American Macro Week: Icehouse

American Macro WeekIcehouse is the next beer in the tasting queue, one of the so-called "ice beers" from Miller (the "Plank Road Brewery" line). In fact it’s the "first domestic ice beer" in America, they say, and has an alcohol content of 5.5% by volume.

Generally, an "ice beer" is supposed to be stronger than the "average" beer (water is frozen out of the beer, thereby concentrating the alcohol content), and while 5.5% is a bit higher in macrobrew terms, it really doesn’t pass "session" levels in the micro world. That’s just my roundabout way of saying, I didn’t notice the higher strength of this beer.

IcehouseServed up from a 24-ounce can, nice and chilled right out of the fridge. Poured into the Michelob Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Very clear, pale-ish golden yellow. (Slightly darker than the Budweiser.) Very fizzy, bubbles rising continuously. White head that’s got a very slight yellow tinge to it.

Smell: Gassy and grassy… clean and grainy. Really no other profile to speak of.

Taste: Lightly toasted grain, a small bit of that cooked corn character. "Flat," a touch steely, some very lightly-grassy hops, whose bitterness rises in the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Light and gassy… a bit more body that Budweiser, but still very thin and effervescent. Quenches thirst.

The verdict: More flavorful than I would have figured, but a little too gassy. I do like this better than the Budweiser, though; it’s cleaner and heavier.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a letter grade of D ("avoid") (the Bros. award it C-). On RateBeer, it scores 1.52 out of 5 and is in their 2nd percentile.