I’m sitting here watching my Missouri Tigers in their home opener football game tonight and decided to go ahead and crack open a beer. As I mentioned in my review of Hilliards Amber ale, my cousin Steve sent me a bunch of beers from Seattle. This was one of them, and it looked like a great beer to have on this rainy evening while watching some football.
Location: Poured into a Stella Artois pint glass from the bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 6.5% ABV, 27 IBU, 1.064 OG, ~ 225 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: The beer is dark amber, almost rusty colored, and a bit hazy. It had a thin head when I poured it, which faded fairly quickly to just a ring of bubbles around the glass. It has an incredible malty and caramel aroma, almost reminding me of a barley wine.
Taste & Feel: The body is pretty full and the mouthfeel is fairly smooth. There’s a bit of a carbonation bite upfront, but out of that comes a little bit of bitterness and a full, very solid malt flavor. The finish is a big, sweet malty flavor with hints of caramel and light toffee. The sweet maltiness lasts for a bit in the aftertaste, activating the salivary glands.
Food Pairing: This is the kind of beer that I really enjoy with a big thick juicy burger covered in mushrooms and caramelized onions. The sweet malt and caramel flavors in this beer would be enhanced by the caramelized onions and mushrooms, the breadiness of the bun, and the juiciness of the burger.
Overall Impression: I really enjoyed the flavors and this beer, especially the big malty flavors that remind me of a barleywine, but without the heavy alcohol. I really enjoyed the flavors in the finish and aftertaste, but the sharp crispness of carbonation up front prevented me from giving this a better rating. Overall, it was still a pretty good beer with nice warm malt flavors.