I snagged a bottle of this from the brewers dinner the night following the Great Taste of the Midwest. I didn't even realize it was Ale Asylum, but I thought the label was interesting. Eventually that night I would make my first visit to the brewery for a personalized tour (aka Great River group) of the brewery. Reviewed Tuesday Evening after a day at the brewery and making a gallon jug of Hot sauce from the peppers from the garden.
Appearance: Deep looking amber with a darkening hue to it. Glowing with a 5/10 haze making the appearance of carbonation difficult to notice. Head is minimal, but still leaves a sticky white lacing in it's path.
Aroma: Boasting a nice bouquet of fresh grassy hops as well as a underlying toasted malt backbone. When I smell this beer, I think of the very bottom of the brew kettle and all the trub/protein/hop sediment that accumulates there.
Taste: Caramel and toasted malt barley make up a very nicely incorporated malt base. To follow, there is a spicing crisp hop addition that litterally makes the beer big with a pine complexity. A bit grassy, but nothing that even stands out as noticeable. There is a bit of a burn at the end, that I suspect isn't from the alcohol alone, but the thrifty hops that complement the malts and the carbonation. Nutty and even a bit of rye-like spicing under the layers of flavor. Pine and even undertones of orange peel complement the finish and become more assertive as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a normal carbonation that bites the tip of the tongue. The finish is extremely dry and crisp. Very smooth.
Overall Impression: I really wasn't expecting much from this beer, but to my fortunate surprise it was very rewarding! I usually don't finish a beer during a review, but this one had no choice but to be consumed. Huge hop complexity and a very complementary malt bill to match.