Review Date 12/27/2009
In mid-2009, I happened to find myself in Rhode Island twice in the space of a month. That being the case, it just wouldn't have done to return to Atlanta without bringing back some local beer. And so I did, a good sized portion of my trunk's worth of brews in fact, all beers I just can't get in Georgia. One of these was Sherwood Forest Maiden's Blueberry Ale.
This was my first experience with Marlborough, Massachusetts' Sherwood Forest Brewers. They brew a line of beers all themed on Robin Hood and his band (Friar's Belgian White, anyone? Or perhaps you'd prefer the Sheriff's IPA?) But since I'm a dedicated Blueberry beer aficionado, Maiden's Blueberry Ale was a natural choice. Sherwood forest gives few details about their beer other than to say the following:
Maiden’s Blueberry Ale, clearly named after the beauty herself—Maid Marian. It is a golden fruit ale that has the flavor and aroma of juicy, ripe blueberries. A light blueberry ale that is not too sweet and has a dry finish!
Fruit beers are often looked down upon by beer geek's, at least the most hardcore of them at any rate, For my part, I find they can be delightful if dome properly, and make for refreshing imbibing in hot weather. But how would Maiden's Blueberry Ale fare? That was the question.....
Sherwood Forest Maiden's Blueberry Ale pours to a hazy golden color with a light creamy head formation and a promising fruity nose of tart, juicy blueberries. The beer is certainly refreshing enough at first, with a firm crisp malt body that has a good amount of bright blueberry flavor. I think I might like a bit more fruit at that, but then I really love blueberry ales after all. I find the finish a bit harsh, and even metallic, lingering a bit unpleasantly after I sip.
For me, that's the deal killer here. I think I might like it well enough as a decent hot weather quaffer if the finish were a bit more natural, at least as beers go anyway. But the aftertaste is somewhat off-putting, and I think my first experience with Maiden's Blueberry may well be my last.
To be sure, there are plenty more blueberry ales I like better than this one. Maine's Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale, Sea Dog Bluepaw, or Sweetwater Blue come most immediately to mind, and I would definitely recommend them over this one. At $7.99 a six-pack, it's on the pricey side as well.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.