Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: American Black Ale

American Black Ale

Appearance: Black with amazing head and lacing. the head is rock solid and sticks around for a while leaving lacing behind when it falls.

Aroma: Even in a snifter the hoppy aroma is quite apparent. The hop aroma grows as the beer warms. This is hoppy. The roast is crushed under the hops. The aroma smells like a wet pine forest (Simcoe dry hop) with just a hint of burnt chocolate.

Flavor: The hints of chocolate and subtle roast add complexity to what would otherwise have been a very good IPA. Even with a pronounced hop dominance the dark malts are a well hidden but undeniable element of the flavor. The flavor is long lasting with roast sticking after each sip fading into a lasting bitterness.

Mouth: Crisp and prickly. Medium high carbonation lifts the hops with a smooth creamy mouth feel that hides the abv of this beer well. The large quantities of hops used here increase that sticky resinous feeling that I was hoping to achieve.

Overall: A; I can give this beer no other grade. I would order this at a bar, and order another. I would like to rotate the hops used in my home brewery to find the perfect combination. Galaxy is a great hop but the high amounts of Simcoe have left it powerless to keep up. Simcoe is a very dominant hop in my opinion.

The Future: I'll try this with other hops in the future. Good combinations have included Amarillo & Simcoe, Citra & Cascade, Centennial & Cascade, Chinook & Simcoe, and many others.

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