Monday, November 28, 2011

Cut Throat Pale Ale

I've been looking forward to trying this beer for some time now, especially because it's in a can. Since working at Great River, my canning respects have sky-rocketed from my experiences working with the spontaneous, inefficient, but rewarding Cask canning machine. Tasted this following a 12 miler Monday morning through Moline and Rock Island. Thanks to Jen Misewicz, who picked this up at the Plainfield Binny's over Thanksgiving.

Appearance: Upon opening the can I realized how full it was. Literally up to the brim within the can, which could either help or hinder the beer. At Great River we leave a little bit of head-space. Anyway, the beer pours a bright orange with a soft frothy off white head with soapy bubbles clinging to the edges leaving in their wake a faintly wet lacing. Cloudy and unfiltered (I Like), but not enough to completely mask the carbonation
Aroma: Quite citrusy from the start with mild notes of bread and yeast. The orange is apparent as well as a subtle earthy character. Hops also provide an leafy complexity. Yeast is more prominent following a swirl
Taste: Big yeast and bread malt backbone, that runs all the way throughout the beer. As the citrus hops blossom toward the end they seem to parallel the yeasty element. I do get a little bit of soapiness alongside, but really doesn't stand as all too deterring. The finish provides a faint bite of grassy hops with the help of the carbonation. Orange peel is that one character in this beer that seems slightly uncommon to the beer. I first sipped it and asked myself "Whoa, what's that!?" but given the label on the can, I became more understanding of what I was tasting. Finish is grass, while the after burp is quite enjoyable, with the re-appearance of the bready base malt.
Mouthfeel: Initially, this beer is somewhat chalky. The carbonation is very minimal and doesn't make a showing until the very end, at the tip of the tongue. The front of this beer is watery, but still boasting a medium body. No tackiness to the lips. Finish is dry and resinous.
Overall Impression: It's good to see the craft beer canning empire growing in Chicago (aside for Half Acre and Wild Onion). I was enthralled to see this 4 pack of cans for the first time in Plainfield's Wine and Cheese Shop, but unfortunately didn't have my wallet with me. The beer is good, but there is some work to be done to it. I really enjoyed the off-centered orange peel in the beer, especially for a brewery's first canned beer, but the carbonation was a little insufficient and (though I enjoy my yeast) it could be over-bearing for the commoner. Hops did however complement the orange peel nicely, but the earthiness was strong! I'd like to eventually see a description on the can, especially because there is so much room! Definitely worth a try of Chicago's own.


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