Blackhorse Vanilla Cream Ale

I've had a few Memphis beers, but I don't think I've had one from Knoxville before. See, Tennessee is a wide state, and I'm in the middle with Knoxville and Memphis on either side. I would expect that I would see more beers from Knoxville, and maybe I will in the future if this one works out.

The ale looks like a kind of dirty dishwater after rinsing a few Mountain Dew glasses. There's absolutely no head, but there are points of nucleation, so this isn't flat. The aroma is 0% vanilla, despite the name of the beverage. Instead, it's a very grainy malt that reminds me of nothing more than a wheat beer.

First sip is not a good one. I've had cream ales, and I've had vanilla-infused ales, and this tastes like neither of them. Instead, it tastes like the aforementioned dishwater with vanilla extract added to it. This might have hidden complexities, but I'm not liking the sip at all. Maybe if it warmed up a little it would be better - and maybe it just needs a swig.

Tip-in is a little lemony and vanilla with grains backing it up. The middle is more of the vanilla with the grains and lemon backing it up. The middle right here is very good. I don't know why I was missing the clear and brisk taste that was clearly lurking in the middle whenever I sipped, but here it is. The finish is a slight snap of bitterness with vanilla trailing off.

Bottom Line: Drink it the right way, and it's rewarding enough.

2.5/5

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