I actually had these beers a few weeks back by now, but I took notes while drinking (always a fun endeavor), so here’s what I thought of the Magic Hat Summer Scene collection. I just went to the grocery store today and it looks like they might have moved on to their next sampler, but you might be able to find this one in stores still. First off, I still like the ubiquitous Magic Hat sampler pack inclusion of #9, check out that review here in my review of last year’s Feast of Fools pack. Overall, I really dug this collection of beers, especially the entry in the Odd Notion series, this time dubbed Summer ’10. It reminds me of a really good Hefeweizen, starting off sweet, then getting a little bitter, but finishing sweet. You get a bit of an aftertaste that some folks might not like, but I found it to be the most enjoyable of the bunch. The label says it’s got some ginger in it which I can definitely taste, but it’s not overwhelming like ginger can be. I could definitely see myself ordering one of these while out at a bar or even getting a 6 pack, though the season for them seems to be over unfortunately.
Next up we’ve got the Wacko Summer Seasonal which they called “A crisp summer ale.” It’s not bad, but also not too remarkable. I’m not sure if I’d call it crisp, but it is definitely smooth. Without much of a taste or aftertaste to speak about this beer is just kind of there. You can tell you’re drinking beer because it feels like beer, but it just doesn’t taste like much. I wouldn’t order this one by itself, but it actually acted as a kind of palette cleanser between the others, so it worked out for the purposes of this review.
Finally, I’m finishing up with the IPA on Tour entry Blind Faith. I used to really dislike IPAs for their intensely bitter taste, but much like the general taste of beer grew on me after moving out to New York where liquor is far too expensive for a lowly intern or research assistant, I’m really starting to enjoy them. I discovered that earlier this summer when I tasted Sam Adams’ Latitude 48 (which came in a pack I should definitely review) and found myself enjoying it. There’s something about the bitter bite that I’m growing to enjoy and that’s what I liked about Blind Faith. It has a hell of a bite because it’s an IPA, but doesn’t taste as caustic as some of its ilk do. There’s something about the bitter finish that makes me want to take another sip. I also like how it lingers on my tongue.
So, there you have it. Though the Wacko didn’t do much for me, I feel like I got my money’s worth with this sampler pack and I always like to try new things, so I’m excited to try out the fall’s new sampler and seeing how it compare’s to Summer’s! What summer beers have you guys been enjoying this season?