As spontaneous as I’d like to think I am when it comes to picking out beer (from “ooh, I’ve never had that, I’m gonna get it!” to “the label is pretty!” and occasionally “Someone recommended it”) I was bound to come across something that was shelled out by a macro company, even under a name that sounded like a micro. Though, in all fairness, I was not the one who picked this out, it was selected for me by…well…someone I know who was under the same blind impression as I was when I agreed to continue with the purchase. Lesson learned, however, and this review is as unbiased as possible despite the fact that it is not really brewed by “Blue Dawg Brewing” but by Anheuser-Busch. Sneaky.
Before I knew Wild Blue was made by Anheuser-Busch, I took lots of notes on it, so these are pretty much as unbiased as they can get. I was shocked to see it pour into my tumbler flashing a cranberry juice/burgundy red body with blueberry purple shadows and ruby red raspberry highlights. This was the first point where I contemplated whether or not I should pick another beer to review, but I soldiered on for the sake of saying I had tasted it. There was a slight cloudiness from the blueberry sediment (apparently they used real blueberries), otherwise it was mostly clear. A pale creamy rose-stained blushing head formed and fell very quickly with small popping soda bubbles, and it managed to reach just about 2-fingers thick before it disappeared. It left minimal tracks of lace that closely followed the liquid down the glass, but refused to stick around for long.
The nose was a ridiculously strong concoction of blueberries and sweetened cranberry juice. I could smell it the second I opened the bottle and even standing a few feet away, it was obvious what made up this fruit beer. Up close, there was a slight wine-characteristic to it, with light traces of tart hops in the background and hints of barley malt that just barely emerged as it warmed to room temperature. It was rather dry in my nose despite all of the fruitiness and it was really quite difficult to discern any other smells over the powerful blueberry. It is a blueberry beer though, so I guess it’s nice that they stuck to their advertising. For once.
The taste was pretty much exactly what I expected, besides the suggestion that regardless of whether or not the blueberry flavor was slightly syrupy, it held a more “fresh blueberry” tartness than a “from concentrate” thickness. There was a definite lack of high fructose corn syrup, which I liked – though I doubt I’ll ever really know if they use real blueberries like they say they do. Nestled up close to the blueberries were some cranberries and raspberries as well, but they tasted like they’d been cooked down to the bare minimum of flavors. There may have also been a few dark grapes and a very faint maltiness that lingered way underneath, but my tongue was so over-burdened with blueberries that it was hard to find anything else, much like the nose. So, obviously with all of that fruit, it was very sweet and it also managed to keep the carbonation going for most of the beer, despite the bubbles being like tiny champagne bubbles – which made the whole drink reminiscent of a fruit cider. Also, it had a very thin mouthfeel and a rather dry, crisp ending even with all of the big juicy fruit flavors, and tasted something like a slightly carbonated juice beverage that was on its way to going flat. It carried no aftertaste and in the end, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. A fruit beer like this just isn’t my style, it’s too sweet with not enough sour, and I’m beginning to think that even though I tried not to be a snob about it being a product from Anheuser-Busch, the knowledge (unfortunately) definitely tainted my experience. Though the label is pretty!