It would be hard to talk about Cream Ales on the West Coast and not mention Anderson Valley’s Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema. It’s a Cream Ale that actually achieves a creamy flavor (and aroma)—though it’s through the addition of a mystery spice. So it’s sort of a hybrid of a hybrid style…
No matter—this is still one very tasty beer that I find enjoyable to drink.
It’s 5.6% alcohol by volume and only 4 IBUs (according to Anderson Valley’s website).
Appearance: Substantially darker than the other cream ales—amber honey-colored. Generous off-white head.
Smell: Spiciness that’s a bit coriander and a bit… nutmeg? Has kind of a creamy aroma that makes me think so. Clean malty notes.
Taste: Real nice creamy-spice character that’s nutmeg-y and something else I can’t identify (cardamom?). Mild hops and tasty honey malts move into a nice toasty-biscuit aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a tangy-spicy bite on the tongue.
Overall: Tasty and rich; I’d like to know what spice(s) they incorporate and what gives it the creamy flavors. A little heavy for a traditional Cream Ale but very enjoyable.