Lawson’s Finest Liquids is a one-barrel brewery in Warren, Vermont run by Sean Lawson. Lawson has been a homebrewer for about 20 years started selling his beer in 2008. The tough part however, is getting some. Currently, Lawson’s beers are on draft five bars and bottles are only sold at one store, the Warren General Store. Bottles are usually dropped off on Fridays, where there is usually a mad dash to get some.
Red Spruce Bitter is an herbed/spiced beer described on the bottle as: “Lawson’s 2010 winter holiday ale is a special bitter brewed with Maine-grown barley, Liberty hops, real sprigs of Red Spruce trees picked at the brewery, a dash of cinnamon & fermented with an English-style yeast.” This beer was hazy brown in color with a nice sized tan head that left a skim of bubbles on top. The aroma is a little weak, but very nice nonetheless, there is some bready malt and cinnamon, the spruce is there as well. It almost has a mulled cider smell to it. The flavor is where things get interesting for this beer though. The bready malts come through and a really nice spiciness with the cinnamon and spruce. The flavor is much more pronounced than the aroma. As the beer warms these flavors get much bolder, and the creaminess is great.
Paradise Ale is an American Amber/Red Ale described as: “Our amber American Ale is filled with juicy hop flavors and a crisp blend of pale two-row and dark crystal malts.” Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a dense white head on top. A very crisp hop aroma with lots of citrus and pine. The caramel malts form the two-row caught me a bit by surprise at how present they were. The hop flavor is not as strong as I expected based on the aroma. The citrus flavors include grapefruit and some orange peel. The finish is slightly bitter and spicy from the hops. This beer reminds a lot of Troegs Nugget Nectar with less hop presence.
Overall, both of these beers were great, obviously the tough part is getting some. Trust me, it is worth it!
Red Spruce Bitter