I’m at Fat Jack’s tonight for our monthly ABNormal Homebrewers meeting. While we’re discussing English Pale Ales at the meeting tonight, I thought I’d kick it off with something fairly flavorful and big. I’ve liked almost everything I’ve had from Avery so I took a low risk and went for this one.
Numbers: 8.5% ABV, 93 IBUs, 1.076 O.G., Hops – Chinook, Centennial and Columbus, Malts – Two-row barley, dark aromatic, caramel malt
Appearance & Aroma: It was slightly hazy and had a golden-orange color. There was a good sized, creamy white head on it, which left some nice lacing. However, there didn’t appear to be much carbonation in it. There was a very nice and obvious piney and citrusy hop aroma as well.
Taste & Feel: The body was medium to full and it had a smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel. There was a nice caramel maltiness to it before a big, mostly piney, and a bit citrusy hop flavor kicked in. While it didn’t have an alcohol flavor, it did feel warmth going down.
Food Pairing: At 93 IBUs, this is probably one which would be best all by itself. However, you could probably pair it with cheese and crackers. Full flavored cheeses, like brie, sharp cheddar, or strong blue cheeses would match this full flavored beer in a good way.
Overall Impression: Avery says that this was developed to be stronger than their IPA, but not as strong as the Avery Maharaja. They did a very good job. I enjoyed the big hop flavor, and even at 93 IBUs, it didn’t seem to be way too over the top for this hophead. While still not one you could have several of in one sitting, it was a very good beer.