Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tribute Ale: Brown Ale

Bought this bottle while on a weekend trip to Grand Rapids. Eamon and I stopped at a local grocery store after hitting up the Hideout Brewery. I still admit that Bear Republic is my favorite brewery, so every time I see something new of theirs on the shelves, I'm certain to buy it. Tasted Thursday afternoon after my first track workout in over 6 months - 3 x mile w/ 3:00 rest interval.
Snifter Served
6.3% ABV

Appearance: The beer opened with a sharp spritz. The pour was mahogany brown and as it settled in the glass, the color deepened to a light coffee dark brown with a rustic hue when held to the light. The head is minimal, but still supports a cream colored ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is specked and wet, while fine carbonation can briefly be seen along the edges of the glass.
Aroma: Rich toffee and toasted aromas protrude from surface of the beer. Vapors scream malt sweetness and aromatic barley. Some light chocolate and even a brief note of roast emerges near the end of the beer. Above all, I get toffee.
Taste: The flavor is dominated by an extremely complex malt base. A rendition of barley ranging from crystal to brown malt, to chocolate and aromatic. Initially sweeping the palate with caramel, it's only the beginning for this beer. Boasting a robust toasted toffee flavor as it approaches the end, only to then be spiced with a mild roast and tannic flavor of molasses. The finish is woodsy with a minute flavor of cedar, likewise complimented with toasted almonds and a touch of brown sugar. A lot goes on in this beer. I feel after several tastes that this beer has a higher acidity than most brown ale's I've had.
Mouthfeel: Rather light in body, but with no sacrifice to flavor. Carbonation is on the lighter side as well, initially, but develops into a nice kick as the beer reaches the back of the mouth. Some tackiness resides on the lips, while the beer still incorporates enough hop bitterness to dry out the palate.
Overall Impression: Very well balanced with a unusual spice derived from the molasses. Toffee and caramel make up the majority of the flavor profile, followed by an acidity that provides an additional spice to the overall character of the beer. Definitely something different than what I'm used to, but tasty nonetheless. And I'm glad to see Bear Republic getting more beer to the bottles, especially all the way out here in Michigan!

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