Casco Bay Brown Ale

So I’ve spent the past couple months trying to drink down my cellar and one of the things I’ve realized is that there’s a reason I don’t drink a lot of that stuff right away. They’re mostly high-gravity face-melters (often barrel-aged and beyond 10%) to the point where I feel like that Nazi guy at the end of Raiders (not the fascistic part, just the part where his face melts).

As such, I’ve been craving something a little less rich. Something that won’t make me want to go to bed at 8 pm. Something that won’t obliterate my palate with rich, chewy flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I love the deep, full-bodied flavors of a bourbon barrel aged beer, but you know, sometimes I want to be able to drink a second beer in one night. Usually I turn to my homebrew on such occasions, but even then, most of my stuff is around 6-7.5% range. That’s not exactly face-melting territory, but it’s also a bit too much (I keep saying that I need to recap those beers, and I will, but for now, I’ll just say that something like my 6% stout still ends up being a pretty heavy, rather unsubtle beer). Beer nerds know what this all means: I need to drink me some British styles. I’ve had some really low gravity English-style beers of late, and it’s been nice. This one’s a brown ale that’s actually a bit on the high range of what I was looking for, but it was still nice:

Casco Bay Brown

Casco Bay Brown Ale – Pours a deep brown color with a couple fingers of light tan head. Smells of caramel malt along with a nutty aroma and maybe just a hint of something along the lines of brown sugar. Taste features a lot more of that nutty flavor, along with some caramel malt and a surprisingly bitter finish. Nowhere near an IPA or a, er, Brown IPA or anything, but it’s there. As it warms, it smooths itself out a bit. Medium to full bodied, lots of carbonation, not a big-gulp kinda beer, but pleasant enough. Overall, it’s not lighting the world on fire, but quite frankly, that’s not what what I needed right now. I suppose even in that realm, it’s not a top-tier beer, but it hit the spot for me, and the world was spared a face-melting cataclysm, so there’s that. B

Beer Nerd Details: 5.4% ABV bottled (12 oz). Drank out of a mug on 2/24/12.

I’m pretty sure the Portland, Maine brewery doesn’t distribute much outside of the New England area (this bottle was a gift from my uncle, who frequents the region), but I’d be inclined to check out their Winter Ale if I ever got the chance… And their flagship Irish Red might tide me over the next time I get overwhelmed by the bourbon-barrel giants.

4 thoughts on “Casco Bay Brown Ale”

  1. Some days I want a big, chewy sherry monster or a scotch, Dalmore or Macallan. And some days I just want a couple fingers of Jim Beam over ice.

    I haven’t been drinking much beer at all the last…bunch of months. In fact, the last beer I actually had was at the beginning of February, and I don’t even remember what it was =/

    Been drinking mostly wine instead…my wife is very fond of moscato, a sweet white, and I’ve been slowly exploring the world of red wines.

    Whiskey, of course, here or there. We went to the huge yearly whiskey tasting up in Westborough Mass the other weekend, and tried a whole bunch of different stuff. And the other other weekend, my wife got me a little bottle of Eagle Rare bourbon, which was fantastic! And exploring the other end of the quality spectrum, I had a little Old Grandad this weekend =0

  2. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little wine or whiskey! I’m partial to red wines myself, though I have no real idea about the details or subtleties of wine (like I do with beer). Someday, perhaps:p

    Totally agreed about changing tastes. As I think I’ve mentioned before, my eyes are bigger than my liver. I ended up buying way too many bourbon barrel aged monsters, and while I absolutely love them, I don’t think you’re supposed to really drink them all the damn time! I’ve slowly been plowing my way through my cellar, but I think I’m going to need to slow down even further so that I can restore some balance to the ABV scales…

    I’ve also been puttering around in the scotch/bourbon world. I think I may have mentioned a while ago that I got me a bottle of Ardbeg, which I really enjoy… I think I might be a peat freak:p

  3. Huh, I always sorta figured you would prefer sweeter scotches like I do, but then, one of your first favorites was Talisker, if memory serves. Nothing wrong with being a peat freak, there’s a lot of fantastic peat monsters out there right now! Anything from Ardbeg, particularly their Ugedail, which is sherry aged, Kilchoman, Laphroaig has a new “three wood” out, lots of great stuff!

    I also had the other week, a dram of Stranahan’s Colorado Whisky, which is really unique stuff, esentially single malt ingredients, but made with a bourbon process. Really good, huge flavors, highly recommended.

    Ok, I’m done hijacking your beer blog now =) I have sort of been craving a pint the last few days. Maybe this weekend!

  4. I like sweet scotches too (though I do tend to think of Bourbon as being much sweeter than Scotch in general). I wouldn’t call Talisker a favorite, though I do like it. My favorite remains the Balvenie 15, with Ardbeg 10 a distant second, then maybe Highland Park 12 (much closer)… but hell, I’m nowhere near as versed in Scotch as I am with beer, so whatever.

    At some point, I need to finish one of the bottles I’ve bought, at which point, I’m going to seek out some of the other Ardbegs, like the Ugedail. I’ve also got my eye on some Caol Ila.

    Happy drinking!


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