Cisco Brewers Grey Lady Ale

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Hey girl, I’m really digging your amphibious style and leaf belt.  I think we should give this a shot, I’ll swim by at 8:00?

Now if that line doesn’t work on a mermaid, then I have no idea how one goes about picking one up.  For me it was easy, I didn’t even have to say anything, just took a trip down the beer isle, and I saw her giving me the eye.  Never been with a mermaid before, so I decided to, in the words of Eddie Money, “Take [her] home tonight!”  I did, and I liked it.

Grey Lady is a Belgian Style Wit made by the wonderful people at Cisco Brewers in Nantucket.  I’ve tasted this beer on location at the brewery, but Imagethe only thing I remembered from that tour was how wonderful their Lady of the Woods tasted, and how freaking awesome the life of the head brewer there was.  Grey Lady just made an appearance.  Now it was time to spend the night alone with this one.  I lit the candles, took her out to a nice dinner, had some Linoel Richie playing, and was the perfect gentleman.  Let’s see how the date went…

Appearance:  She was hot!  Very light in color and mysteriously hazy.  Looks like the name Grey Lady fits perfect with this one.  No sediment on first pour, was expecting a little seeing it’s a Belgian Wit.  No sediment at second pour either, however when I went to put the bottle away, I saw all the sediment at the bottom.  Wish I had shook it up before pouring, but c’est la vie.  At first glance, it looks like it could lack taste, however that thought is immediately out the window once the beer opens up.  I was a good 2 feet away from the beer and could already smell it.  The head of the beer disappeared after 10 seconds, and it left no lacing.

Smell:  Her perfume will linger with you.  Very fruity.  Oranges, Bananas, Raspberry-Lemon, and the slightest bit of yeast are layered throughout the beer.  At first smell you can tell that this is a more complex beer with more depth than your Average Joes, Blue Moon.  It smells fresh and very crisp, perfect for a warmer day, something you’d want to put on the shelf in the wintertime, based on its smell.  As the brew left the glass, about half way through it, a lactic, yogurty smell came through, which may explain the slight tartness in the taste.

ImageTaste:  Let’s just say she wasn’t bitter at all.  At first taste you really get the yeast and the orange of the beer.  As you continue to drink, you realize fully, and understand, why the brew is called Grey Lady.  Again, as in its appearance, it has a hazy taste that brings out the lemon-tartness of the brew after the original hint of orange-oil and yeast.  The tartness could be explained by the lactic smell, but it certainly does not overpower the beer.  I could envision myself drinking this on Nantucket, looking at a lighthouse on a foggy morning, with a captain’s hat on my head, reminiscing about the Kennedy’s.  And yes, I said morning.  This does remind me a little of a mimosa; the brew is very light, and to me, is lacking body.  You can sort of predict that just looking at its appearance, however, when drinking Delirium Tremens, I got the lightness out of the beer, but it had some character and body to it.  If there is one knock on Grey Lady, it’s that.  Definitely more of an sunny afternoon, beach beer.  Very drinkable, as there is nothing in here to really fill you up.  Body wise, it even seems lighter than the aforementioned Blue Moon, which could be a good or a bad thing, but to me I get a sense that it’s too refined and also too watery.  If the sediment was loosened and more of it fell into the glass, my opinion on this could change, but I doubt it would have made a drastic difference.

Overall:  The brew delivers with taste, and does a great job with leaving your stomach feeling empty.  The lack of body may be appealing for some, but for me it was definitely a knock against the beer.  I enjoyed the flavor, but the lack of a “finish” to the beer is something that I was disappointed with.  I will buy this again if I’m on the beach or just ate a 4 course dinner, but other than that, there are other Belgians out there.  The final grade: B-/B; it’s great for a summer beer, but needs some umph to ramp it up for an everyday beverage.  At 4.5% ABV, I also feel that you can get more bang for your buck, but it’s worth a try.  Pick one up!

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