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Beer Man: Blonde Ale tops Day of the Dead brews

7:16 PM, Nov. 18, 2013  |  Comments
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I came across some samples of Day of the Dead, DOTD, beer the last week of October, and although the official observances of this tradition have passed, the beers should still be available.

On Nov. 2, All Soul's Day, I tried five different DOTD ales with varying results. My favorite of the bunch was Death Rides a Pale Horse Blonde Ale. The 5.6 percent ABV ale had a nice light malt profile, slight sweetness and little bitterness, tempered by a bit of grassy hops. A tingly carbonation and a dryness that kicked in quickly after each sip made for a nice finish. Blonde ales can be rather bland, but this was worth having more than one.

My second favorite was Immortal Beloved Hefeweizen. It didn't skimp on the typical banana-clove aroma from the yeast and also had a hint of vanilla in the background. The flavor was quite fruity, overshadowing the wheat grain, with banana winning the fight with lemon. There was a slight sharpness to the finish that helped alleviate the fruit flavors and the creamy body.

The 5.5 percent ABV beer did not have the overwhelming pour that most German wheat beers do, but this did not affect the carbonation at all. A bit different from the typical wheat beer, but not detrimental to its enjoyment.

The other beers didn't quite live up to the standards of the initial two. Queen of the Night Pale Ale, Hop On or Die India Pale Ale and Death Becomes You Amber Ale were not bad, but nothing made them stand out from the hundreds of other similar beers on U.S. shelves. They were all better than Corona, however.

Cerveceria Mexicana is a subsidiary of Molson Coors, so although Day of the Dead observances are over, these beers should have some staying power with the parent company's distribution power. It would be nice to see the Mexican brewery find a way to put a native spin on its beers instead of just offering styles that the U.S. is already bombarded with.

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