Are you, dear Reader, also hoping for a hint of spring at this point (spring meaning the idyllic version and not a surprise blizzard)? Never fear, your beer columnists have an antidote to April snow. Brewed by Bissell Brothers Brewing Company right in Portland, LUX rye ale is—as the name might suggest—a true luxury of a beer. The brewery advertises this as a “tropical beer” and it does not disappoint. From the festive purple-pink can to the phenomenal fruity aftertaste, LUX beer made even Jae-Yeon (who has been surrounded every single day by snow since October 9, 2016) believe in the possibility of spring.
Before we go on to fully rave over this beer, we’ll address the only downside to this beer—its unavailability. It is seasonally released and highly demanded; if you go to the Bissell Brothers’ Facebook page, you’ll see that it advertises its beer “releases” like a much-sought-after band would announce its concerts. Nick only managed to buy this because he is friends with Dan, the owner of Uncle Tom’s; there are people who line up in order to catch this beer’s release. It is currently only available in the state of Maine, and even here it is a rare sight. At $16 for a four-pack, this is not a cheap beer—but considering that there are bars where you may pay $10 for a pint of Stella Artois, it is well worth your alcohol money for the amount of flavorful joy it contains. If you can get your hands on some, try it.
When poured into a glass, this rye ale was a dark golden color, like a good mango. It mysteriously appeared to have no sediment (neither in appearance or in taste), and it was clouded with almost no head. The smell was a distinct, lovely combination of grapefruit and mango. Although we highly recommend savoring this beer for its mind-blowing taste, it was a light beer and went down smoothly at a 5.1 percent ABV. The mouthfeel was smooth and buttery, with just the right amount of carbonation—neither flat nor painfully fizzy. In fact, were it not for the price and availability, it would be very possibly a beer to “smash.”
We are at a loss to describe this beer’s taste, especially without the aid of our taste graphs, for the nuanced taste is what really distinguishes this beer out from the others. But let us try: the first five seconds are nothing out of this world—the taste you would expect from a very good, light IPA. The flavor of hops predominate while the drinker appreciates the rich mouthfeel of LUX. Then, after the initial taste fades out into a brief beat of nothingness, the climactic turning point catapults this beer from a “good” to a “great”: a remarkably strong fruity sweetness bursts into flavor, even though we had long finished swallowing the beer. Furthermore, the aftertaste kept on developing and slightly shifting flavor—true beer magic at its best. Eva Sibinga ’17, our guest taster, was struck by the beer’s aftertaste but also by its maltiness. The malt was not overwhelming but present enough to give the beer a definite sweet kick, nicely balanced out by the initial hoppiness. Eva also noted that this was the ultimate beer for a hammock, saying, “The beer is a stand-alone on its own, that I would only need a slight, mindless activity to supplement it.” The tropical overtones of this beer would indeed pair well with a hammock.
In short, this is the beer of not only your spring dreams but a solid all-year-round tropical haven. Who needs a warm vacation resort when we have LUX beer?