Oskar Blues – Dale’s Pale Ale

Tasting: May 29, 2011
Style: Pale Ale

Back in January my snowblower broke down. I tried to fix it on a freezing cold Saturday in January. I managed to get it running well enough to handle the rest of the winter — but with my fingers numb to the bone, I thought I would need to address repairs before next winter. It’s Memorial Day weekend and the temperature is an unseasonable 90 degrees. Really the perfect day to fix my snowblower – and that’s exactly what I did today. God bless my wife — she spent her morning in protective clothing ripping out countless poison ivy vines by the roots.

At the end of a crazy day for me and my wife — it’s time to relax with a cocktail. A margarita for my wife and what else for me but a beer. I scout my beer fridge for something fresh. I end up plucking out an old favorite in a can of Dale’s Pale Ale. Admittedly, I’ve had Dale’s Pale Ale countless times. It’s one of my “old reliable” beers. I had it for the first time on tap at the Shepherd and Knucklehead Pub a few years ago, it was just a big ass beer and dominated everything else I had that night.

It’s 6.5% ABV. I had to research, but come up with 65 IBU and that surprises me (I would guess at 85). To me, even though this beer is labeled a pale ale — it daringly crosses the line over to IPA. It has the maltiness and hop backbone to rival any IPA.

It pours a rich orange with a cascade of large bubbles that form a thin – then non-existent head. Easy malt and citrus on the nose. The taste explodes with rich grapefruit and piney hops with a subtly sweet and roasted malt backbone. The bitter hops don’t crush your tastebuds and certainly don’t leave any unpleasant aftertaste. After about 8 ounces of the can are gone — my lips are sticky with hop resin. It’s all good for me.

Really a good standard pale ale — 88 points.

I’m grilling a flank steak with a soy/ginger glaze and a scallion/lime topping . I’ll park the beer because this calls for a nice red wine. I’ll enjoy my feast with a bottle of finely cellared 2000 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon. Ah – pure perfection.

I hope everyone enjoys this Memorial Day weekend. Most of all, I hope that everyone takes a moment to reflect on those that gave their lives so that we can enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice. Cheers and God bless.

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