Friday, February 15, 2013

Pale Rider Tasting

Reviewed 2/11/13

Very good beer! More of a blond than a pale given its general mellowness, but the big hop aromatics and flavor are too out front to really qualify as a boring blonde. Reckon it is just Xtra Pale. Would be better as a summertime brew, but what ’er you going to do? The 100% Pilsner malt did its’ job of providing a super clean, super easy, balanced backbone for the heaps of late addition hops, and the hop varieties more than delivered on their promises of clean, pleasant, citrusy, slightly spicy, continental-like hoppy goodness. Smooth, crisp, refreshing, balanced, and satisfying. This is about as session as they come.

Appearance: Blonde yellow with a bright white, creamy 3 finger head that falls to a sturdy ¼” layer that stays to the last sip. The yeast didn’t floc out all that well, but that is not a worry. It is bright enough to make your mouth water.

Smell: Orange juice, tangerine rind, and a fairly one dimensional crisp cirtic edge with a tiny hint of yeasty sweetness in the background. Moderately aromatic, but quite crisp and bright. The nose is hop driven, but not in a big fruity IPA way... it’s more like smelling a bag of hops and oranges. Kinda’ weird, very nice.  There is a hint of pizza dough there too.

Taste: Follows the nose with the orange, tangerine, and sweet citrus snap. Round and grainy malt follow the herbal hoppy start. It is so smooth, so crisp. Some spicy/ herbal hop notes but it basically tastes like orange peel, sweet pils malt, and crisp yeast.

Mouthfeel:  Bright, firm carbonation, light/med body, coating hop bite, and very spritzy bubbles. The mouthfeel, like many aspects of this beer, is very similar to a Trumer Pilsner. Firm bitterness that cleans up quickly and makes you thirsty for more. Quite balanced.  

Overall: Blonde, not pale, but still awesome. It’ll be a perfect beer for a sunny day if the winter leaves us soon. I am so sold on the Saphir hops—they are SOOOOO clean, crisp, and sweetly orangey. Water treatment is just right. Beautifully crisp. Drinks like a Pilsner. I’ll probably enter this one in a contest as an American Blonde Ale.

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