474. Hale’s Ales – Cream HSB Hales Special Bitter

Hale's Ales - Cream HSBI’m in Seattle for work this week and stopped at this brewery on my way back to the hotel for the evening. They offered some small sample glasses, and I already had their Red Menace Big Amber. While having my first beer, I read a few reviews on beers from this brewery, and it sounded like the Cream beers they offered on nitro draft were their best.  So, for my next one, I went with this one.

Location: On tap and served in a curved sample glass at Hale’s Ales

Numbers: 4.6% ABV, ~ 160 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s a slightly dark amber/copper color and was fairly clear.  The nitro tap gave it a solid, creamy head that didn’t disappear, but didn’t leave too much lacing.  The aroma was very light with only hints of breadiness

Taste & Feel: The body was thin, and other than the smooth, creamy feel of the head, the mouthfeel of the beer was a bit watery.  There was very little taste detectable up front, and a bit of bready and light caramel flavors came in during the middle.  In the finish, there was a little bit of an earthy-piney hop bitterness, which faded quickly in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This beer was smooth and light enough that it could go with almost anything.  I think I’d pair this with something spicy, like buffalo wings, since it’s almost like water, but the light bready, caramel, and earthy hop flavors would help to cut down the spiciness.

Overall Impression: I really enjoy beers served on nitro, as it always gives them a nice creaminess and smooth mouthfeel.  I found this beer to be extremely drinkable, and this small sample went down quick.  That’s because there’s not much flavor to it, but I guess it was pretty close to style.  If you’ve got a friend who hasn’t had much craft beer, this would be an excellent one for them, but for my palate, I prefer a bit more flavor and body.

My Rating: ★★½☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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