Monday, February 2, 2009

Surprise No. 15

Because of the nice weather Saturday, Stella, the kids and I spent a little too much time at the playground. Therefore, I didn't have time to make a liquor store run before Stella left for the evening. With no real time to get to the liquor store again until right around Superbowl time it was imperative that someone get me some beer. So Stella took on the challenge and went to the liquor store while she was out.

Why is any of that important. Because it taught me a valuable lesson about beer shopping. I had developed a scotoma or blind spot for Schlafly No. 15. It has just never seemed to be the right beer for me when I see it at the store. The packaging is kind of vague about what kind of beer it is, stating something about it being an amber ale (very nearly my least favorite ale). But Stella thought it sounded alright and picked up a sixer. Sometimes, it's good to get another pair of eyes on the beer selection at a liquor store.

When she got back home about 9:30 I popped one of the No. 15 open and poured it into my pint glass. I was taken aback at the look of it. It was like a cloudy tomato beer only not as red, perhaps a tomato Boulevard Wheat. It had a banany hefeweizen smell to it. At this point I was quite intrigued by it. The taste had a bit of spiciness with some fruit flavors like pear and apple. And it had kind of a grainy medium heavy mouthfeel to it. I completely enjoyed it.

I don't even know how to categorize this beer, it was fruity with wheat but kind of heavy and describes itself as an amber. I guess it's Schlafly's version of a Lunar Ale. The six pack was gone before the Superbowl started the next day (Stella loved it too). I'm damning with faint praise here, but No. 15 is my new favorite Schlafly beer, taking the mantle from the Saison. Unlike the Saison, I'm going to add this one to the purchase rotation.


  1. I've liked everything I've had from Schlafly. I haven't tried this, though. Like you, I tend to shy away from "ambers" since the style seems like a catch-all for mediocre beers, although sometimes I'm surprised. I picked up a bottle of Anderson Valley Boont Amber @ Lukas that I'm excited to try. I've heard great things about AV.

    Did you review the Schlafly Saison? I like it, although I haven't sat and written about it yet.

  2. Yeah, I reviewed the Saison here. But, I first tried it at the Schlafly brewpub in downtown St. Louis. It was my first saison ever and I just fell in love with the style. This is why I always try to write favorably about Schlafly.

  3. I kind of had the same experience with this beer. I bought it without knowing anything about what style it was supposed to be. I thought it was some kind of 15th anniversary beer. It really took me by surprise. I really liked it, but then I like the flavor of weizen yeast.

    In response to Liquid Diet's comment. It is not an amber at all. It is more of a dunkleweizen.

  4. This beer was created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the brewery. Usually Schlafly beers are named style specific. But because this beer isnt really one style, it is #15. I agree this does make it hard for people to understand. But I would describe it as a cross between a Belgian Wit and a Dunkelweiss.

  5. Blanche De BruxellesFebruary 5, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    #15 is my favorite. I've gotten a few kegs of it and it really goes fast. Now that Gary is trolling this site, make sure you write good things about Schlafly so he'll give you some free stuff. And yes, he does have the best job in the world.