An Appropriate Name for a Durham Delight
A Review of El Toro by Fullsteam Brewery
Posted on 5/14/2011 by Chops
                   
Great
Having just had a delicious cream ale recently, I was really looking forward to trying another. And much to my delight, I just so happened to stumble upon a draught cream ale from Fullsteam, one of my favorite local breweries. And I even loved the name: El Toro (The Bull). You know, Durham Bulls? Bull Durham? Anyone? Sigh, moving on...

I do not know enough about cream ales to know if there is a big difference between bottle and draught. It's pretty common for a beer's flavor profile to change depending on the source container you're getting it from. I mention this because Fullsteam's El Toro actually tastes more like a cream flavored lager or wheat. Not complaining, I just found it to be much lighter and easy drinking than expected.

So in trying to describe this beer, I have to find a comparable base. It has the color, smell and mouthfeel of a crisp summer wheat, almost like a filtered hefeweizen. It's very light and airy with no aggressive tastes, so it's quite an easy drinker. The color is a nice pale gold, a few shades above that mass produced light yellow. It's quite an appealing looking lighter brew.

This beer has a great deal of interesting tastes playing off of each other. You have the base of a light wheat, then a layer of savory cream flavor floating on top of it. There are a few other flavors that I couldn't put my finger on that were culminating in a very unique taste. So, I whipped out the smart phone and looked it up. Come to find out, this beer is brewed with North Carolina corn grits and ''more than 15% of the base fermentables come from North Carolina corn.'' Very interesting and it certainly identifies that mystery taste. Not a bad thing, just adds a fascinating earthy aspect to the flavor.

Overall, Fullsteam's El Toro Classic Cream Ale is a delightful and delicious brew. I can certainly recommend it, especially during the summer months. And the more I think about it, this would actually make a great bridge to better beer. I would highly recommend it to light beer fans looking to gently break into the world of quality microbrews.

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El Toro by Fullsteam Brewery
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