Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It's time once again for a look at some of the season's ales, with some surprises in store. Yes, my favorite this month was from a macro! Alas, all biases aside, there is good beer to be savored everywhere. The ratings system goes from 1 being sickly swill to 5 being divine nectar. Fight the good fight, drink good beer, and support your local brewmaster(s)!
MICHELOB - RYE P.A. (St. Louis, MO) - 4.0
Deep red-amber with a rich, foamy head and nice lacing, this pale ale boasts of a fragrant hoppy aroma. Yum. Taste is a solid, bitter IPA with a strong rye spiciness - challenging and completely in line with what a sturdy IPA should be like. With the rye addition, this one's a real craft beer with higher aspirations. Superb.
SHIPYARD PRELUDE SPECIAL ALE (Portland, ME) - 3.0
Another clean amber ale, this one begins with a warm and comfortable aroma of clove and spice. The taste reflects this, with a strong spicy palate and smooth malty inclination. Unfortunately, there's little residual complexity. The sweetness is overpowering, rendering this beer decent, but not outstanding.
GREAT DIVIDE - HIBERNATION ALE (Denver, CO) - 3.5
A dark red ale with a massive foamy head and super-sweet character, this one's got a punchy, spicy taste-character that gives way to a firm, alcoholic burn (it's 8.7% ABV). This one's definitely a sipper - strong, potent, and hearty. Approach with caution.
MICHELOB - WINTER'S BOURBON CASK ALE (St. Louis, MO) - 3.0
A winter tradition at News 4U HQ, this seasonal ale pours a clean amber, and tastes smooth and sweet, with a rich, molasses-like maltiness that would be more palatable if not for the overbearing vanilla accents. Nonetheless, this is a decent and drinkable brew, not outstanding but not altogether awful, either.