Re-posted from my blog: Malted Musings.
At a tasting over at Eli Cannon's Taproom in Middletown, CT the other night, I had the opportunity to try some of Sebago's brand new beer. While I was at it I figured I would try one of their old flagships as well.
Let's start with the new beer! Called the Bump Black Ale, this beer serves as a way to "bump" the beer drinker over from winter and in to spring. As it stands, it pours out a dense, heavy mahogany -- almost true black. It has a light, sweet nose with notes reminiscent of molasses. At first taste this beer is light and carbonated, but quickly grows to a sweet and slightly sharp hop note. The bitterness is quickly mitigated by sweet malting, which takes me to the tail end of the taste. At the end of the taste there is a high hop note that rises quickly, then fades leaving a lingering bitterness on the palate. This is a light to medium beer that is complex, yet very approachable. Heavy hopping is cut down to size with smooth malting, and I end up with a beer that goes from bitter to sweet and back again! This is a well-rounded beer that serves it's purpose well to transition the drinker from the winter to spring; by using a variety of sweetness and hops this beer give a variety of taste in a compact, 5.6% abv body.
The other beer I focused on was the Runabout Red. This beer pours out a light, amber reddish color with a slight head. The nose coming off of this one is fruity and light, with overt hints of citrus. At first sip this beer is light and bitter. The profile quickly moves to a citrusy tone, with medium bitterness that's immediately tempered with sweet malting. This taste mellows out from here to a semi-sweet and sparkling malting that ends the taste neutral with strong hints of grapefruit. This is another light to medium beer that is very carbonated, pleasantly sweet, and spiked with high hopping and citric sweetness. Overall this is another great spring beer that offers some bitterness for the cold winter, and some citric sweetness for the upcoming warm season!
I also had a chance to talk with Sebago representative Jim Lalumiere about their rebranding and upcoming beers. Check my blog soon to see that info! In the meantime follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and G+ for more tasting notes and malted musings.