Tasting: August 21, 2011
Style: Pale Ale
My father’s favorite poem is “If” by British Poet Laureate, Rudyard Kipling. If you aren’t familiar it is the advice of a father to a son and it goes on the premise of if you can do this – while still doing this – you will be a good man. For example, one line goes, “If you can dreamâ€”and not make dreams your master”. He always had a copy in a frame on a dresser in his bedroom and I remember reading it many times. This ale is billed as a “South Pacific” style pale ale. I don’t think this has any connection to Kipling — rather a connection to the hops used — Nelson Sauvin (from New Zealand). A quick look at the alpha acid % (which gives you an indication of bitterness) — these hops check in at 12 – 14% — really a muscular and bitter hop.
The pour is a cloudy bright yellow with no head at all. In traditional English style, the carbonation is almost non-existent. It smells like sweet mango. As far as the taste in my first few sips, I would definitely put the combination as kiwi, honey and lemon grass. However, these attributes are easily crushed by the rich citrus hop. Good luck picking up on the initial flavor nuances after you’ve had a few sips. This pale ale is medium-bodied. Again, I’ll note the absence of any carbonation in the mouthfeel. I have to admit, I’m a little surprised with this one — English pale ales are malty in nature. I expected some maltiness and some timid hops — but this one definitely steps out of the box. I’ll put this offering at 89 points.