The first beer of the New Year (2012). I purchased this fro the Galena River Wine & Cheese store in Galena. This is the first of the Lost Abbey's I've had, with many more to come. Tasted Sunday morning out of a wine glass while playing scrabble and eating leftover pizzas from last night.
Appearance: Golden straw in color while exhibiting a glowing orange turbidity. A large 1" foamy off white head sets delicately across the surface of the beer. Soapy eyes develops as the head falls into the beer. Lacing is dry and silhouetted.
Aroma: Notes of funk and horse blanket are present at the front. Some elements of wheat and bready sweetness are distinguishable. Mildy astringent and perceptively citrusy. Quite floral.
Taste: The sweetness doesn't really come through until the end. The beer pushes a very upfront hop bitterness representative of floral and peppery characteristics. Citrusy with minute undertones of orange peel and phenolic clove. Apart from the other elements, the hops also contribute a very drying, and fresh resinous profile. Generally zesty, with an underlying phenolic and yeasty, yet clean finish. As the beer warms, a brief bready backbone emerges.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied and quite smooth with soft carbonation towards the front of the mouth. Some slickness is prominent at the roof while the beer remains very drying and resinous, but nevertheless refreshing.
Overall Impression: The more I sip this beer, the more enticing the flavor becomes. Extremely drinkable with a very prominent fresh hop flavor. Floral comes to mind too. Hops are definitely at the front of this one while the bread malt takes a undertone. Clove phenols also work to parallel the bitterness creating a drying feel on the palate. This is one of the few Belgian Pale Ale's I've had that is very well a balanced and crisp.