I continued my mission to hit as many of the Northwestern breweries as I could at the Oregon Brewers Festival. Just inside the tent was Three Skulls Ales from Seattle. This festival was also helping me to dial in my palate to the type of hop bitterness I prefer. After a few ridiculously hopped beers, I started to realize that I preferred my hoppiness around 70 IBU’s and this one fit the bill.
It was an amber/reddish color and had a foamy white head, which seemed to fall over a couple of minutes. The aroma was more malty than I was expecting with some fruitiness and a little bit of earthy hop smells to it.
It had a medium body and had a smooth mouthfeel. The malty flavors were pretty noticeable up front, giving way to the hop bitterness. However, the hop bitterness wasn’t overpowering and seemed to mix a bit with the maltiness. The finish was somewhat sharp with bitterness, but malt flavor.
As far as a food pairing, I’m not entirely sure. This beer had my palate somewhat confused between bitterness and maltiness. Perhaps a pizza or burger would go with it just fine.
Overall, this was a perplexing beer to me. It seemed to have plenty of bitterness, but the flavors were fairly hoppy. If I had to guess, There was an abundance of initial (60 or 90 minute) hops with very little hops for flavoring and aroma. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d have this again.