Thursday, July 5, 2012

Victory Pale Ale

Jen picked this beer up a couple weeks ago while visiting Kim one last time (who lives in Palatine) before she headed back to Colorado. We met at Jeff's new place but forgot the beer in the fridge, along with a growler of Emmet's Red Ale (shared with everyone at the brewery, didn't get a chance to review). Weeks later I was finally able to get this beer back. Tasted July 4th after a brief run, stop at the farmers market for some Kale and pub stop. Served in a snifter.
5.8% ABV

Appearance: A rustic amber with a clear copper colored pour. In the glass, the beer takes a slight haze, but that is almost negligible. Carbonation is strong as bubbles erupt from the base of the glass in infrequent bursts, while others stream to the surface in a single file line. The head is a fine foam of only a thicker-than-film stature. Lacing is wet and largely speckled.
Aroma: A beautiful bouquet of pine and other citrus notes perfume from the surface and envelope the upper region of the snifter. Flowery and rich with a hint of biscuity caramel, but dominated by Amarillo. Hints of dark fruit and figs emerge as the beer warms, but remains predominantly pine-based and tropical.
Taste: Up front, the palate is sweetened by a typical 2-row malt bill with rich notes of crystal (30-45-65) giving it a carameled complexity. The middle begins to introduce some of the very enticing hop qualities of pine and fruits, reminiscent of plums, grapes and figs, with a little bit of pineapple mixed in. Finally the end results in a full fledged dose of Amarillo that is paired well with the ever remaining malt base to carry it through. The finish is earthy with a fruit sweetness and pine bitterness left long on the palate. However, well after the beer is gone, I still get a residual grassy bitterness in the back of the mouth.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a soft and very well complimented carbonation to frothen up the texture. The finish isn't overly dry and a gluttonous cloy sticks to the roof of the mouth
Overall Impression: Man, this is a phenomenal Pale ale. One that is matched by few. I'd say, if you're in Chicago and Binny's has it, it's a pale you can't go wrong with. Better yet hit up their brewery with multiple locations in Wes Dundee, Downers Grove and Palatine! The Amarillo in this beer really kicks the palate and propagates flavor with every sip.

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