OK, since we had a recent discussion on this ale, I decided to give a try at Tunnicliffs Tavern on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Sunday Nov. 9, 2008 at approx. 3:00pm.
These are my notes:
Appearance: In regular 16oz pint glass- nice amber color. Modest sized head (did not see how bartender poured it since I was at a table). Head actually stuck around for a few minutes. Tilting the glass, the head clung a little to the glass. Not overly carbonated. The color and foamy head was inviting. Above average B/B+
Smell: flowery hop smell. A small hint of pine nut, and a sort of touch sweet but mostly the wild flowery hop smell was dominant. Nice brew smell. Slighty above average. C+
Taste: Initially the lightly toasted malts are tasted with a trace amout of sweet all on the tip of the tongue, then a more bitter hop flavor takes over. There's a moment of balance between the malt and the hop, but then the finish is all hop with a copper kettle tinge and bitter resolution. Better than average B
Mouthfeel. I thought that it would be flat, since bubbles really weren't coming up from the bottom of my glass, but it still had some life . Some body, but not very curvy. Thinner in body than the taste and appearance would imply, but not watery either. probably it's worst atribute compared to the other areas of consideration. no better than average C (which is still better than anything else I've had labelled Bud)
Drinkability: very drinkable. Since it's not bold, and the body is not full, it makes for an easy glass of Ale, while eating baked brie with toasted almonds and fruit(which was our appetizer). B+
My wife had a Widmer Hefeweizen. Her beer was a half-dollar more expensive. Mine was a better beer. I didn't care for the Widmer Hefe, yet the American Ale was great for a Sunday afternoon beer. Certainly a much better beer than anything else with the Bud name on it.
I used to like Yuengling, when I got it in State College, PA for a dollar a pint. Then this beer was marketed as a premium domestic beer and the price went up, and all the mid-atlantic yuppies went nuts over it. Well, honestly, Bud's American Ale is a better beer. My wife, who used to work at a brewpub in Syracuse, NY, tried it. She didn't realize it was Bud. I just called it American Ale. She said, not too bad. I said it's Bud's American Ale, she said, "ugh, it was terrible...just kidding. that's really not a bad effort." She too liked it better than Yuengling. And honestly, there are some American Ales and reds out there with interesting craft brew names, that aren't really any better than this beer, but will come with a slightly heftier price tag.
A= Top of class
B= Above Average
D= Below Average
I'd give this a B. I'd drink this before Yuengling, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sam Adams Hefe, Sam Adams Irish Red, but not before a Sam Adams Boston Ale. But, since Bud's American Ale is priced just under Sam Adams brews (at least at this place) I can see it doing well on tap. Price range, if it stays just under the other premiums, it could be successful. And, if Bud (or who ever owns Bud) keeps trying to improve it, it could get a solid foothold in the "premium" domestic market class. It's a better beer than Michelob products. But, will take some time to convince those Sam Adams and Yuengling drinkers.