Thursday, July 14, 2011

Federal Jack's Brewpub - Kennebunkport Porter, Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat Ale, Kennebunkport IPA

I don't know a lot about Federal Jack's brewpub. What I do know is that every once in a while, Trader Joes gets some of their beers in and I decide to try them. Recently, Trader Joes received four new Federal Jack's beers: Kennebunkport Wheat (which I recently reviewed and found to be the worst beer ever made), Kennebunkport Porter, Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat and Kennebunkport IPA. The thought of tasting another beer from the brewery that could produce Kennebunkport Wheat gave me chills, but I decided to give the brewery another shot. First up- Kennebunkport Porter.

Kennebunkport Porter

Kennebunkport Porter pours a very dark brown color with a thin tan head. Looks-wise, this beer isn't half bad. The smell wasn't bad either, with some notes of roasted malts and coffee and a slight breadiness.

While the taste wasn't at all bad, it didn't do much for me either. There were a lot of roasted malt and coffee flavors but the flavors seemed a bit disjointed. The malts came in first and then the taste kind of just died. Then the coffee came in on the finish and the taste completely died again. This wasn't a terrible beer, but it's certainly far from being a great porter. Next up- Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat Ale

Final Grade: C

Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat Ale

Let me start this one off by saying that I was very skeptical going into this one. The fact that it said "Kennebunkport" and "Wheat" brought back horrible, horrible memories. Still, this one couldn't be as bad as that monstrosity, could it?

Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat Ale pours a pale golden color with an extremely thin head that stuck around for all of 5 seconds. The beer smelled like blueberries, but in a very artificial way. Almost like what I imagine a blueberry scented air freshener would smell like. There was also a strange buttery and sugary smell that made this beer smell like a freshly buttered up blueberry muffin. If nothing else, they nailed the blueberry scent.

You would think that a beer that smelled so much like blueberries would taste like them too. Nope. This beer tastes like a buttered up roll. The butter flavor is thick and a little oaky and overwhelms anything else the brewers may have been going for. Still, while this beer was undeniably awful, it wasn't worse than the Kennebunkport Wheat. But wait...there was still one more Kennebunkport to try.

Final Grade: D

Kennebunkport IPA

I don't like to give grades lower than a "D" on here. I think that craft brewers have a hard enough time trying to compete with the big three (Budweiser, Miller and Coors), and the last thing they need is a beer blogger saying that their beer is terrible. However, on the rarest of occasions, a beer is so awful that I can't give it anything but an "F." So I apologize to Federal Jack's, but they really have to do better than this.

Kennebunkport IPA pours a clear coppery color with a cream colored head and pretty good retention. If I graded beers solely on looks, this wouldn't get a bad grade. The smell is where it starts to go wrong. When you take a whiff of Kennebunkport IPA, you smell cereal malts, boiled corn and grain. Not completely unusual smells for a beer...unless it's labeled an IPA. Usually, an IPA will assault your nose (or at least caress it) with hops. Not this one. It smells like the hops forgot to show up to this party.

I've been trying to find a way to accurately describe the way this beer tastes for a few days now. The one thing I can tell you for certain is that it tastes nothing like an IPA. Or a beer for that matter. No, whatever was in my bottle was something much more sinister. Imagine, if you will, the worst tasting lager you've ever tried (think Bud Light or Natty Light). Then add to that the taste of metal. On top of that, add the taste of licking a nail that's been sitting outside gathering rust for 5 years. Then add the taste of cat feces (or what you might imagine cat feces would taste like. Hopefully you don't actually know) and you'll be getting close to the taste of Kennebunkport IPA. It is without a doubt the worst beer I have ever tasted and it makes me feel foolish for believing that nothing could be worst than Kennebunkport Wheat. I was able to finish three sips before pouring it down the drain. Sorry, sink. I can only hope that this is the last I'll see of this brewery.

Final Grade: F

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 23


  1. KBP ipa may not taste like a standard IPA, but there are definitely English hops in here. It may not be great, but you are being very dishonest in saying it is the worst beer you have ever had. I have had many many beers much worse than this. It isn't even a bad beer, just stylistically mislabeled. If this said it was an amber ale, it would be quite decent for that style.

  2. i must ask, maybe it's just me, but didn't the kennebunkport porter taste like mississippi mud?

  3. Wow, just saw these comments. So, anonymous, I'm sorry to take so long to get back to you. I don't doubt that there are English hops in the beer, but they're just so masked by a variety of flavors I found to be way off. I have no real way of knowing how long this beer was kept in a warehouse, if it was exposed to crazy amounts of heat or light, or what other factors may have contributed to the utter lack of hops or good flavors in this beer, but I can honestly tell you that this remains the worst beer I've ever had. I'm on the hunt for worse, but it's gonna be tough to top this one.

  4. And yeah, I definitely wouldn't say that KBC Porter is far from Mississippi Mud. Neither are awful, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick them up. Thanks for the comments!

  5. On the hunt!? Pabst?! Milwaukee's Best?! Natural Light?! Anything that comes in a 40oz?! Pabst!
    Hunt over...

    BTW I'm a different anon :)