Agavemente

California
United States
Agavemente, SouthNorte Beer Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
91
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

Agavemente celebrates the blending of cultures by infusing a traditional lager with Mexican agave syrup and hibiscus, for a playful twist on a refreshing agua de Jamaica.

Profile

ABV: 
6.3%
IBUs: 
20
Served at: 
40º
Judges Review 
Tracy Hensley's picture
Judges Rating:
91
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Overall, Agavemente by SouthNorte Beer Co. meets the main goal of the Specialty Fruit Beer style (2015 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Category 29C). It’s a cleanly made refreshing lager beer displaying characteristics of dried hibiscus and agave. However, it is trips up regarding the second part of the guidelines that require balance and pleasant combination of elements. What I perceived as a banana, strawberry smoothie note is some kind of estery result of the ingredients at slightly warmer temperature. The tannic, metallic lingering aftertaste detracts from its overall pleasantness. As far as balance, if one is really familiar with agave, you might be able to pick out these flavors, aromas, and adjunct effects with little difficultly. Otherwise, they might be lost on you. While the aromas and flavors do not sing in perfect harmony together, they both carry a tune that anyone can enjoy. 

 From a foot away, moderate banana-forward strawberry smoothie aromas first appear. With a nose stuck in the glass, a medium-low clean fermentation character starts followed by vanilla cream, dried twigs, dried cranberries, metallic cacao nibs and low notes of black peppercorns. Bright, not quite brilliantly clear strawberry juice color with exceptionally persistent creamy white tinged with pink head.  

Overall, subtle but decently balanced flavors. Low white bread (with no discernible hops) evolves into low Montmorency tart cherries. After several sips, the sourness of the cherries comes forward. Its aftertaste shows a slight tannic grip on the teeth, tongue, and lips and after a minute evolves into low mouthwatering bitterness. The lasting flavor reminds me of chewing on a mouthful of cherry seeds. There is still fruit there but so is a seedy tannic bitterness.  

I was interested in can variation, so I had the beer poured again, in the same style of glass and tasted them side by side. The first beer was served at 57 F and the second can was served at 45 F. The colder beer – when tasted side by side - was crisper, more refreshing, and the tannins a little less noticeable but a metallic character was more noticeable. The colder can also showed a moderate and pleasing red flower flavor character. 

While reviewing the beer, I forgot what the special ingredients were, but when reminded, thought the agave may be highlighting – by drying out the body and lowering the final gravity – the tannic elements of the beer.  I was uncertain if there was agave character, so took a whiff of some barrel-aged tequila I had open.  Sure enough, there is a pithy, raw, grassy sweetness in the aroma and flavor of this beer that aligns with the agave character of tequila.