Bottle Code 09051 VA30; Sampled May 2009
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, four-finger thick, lightly tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, burnished copper hue that has some large bubbles rising up through it. The aroma has a metallic, cheap beer, hop note to it that is really not all that appealing. Underneath this there is a faint citrus component as well as a crystal malt note that contributes some toasted grain notes as well as a touch of caramelized malt sugars. The citrus notes pick up a bit of a boost after some time, and it seems to lose that objectionable up front note as well. The nose is not bad, but certainly didn’t start off on the right note.
My first sip is dry up front with a touch of sweetness towards the middle. Subsequent sips have a touch more crystal malt sweetness, but this remains on the dry side of the spectrum. There is a touch of a hop bite to the finish, as well as a nice herbal hop presence. Citrus hop notes are here, if somewhat muted, and contribute notes similar to orange oil and some grapefruit notes. A touch of biscuit like maltiness is noticeable here at times and the body is nice and light enough to be easily within style. There is a touch of metallic hop character in the finish here, but it is not always noticeable.
Not bad, but I was hoping for more, the beer just doesn’t deliver the hop character that I really like in a good Pale Ale. Having said that this is more of an old school American Pale Ale; ten years ago this would have been a decently hoppy version of the style.
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