It’s a gorgeous, sunny, but cool, fall day, perfect for sitting on the back deck and enjoying a beer. All morning, I’ve been working with my son to catch up on his homework from when we were gone on vacation last week, so I thought I’d enjoy a beer during our lunch break. As I mentioned, before I left on vacation, my sister gave me a bunch of beers from her trip to Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks ago. I already enjoyed a growler of Wicked Weed’s Freak Double IPA, and although this half growler has that beer on the label, it’s really their Cardinal Sin Belgian Red.
Location: Poured from the half growler into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: ~7% ABV, 27 IBUs, ~ 200 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s copper-red in color, like an old penny, and very clear. It has a decent sized, creamy off-white head with great retention and lacing. It’s got a lightly malty head with some light Belgian-like spiciness in the aroma.
Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. There’s a rye breadiness up front, along with some Belgian spiciness. There’s some caramel maltiness that comes through in the middle, with a bit more spiciness. The Belgian spiciness peaks in the finish, with a bit of floral-earthy bitterness and a background of the caramel malty sweetness. The spiciness lasts in the aftertaste for a brief time with a background of caramel malty sweetness.
Food Pairing: The flavors were fairly light, so this beer could go with almost anything. With the spiciness and light caramel maltiness, this would go perfectly with a seasoned steak or BBQ ribs. It was light and drinkable, so pairing it with a hearty meal would complement the flavors, but not give you a feeling of filling you up.
Overall Impression: Although I was able to pick out the breadiness, caramel, and Belgian spiciness, they were fairly light. With the light flavors and creamy body, it was very drinkable, and went down very easily. Overall, it was a pretty good, drinkable, beer, but I think I was expecting a bit more flavor from it – either more Belgian spiciness or caramel maltiness.