes from invading your otherwise delicious brew.
I’m not here to proclaim an end to the bottle vs. can debate, because frankly we all have preferences. But at the end of the day, most of us who are doing our best to taste it pour it into a glass anyway! Regardless, don’t let the can turn you off. Give the beer a shot. If you dislike the beer, it probably wasn’t the vessel that was at fault. Until next time, enjoy responsibly.