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Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Ale

Those crazy Belgians are always adding orange peel to their wheat beers. An East Bay brewery goes them one further -- it puts the juice and the flowers into an ale, giving it a little orange juice tang, as you'd expect. Surprisingly, though, the sweet orange blossom scent shows up more in the palate than in the nose. The nose actually suggests a fruity white wine, perhaps a Semillon, rather than an ale.

So is this a food beer? With all that aromatic stuff going on you might expect so, but it's a little hard to think what dish it would have a special affinity for. Maybe it goes best with an afternoon by the pool.

If the idea of orange blossom ale sounds like a dilettantish whim, by the way, get that idea out of your head. Buffalo Bill may not be a very familiar name around here, but it happens to be the second-oldest brew pub in the country.

-- Charles Perry

Style: A mild ale with fruity nose, a sweet-sour tang and a poetic aftertaste of oranges and orange blossom

Price: $7.99 per six-pack

Where you find it: At Beverages and More stores (for locations, visit www.bevmo.com) and Wally's Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles (310) 475-0606, www.wallywine

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