Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Leinenkugel's Canoe Paddler Review

Name: Leinenkugel's Canoe Paddler
Style: Kolsch
ABV: 5%

Leinenkugel's has become synonymous with Spring and Summer beers here in the Midwest. Between their numerous shandies, and light seasonal beers, chances are you can't go to any picnic or camping trip in the Midwest without coming across at least one beer from Leinenkugel's.

Which brings us to Canoe Paddler, a Kolsch that is brewed with, of all things, Rye. It's interesting because whenever I see rye used in the brewing process, it's usually with heavier styles like IPAs & Barleywines. For some people, it seems like an unlikely combination but it really isn't for me seeing as how there's a beer that has goat brains in it, which yes, is totally a thing. In short, I've become desensitized.

Appearance - Bright and clear yellow color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is quite thin and there isn't any lacing to speak of.

Aroma - Pale malts and cereal grain on the front of the nose, followed by some bitter hops and a touch of rye spiciness. The white grape scent I'm used to in Kolsch is mysteriously absent in the nose.

Taste - Pale malts and cereal grains once again dominate the palate like they did with the nose. The second half of the flavor is where you get the bitter hops and light white grape sweetness. It isn't until the aftertaste the the rye spiciness starts to make an appearance and it lingers for a bit before fading away.

After having this, I honestly say that I really like the idea of a Kolsch brewed with rye.....but I can't really say I'm a big fan of this. The cereal grains are way too dominant, which makes it come off more as a glorified adjunct lager than an actual Kolsch. It's kind of sad when you think about it because this was a Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Championship.

At the same time, the palate does feel nice and crisp thanks in part to the rye used in the brewing process and I could see why someone could drink this on a nice spring or summer day. Given my options though, this wouldn't be my first choice as far as Kolschs go.

Leinenkugel's Canoe Paddler - 7.25/10

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