My first Shiner. Thanks goes out to Josh Schipp for picking this up last night for the Garbage Chili dinner party we had. I first heard of it from Lendol Calder who loves any beer with Grapefruit in it. For some reason I've tended to avoid Shiner because of their more than micro-brewery status. But since I opened the blog up to Samuel Adams, why not Shiner.
Aroma: A bit wheaty with a crisp lagered undertone. Fruit and tropical zest (primarily attributed to the grapefruit). Quite estery and dry. Some hop profile in the finish with a note of fruit pith. Overall pretty bland in the scent category.
Taste: Quite watery. There isn't much of a malt bill at all. Starts very uneventful, lacking sweetness...kind of like a macro-brew. Much of the taste resides in the finish which emphasizes all the characteristics of a grapefruit, in and out. First comes an under-ripened sweetness from the actual fruit, then the zest oils from the skin which creates an additional bitterness. Finally it ends on a pith note, which is short lived (this beer doesn't have much of an aftertaste after the lingering carbonation fades.
Mouthfeel: High carbonation tries to mask its extremely light and watery body. The carbonation lasts throughout the whole taste of the beer, hindering some, and amplifying other flavors. Crisp and refreshing, but not the best option.
Overall Impression: The watery texture of this beer and the lack of a malt backbone are the most deterring. It's as if Shiner took their lightest, cheapest beer recipe, added a few grapefruits and erected an entirely different beer. For the macro drinker who wants a superficial zip in their beer. Better off taking a Coors and adding a grapefruit slice to it. I tend to like the beers that achieve the flavor through their hops.