Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Heron Pale Ale

Tasted Sunday afternoon after my first 10 mile run in over 2 months. Reviewed after cooking up some Indian lentils and enjoying the sun on the porch. Thanks to Tom Bergman from the Highland Park Binny's for recommending this unfamiliar beer/brewery to me!
5.2% ABV

Appearance: Sparkling golden copper with a strong accumulation of bubbles on the sides of the glass. The head is spritzy and minimal with a soft ice-like appearance. Some chill haze is present and the lacing is wet.
Aroma: Floral and slightly grassy with a touch of honey to compose a slight malt base. Some faint phenols are present at the end of the nose, complimented with a mild yeast undertone. Relatively clean and fresh smelling.
Taste: First I get notes of honey alongside a rich floral alpha acid derived grassiness. This is equally paralleled by some pine present throughout. The flavor is extremely fresh. The end, however, permeates a different character, revolving around sweet orange peel and coriander. This encourages a burst of bitter fruit skin complexity and zest. The finish is predominantly bitter with a grassy bitterness in the aftertaste that interestingly reminds me of biting into a grapefruit peel.
Mouthfeel: Frothy and smooth as the carbonation gives a soft bubbly foam as it covers the tongue. Microbubbles that don't bite, but fuel more of the crisp clean flavors from the uniquely selected floral earth based hops. Finish is very dry, but crisp.
Overall Impression: Fresh all the way. The malt is second to that of the hops which start in the aroma as floral, but sensationally reminiscent of orange peels as it nears the finish. I'd say characteristics of pine, grass, lemon, orange zest and grapefruit are all applicable to this beer. Above all else, refreshing, clean, crisp and choked with flavor. I'd come back to this again.

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