Cisco Brewers is a Massachusetts based brewery that is one part of a 3 part brewery/winery/distillery located on Nantucket Island. Soon, they will begin distributing their beers to Las Vegas. I was given four of their year round beers for review, and after tasting these beers, I’m excited for what may soon be available in Las Vegas. They also have a line of sour beers, and their current fall seasonal is a smoked pumpkin beer; all of which I’m very interested in trying! Without further ado, below are my tasting notes for the beers that I tried:
Sankaty Light Lager
First things first: yes it is a light lager and it definitely fits in with the style guidelines for the style. It is a bit on the thin side, and does have a strong “water” characteristic to it. More importantly however, if it wasn’t obvious by the style, I’m assuming that this beer isn’t brewed to appeal to the IPA-swiggin craft beer crowd. This is the kind of beer that is meant to appeal to the domestic lager drinker as a gateway beer. That being said, it is a hell of a lot better than any light lager I’ve had. The aroma is grassy with a bit of sweet lemon zest; both of which are apparent in the taste as well. The body is extremely light and crisp, making this a perfect lawnmower beer, or whatever the Las Vegas equivalent would be. Golfing beer? I don’t know (I don’t play golf, but I’m assuming that it is only enjoyable if you are drinking).
Grey Lady Ale
This beer is Cisco’s take on a witbier. I say “Cisco’s take on” because it was unlike any witbier I’ve had before. The beer had a brilliant clarity, unlike the typical haze that is usually imparted from beers that contain wheat. The aroma had some spice, which is to be expected, but the interesting part is the lemony/ginger-ale aroma that I got from the beer. The flavor profile of the beer also had this lemony-ginger characteristic as well, along with the typical witbier attributes. I should add that these flavors were all very well balanced, and this beer too had a very light and crisp body that would be ideal when you are stuck outside during a Las Vegas summer.
Whale’s Tale Pale Ale
This beer was my favorite of the four. The beer tasted essentially like an English pale ale brewed with American hops. The malt profile had some toasty, caramel sweetness to it, but was balanced well enough to not have been overtaken by the piny, citrusy hops. The aroma was filled with these hop characteristics, however the taste was very balanced between the bitterness and sweetness.
Indie Pale Ale
In a lot of ways, this seemed like an amped up version of their pale ale. All the characteristics I described of the malt flavors were apparent in this beer as well. The hops however were a bit more present, and didn’t have the citrusy character that Whale’s Tale had. Instead, the hops were primarily very piney, both in the aroma and the bitterness. The residual flavors in the finish were also very floral, with a slight bit of perfume like bitterness lingering.
While I haven’t had any of their sours, or seasonal releases, I have heard from others that they are quite tasty. Definitely be on the look out for those beers!