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08-17-00

North Coast Acme California Pale Ale Beer Review

My dad was nice enough to pick up a bottle of this beer for me on his way home from work one night. I’ve only had a handful of North Coast Brewing Company beers before; all good experiences. I was super excited to get another chance to try their beers. This one is a nice little pale ale that comes in at 5% ABV and a low 21 IBUs.

Acme California Pale Ale pours a nice orange color. It is perfectly clear, as any pale ale should be, and has a thin white head. The thing that impressed me about the nose was that the hops didn’t hit right off of the bat. The first thing I noticed was a great round caramel aroma that promised a flavorful beer was inside. The hops come into smell after that and provide a nice pine and tropical fruit mix. The hops are sticky sweet and really balance out the malt odors.

Acme California Pale AleOn the first taste I found that the nose didn’t lie, this beer has some great malt flavor. A solid, but light caramel and sweetness flavor show themselves first followed by a wonderful biscuit and bread flavor. The hops come in and provide a nice light hop punch with a slightly piny ending. The beer finishes dry which only makes you want to take another sip. As I drank this beer the hops changed over time. I found that they provided a nice earthy hop flavor to the beer, which I rather enjoyed.

This is a really good pale ale. It is much more of ¬†an English style pale ale than an American one, but that’s not a bad thing. The hops and malt are in such good balance that this beer makes you want to keep drinking it.

05-06-05

Beer Review #290 Terrapin Rye Pale Ale

05-06-03On my last visit to the beer store I saw a large display of a new beer to the area, Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, Ga. I never tasted their beer and a Rye Pale Ale sounded delightful, so I picked up a six pack along with a few other beers.

This Rye Pale Ale pours a light copper color with a thin white head. It is perfectly clear and looks really nice in the light. The nose didn’t give me the sense of hops. I got a strong dose of honey-like sweetness and some bready notes. There was a slight rye malt, but not as much as what I was hoping for. After a bit more smelling, I finally found a light citrus hop odor. I like my pale ales a little more malt forward, so this one fit the bill.

The honey carries over to the flavor and the rye/honey combination really plays nicely. The bread also comes in and adds a nice roundness to the taste of this beer. Hops come in at the end and provide a light hop bitterness. I mainly got pine from the hops and oddly no rye spiciness. I know that some say that rye doesn’t deliver a spicy component, but I would argue that it does, especially when given a proper hop profile to work with. It’s one of those flavors that can be masked or enhanced depending on what is around it. This beer doesn’t add to the spicy notes that I’m used to at the end, but it does allow for the rye to shine upfront.

This isn’t a bad pale ale, but I do wish it had something more to it. There is a lot of potential there, but it tastes a bit watered down to me. I’m going to contradict myself from earlier and say that I wanted this beer to be more aggressive with the hops. Malt forward is great, but in a pale ale, the hops also need to shine. I have a few other beers from this brewery to review but I think I will pass on this one next time around. It’s not a bad beer by any means, it’s just not one for me. (more…)

Beer Review #286 Wyld Extra Pale Ale

04-18-03As I have previously mentioned, Uinta Brewing Company is one of my favorite “new” breweries. They are one of the Top 50 Craft Breweries by volume, so I’m not alone in thinking that they make some quality beer. Today’s beer is a pale ale that comes in at just 4% ABV. A sessionable pale ale, wonderful.

Wyld Extra Pale Ale pours a very light orange color. It is slightly hazy and comes with a thin white head. The nose is packed with a strong hop aroma. There is a good amount of pine resin aroma along with a bit of citrus hops. This beer smells very aggressive for a pale ale and very hop forward. The hops are very clean and bright, which is something that I always like to see in a beer. I didn’t get much in the way of sweetness or malt character from the nose.

Unlike the nose, this beer has a nice malt taste up front. A very nice clean hop flavor¬†permeates the malt and gives a good does of pine flavor. Usually I shy away from straight pine in hops, but this pine is softer and more rounded. It’s not a “Christmas tree ale,” but it should how full the pine hop flavor can really be. The hops end on a bit of a grassy note. I’m not sure how this beer manages to combine clean hop flavor with grass, but it works.

I really dig this one. It is wonderfully balanced and tastes like a beer that is much bigger than it is. As I said, this beer is sessionable. Drinkable, check. Sessionable, check. Full of flavor, check. I really could enjoy this beer year round and regularly. I don’t often give beers the re-buy nod, but this one gets it. (more…)

Beer Review #280 Lancaster Pale Ale

04-01-03It’s been over a year since I last reviewed anything from Lancaster Brewing Company. They are a bit tough to find around me and I haven’t see anything new from them in some time (though I have picked up their wonderful Milk Stout from time to time). The last time that I was at the beer store I noticed something new from them (to me) a Pale Ale. It had a simple Americana logo, and I grabbed a bottle to try it out.

Lancaster Pale Ale pours a nice orange color with an off-white head. The nose has a slight floral hop and there isn’t any malt aroma to be found. I was actually a bit surprised by the smell of this one. I’m so used to the aggressive pale ales that I forget that the mild ones can hold a place. I still generally like a pale ale with a bit more to the aroma, but this one doesn’t sit too far outside of my desired zone.

The taste, unlike the nose, starts with a nice malt sweetness. The flavor then goes into a decent hop bitterness. There isn’t really a distinct hop flavor though, just bitterness. It was kind of odd not to have a defined flavor for the hops. The beer ends on a grassy note which I didn’t care for.

This is a pretty natural pale ale. A starter pale ale if you will. I don’t know if I just got an old bottle but nothing about this beer wowed me. I would love to see this beer come alive more and show some balls. Instead, it seems to be behind the pack. (more…)

Beer Review #272 Verboten

02-20-03This will be my last Belgian beer review for a bit. I’ve done four over the last week and a half and I think that it is probably time to change it up a bit. Today, we have Verboten by the Weyerbacher Brewing Company. The bottle says that this is a bottle conditioned, Belgian-style pale ale. It comes in at a nice 5.9%. Belgian pale ales are one of my favorite types of beer. They often have a nice mix of complexity, hops, and Belgian yeast ester to make them interesting and drinkable. There are a lot of examples, both good and bad, out there. Oddly, I could not find a single Belgian pale ale when I was in Brussels two summers ago.

Verboten (German word, but a small part of Belgium does speak German) pours a nice orange color. It has a white head and has a good bit of haze to it. The nose is packed with Belgian yeast esters. There are some spice hops at the end along with a little sliver of sweetness.

The flavor on this beer is complex and balanced. It starts out with an array of Belgian esters. The malt comes in there and provides a nice dose of sweetness that helps mitigate the spiciness. Soon after a good hop flavor comes in and, you guessed it, mitigates the malt. The ending on this beer is very spicy with contributions from both the yeast esters and the hops. The two really play nicely off of each other and provides a nice shot of complexity.

I really liked this one. It actually might be my favorite Belgian pale ale to date. The balance is just right and I really like how spicy this beer is. It makes me want to drink more while being flavorful and refreshing. This one is a winner. (more…)