FLORIDA CRACKER // SO-SO // DECENT SUMMER BEER

In celebration of Father’s Day, I spent the day with my dad working on his new house. We ate some gnarly Mexican food, presented gifts, and then brought the party back home where we sat outside and drank some beers. He chose Coors Light, he has a refined palate as you can tell, and I went with the Florida Cracker from, my favorite as of late, Cigar City. I picked up this six-pack while I was in Orlando and I’m just about to the end of it. I was expecting a little more out of this one, and I might even be inclined to say I was a little disappointed. I’ve come to expect so much, but this just really wasn’t hitting the right marks for me.
Being the men that we are, we drank out of the cans, so no pouring was happening here. As always, I looked it up online, and it seems from many reviews that this bad boy pours a cloudy straw color with tons of bright white head that lingers for ages. The smell was quite potent, but in a good way, I suppose. There was a lot of lemon and other citrus fruits accompanied by some coriander and something like clove, maybe? There was a light, earthy note to it that didn’t really settle well with me, almost spoiled. It had that classic smell of old stale beer that we’re all so accustomed to, but none of us enjoy, at least I hope you don’t enjoy that rancid smell. Anyways, I was looking to move past the aroma, as it left me with some doubts as to what this would actually be like, but I wasn’t completely excited about this one.
The flavor pretty much mirrors the aroma with the lemon and coriander, but the sour taste that I smelled came powering in with a vengeance. Midway through, you start to get some flavors in the way of orange peel that seem to continue to the back of your tongue and into the corners of your cheeks. There is an astringent quality that can be accredited to the citrus in this brew, which is somewhat unappealing to me. At the end, you really start to pick up on the malt character that seems to come in around the same time you pick up on the hops. The hop profile is much more earthy and herbal that I would like for a Belgian, but the yeasts pair with it nicely to add a sweetness to it that the beer really needs to make it drinkable. By having this component, the quality of the beer skyrockets by making it very nicely balanced, because you still get some of that sharp lemon bitterness that is now tamed to a consumable level. I continued to keep getting those harsh bites in the back of my cheeks and jaw from all the citrus that has been packed into this beer. It’s just a little too harsh for my tastes, but some people may be into that. There were some nice aspects of the taste, but not enough to make me rave about it.
The mouthfeel was pretty light; good for a summer time beer, as it is intended to be. The main problem I had, was that it was highly carbonated and didn’t feel great on the tongue. Coupled with light body, this would be an alright session beer for the beach or in the summer in general. If the beer had been a bit smoother and had a little less of the harsh citrus, I could drink this beer all day long.
Overall, this was a miss for me by one of my favorite breweries right now. I know that they can’t do everything right all the time, but at the same time, you come to expect a certain standard of quality from a brewery. This just missed on almost all the marks for me and I wish it hadn’t. I would probably only drink this if someone else bought it from now on, because of this experience. I’ll know next time, but more importantly, I’m glad I didn’t make my dad drink this and make him think this is the kind of beer that I enjoy drinking. That would be a lie. A lie on Father’s Day.

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