Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stone Soup Abbey Ale

Tasted Saturday evening. I decided to trade going to my last Track Formal to stay home and help compose a delicious organic Indian dinner with Josh. We made an absurd amount of food. I reviewed this in between mixing and dicing. Thanks to my Dad for getting me this as part of an assorted six pack!

Appearance: A yellowed orange with a high accumulation of carbonation on the sides. Some frothed head is initially present but quickly disappears. Overall the beer maintains a bold cloudiness, with no flocculation. Looks predominantly watery once the head dissipates.
Aroma: Strong clove and ginger immediately at the nose. Yeasty with a back-up from phenols. Some subtle honeyed sweetness and fruit. Even some biscuity malt to the backbone.
Taste: Belgian yeastiness, but the malt sweetness is clean and peat-like. The initial sweetness has an element of corn, which I also found present in Spotted Cow. Some mild elements of orange pith as well as a mellow honey character. Phenolic, but fruity. Clove and Ginger also help encourage an earthy flavor. A lot of the characteristics of this beer remind me of the basic spices added to meads. There aren't a lot of bittering aspects to this aside for the residual dryness from the spices. There is an undertone of light fruit and skin sweetness, and maybe even some tartness, that is ultimately masked by the spices. A dash of banana is present as well.
Mouthfeel: Cleanses the palate. Medium body with a nice carbonation to match. The feel finished clean, but also dry. Some alcohol in the finish, but masked by the spice.
Overall Impression: A very complex but equally drinkable beer. I find a lot of spicing but a malt base to balance. Some mild fruitiness resides as an undertone throughout. More a beer to sit back and enjoy on a cool summer evening.


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