Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Apple Spice

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Chippewa Falls, WI

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 5.0%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Not good.)

Nigel will admit to two things: 1) I like referring to myself in the third person, and 2) I tend to not like fruit beer. It's not that I don't respect the style, which does produce some legitimately good brews, it's just not something I can usually get down with. So why did Nigel choose to review a fruit beer? Consider it a favor to all my fellow Beer Dorks, many of whom may run across Leinie's Apple Spice on store shelves this Thanksgiving season and say to themselves "Hmmm... that sounds interesting, maybe I'll give it a try". Don't do it kids, because you'll surely regret it. I only call this a "fruit beer" because my college education has taught me that apples are in fact fruit, and that when a product refers to itself as "beer" on its label, it's likely trying to pass itself off as such.

This is not beer. It is best described as the backwash at the bottom of a bottle of cheap apple juice that was left out in the sun, then mixed with an even cheaper bottle of malt liquor. Come to think of it, this may actually be the case since most Leinenkugel's is contract brewed in Milwaukee by Miller Brewing Co. (so much for that Northwoods "craft" brew appeal). It does look like beer in that it pours a brownish color and has bubbles, but that's pretty much the extent of it. It doesn't smell, and definitely doesn't taste, anything like beer. To prove that point, it's a brew best served warm. That's right, warm, as in pop it in the microwave for a minute on high warm. That way, it tastes more like really, really bad apple cider than like a completely undrinkable beer. Leinenkugel's has had some success in recent years with their summer fruit brew, Berry Weiss, which can be a refreshing beer on a hot summer day and is tasty in small doses. Clearly they were hoping to copy that success with Apple Spice, but they failed miserably. The only reason I rated this a 1 out of 5 rather than a zero is for the fact that as a born and bred Wisconsinite, Leinenkugel's holds a special place in my heart as the standard bearer of Wisconsin craft brews. Any more shit like this, however, and I'll just start referring to them as Miller Jr.

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on November 21, 2006.
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