The AleSmith Sublime Mexican Lager, initially released as a nod to Sublime’s iconic album “40oz. to Freedom,” presents itself in a 12 oz. can, poured into a pilsner glass. The dark amber hue, contrary to expectations, exhibits clarity with a yellowish foam crown. The carbonation, gracefully rising within the tall glass, adds a pleasing visual element. The can, adorned with the iconic sun from the original album artwork, is noteworthy, featuring a distinctive all-black lid.


Upon initial olfactory exploration, the aroma unfolds with notes of sweet candy corn, reminiscent of corn flakes cereal, and a subtle hint of lemon soap. While the initial impression is not particularly captivating, subsequent samplings reveal an evolving aromatic profile. Caramel cake and maple waffle nuances gradually dominate the scene, enhancing the overall olfactory experience.


The taste journey of Sublime Mexican Lager embarks on a sweet note, akin to indulging in an orange sherbet push pop. Unexpectedly, a mid-palate revelation introduces a blend of soupy rustic grain and flaked corn, contributing an intriguing twist. The beer culminates with a touch of lemon acid, creating a dynamic flavor profile. Despite the initial intensity of sweetness, repeated tastings reveal a well-constructed brew that evolves positively with each sip.


The beer, classified as a Vienna-style lager, surprises with its depth of rustic grain character and the addition of appetizing corn elements. Exhibiting a medium-bodied richness, the dark breadiness is complemented by a subtle tartness. The standout feature lies in the remarkably long lactic, sourdough bread finish that lingers for an extended period. Despite preconceptions of a potentially heavy amber corn lager, the mouthfeel manages to offer a surprisingly refreshing experience.


Initially met with skepticism, the AleSmith Sublime Mexican Lager successfully grows on the palate over time. The intensified sweetness at the forefront may be a minor drawback, but as the consumption progresses, it integrates well with the overall profile. The beer accomplishes its intended purpose, offering a well-constructed and unique summer brew, aligning with the beach vibes suggested by the label. While its initial release in 40oz malt liquor bottles paid homage to Sublime’s debut album, the current distribution in 6-packs indicates a strategic move by AleSmith to cater to a wider market.

In the realm of craft beers, the Sublime Mexican Lager stands out as a distinctive choice. For those seeking a departure from the ordinary, this brew, with its evolving flavors and surprising depth, might just provide a pleasant surprise – a sentiment that echoed through this critical exploration.