Friday, April 22, 2011

Pale Ale (2011)

Thanks to Nathan McDowell for donating this beer to me. During a Sunday night dinner festival with an Indian food buffet at the Eco-house and some Hop*A*Potamus Rye PA, he headed back to his house to pick one up for me. How kind. This was tasted during practice (of which I took off) with some pita chips.

Appearance: Amber in color with a slight haze about it. There is a puffy white head that sets atop of the beer with interspersed varying degrees of large and fine bubbles. Dissipation is quick. Carbonation is present as it rapidly surfaces. Resined lacing on the sides.
Aroma: Amazingly aromatic choked full of citrus and pine. Some mild fruit and skin tannin scent is matched up against a toasted malt and caramel backbone. However it is the pine that takes dominion in this category.
Taste: Almost right of the bat the hops make known their presence. The pre-bitterness leaves little room for the malt to expose itself, though it re-appears in the midtaste in a subtle biscuity character. Finally, with a headstrong of hops, the beer finishes with a robust pine sharp bitterness as well as an aspect of butteriness while retaining the resins and zest in all. Some dark fruity flavors permeate through to the finish as well, which furthers the complexity. Aftertaste reveals a mix of toasted maltiness and juniper pine bitterness that is far drawn out. As this beer warms, more of the malt in the forefront emerges. Some grapefruit available but on the puckering bitter side.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a higher carbonation but on the finer side. The mouthfeel is a bit cloying and tacky but seems to rebound with a very drying and resinous feel in the end.
Overall Impression: Big time hoppy profile. I wish there was a little more in the front to balance, but nevertheless I really enjoyed the simplified pine bitterness that the beer had to offer. Dark fruit and raisins seemed to be ever present elements of the sweetness that stood out in the mid taste. A well crafted beer that was definitely made for the hop-head.


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