Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Old Dominion Spring Buck

Spring Buck Blonde Ale is the latest release from Old Dominion Brewery in Ashburn, VA. Though the bottles of Old Dominion's Spring release tout a new name and design, and the beer a new recipe, the six-pack carrier they are packaged in bears the "Spring Brew" name and logo from previous years. Since the brewery promotes this as a Spring beer, as with the Tröegs Nugget Nectar mentioned previously, I'll go ahead and claim this is an early harbinger of the approaching Spring. The release party for this brew was held at the brewery on January 9, which also is the bottling date stamped on the bottles I picked up today.

The Old Dominion web site describes Spring Buck as a "full-flavored Blonde Ale has a crisp spiced finish with hints of chamomile and orange." Spring Buck pours a bright amber-gold color with a white head that drops rapidly leaving a ring, but little lacing. The beer is very effervescent, with a never-ending stream of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The aroma is honey, with some faint hints of pepper, clove and banana. There's a slight yeastiness noted as well. The flavor is predominately honey, orange, and a typical Belgian spice flavor palette. The mouthfeel is moderately thick with a creamy feeling, though the visible carbonation isn't felt in the mouth. The aftertaste leaves a lingering but light pepper bite. A Belgian Blond Ale, Old Dominion Spring Buck weighs in at 7.5% ABV.

I totally missed Old Dominion's Winter 2007 release, so I jumped on this one as soon as I saw it. That it showed up in the grocery store so quickly must be a result of Anheuser-Busch becoming the master distributor for Old Dominion in 2007. Old Dominion Spring Buck Blonde Ale is a nice example of the style. There's nothing extreme about it, and given the recent success of Belgian-style beers from the large macro-breweries, this one could be a hit with consumers as well.

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