Tag Archives: common ales

Common Ales: Three Creeks Crowd Pleaser

Three Creeks Crowd Pleaser IPA
There’s some grass in the nose with a little citrus there, too. It’s more lemon/orange than grapefruit, which I approve of. The citrus note is not too strong though, just making sure you know it’s there more than making a statement. It sticks through the life of the drink, which is nice.
The beer has a sweet front end that lands right on the middle of my tongue. I enjoy that, as it helps keep things in balance. The bitterness on the finish tilts to lemony, which is nice too: that bitterness lingers in the sides of my mouth but again, nothing to sharp. The Crowd Pleaser wants you to know it’s there, but doesn’t need to take up the whole room.

I can appreciate that.

Common Ales: Bridgeport Rose IPA

Bridgeport Rose IPAI bought this beer in the middle of summer and liked it so much, I bought it again so I could write about it for the blog.

The color on the Rose IPA is just fantastic. A lovely shade of pink, evoking the wine it’s named from.

They didn’t shy away from the hibiscus, either; the nose is very floral but it isn’t citrusy or piney in the way of most hops. It also isn’t overpowering, which is nice.

Which is something that can be said about this Rose IPA at large: it’s fairly subtle and pretty easy to drink.

The can says they use hops in this but the finish is pretty floral too, and dry to boot. Again; a homage to a refreshing glass of wine. That’s pretty cool, I think and I definitely would recommend it.

Common Ales: Portland Brewing MacTarnahans NW Amber

Yike. The title of this post might be longer than the post!

Portland Brewing MacTarnahan's ale

First thing’s first: the nose is way hoppier than I expected, and I was really surprised until I read the “NW” part of the amber ale. “NW” is now code for “hopped”. It’s pleasant enough: piney without being overpowering, but it’s a little different.

The flavors are trying something unusual, too: there’s a bit of roast from the malt, but this is a pretty light beer, designed to be a more sessionable ale. The label says 5.1% so that tracks. Then the bitterness arrives and it’s a strong echo from the nose; not exactly pine needle bitter but lobbed in that vicinity.

The nose holds up nicely through the drink which is a definite plus, if this is what you’re hoping for. But it’s such an unusual style; hoppy ambers may not always play nice with each other.

I can’t say that it’s a bad beer but the flavor profile just doesn’t ring my bell.

Common Ales: Faded Flannel Blonde

Faded Flannel blonde aleWhat a fantastic toasty note in the nose. It lasts through the beer, too, which is pretty damn impressive, considering a lot of hoppier ales cannot provide a sustained hop presence after the first sip.
There’s a bit of that toasty quality on the tongue, too but nothing about this beer is intense or overwhelming. It finishes pretty cleanly and sets the palate up for another drink, I believe.
I like it.

Common Ales: Ninkasi Pacific Rain

Ninkasi Pacific Rain paleI get more caramel in the nose than anything else, and only after some swirls and really¬†intently¬†sniffing do I pick up some dank hops. A little earthy scent is happening, even if it’s hard to pick up.

The Pacific Rain is pretty easy drinking; the midrange is wispy in it’s presentation of flavor, the bubbles spark off my tongue and leave a mild but not overwhelming bitterness behind. It’s drinkability is a plus, but it doesn’t really give me much of an impression, which isn’t so rad.

It’s the kind of beer I could sip mindlessly, noshing on some chips and watching TV. As a one-of, sure! But I don’t know that I’d be aching for another.

Common Ales: Pyramid Thunderhead IPA

Pyramid Thunderhead IPAI’m trying really hard to get a handle on the nose of this beer and I just can’t. There’s an element of old school to the Thunderhead, where the hops remind me of something I’d get out of the 80s, suspicious of what my Dad would be drinking. Those hops fade pretty quickly, too so I can’t pin it down and that’s a little discouraging.

The flavor is kinda old school too: a little bit sweet in front, hops on the finish have a resiny quality but nothing is overwhelming. The hops do linger a bit afterwards, the effervescence that failed to bring more hops to my nose also doing a less than awesome job of clearing my palate.

On the upside, I’m starting to get a little taste of corn, now (really?). This beer is just not quite cutting it. A lack of balance leading to an overly bitter finish with some questionable after notes is putting it in the ‘not recommended’ column.

Common Ales: New Belgium Dayblazer

New Belgium Dayblazer aleI hate it when breweries let marketing override what something actually is. There is no such style as ‘easygoing’. That’s how you describe a horse. not a beer.

So what I’ve got is a yeasty, raw dough nose. So…a lager? This beer is both sweet and with a sparkly finish. This isn’t a lager, though; or at least it’s not as clean as I would expect a lager to be, and definitely sweeter than one. I suppose it would be a cream ale, but that sweetness…

That’s the quality that’s throwing me off: what does this beer want to be? I don’t know and I’m not sure the parts come together to make more than the whole. Is it easy to drink, as promised? Yes. Is it something I want more of? Not so much.

The sweetness doesn’t mesh well with that raw dough nose-a scent that has a touch of sourness to it. The finish wipes it all away but there isn’t an element of hoppiness to give me any contrast.

For a one note beer that I only have to drink one of, I’m good with it. But a second? I’d move on.

Common Ales: Bridgeport Ebenezer Ale

Continuing with the review of the winter ales: Bridgeport’s Ebenezer Ale. Sweet nose, very subtle brown sugar note happe27238611539_c91d754dde_cning. Again, another beautiful deep red color with some near translucence when I hold it up to the light.

The flavors aren’t too bold: there’s a little cinnamon finish, but there’s also a little bit of a red wine in the mouth with some drying effects. It doesn’t feel heavy or dense, but I get the sensation that there are more flavors that I am just missing: there’s a definite warmth coming from this beer that I’m trying to pinpoint. I almost get a hint of cherry coming from this beer; it’s got some nice flavors going on and I think I like this beer a bit more than Deschutes’ Jubelale.

Common Ales: Deschutes Jubleale

38299974104_2a63dc620a_cWith winter fast approaching and having recently made a winter warmer, I thought it would be good to try some of the winter seasonals. We start with Deschutes’ Jubelale winter ale. This has a faint molasses note to it in the nose, right behind the roasted quality. A near burnt caramel scent is what that roast reminds me of. The label says toffee and that’s probably a better word. As it warms up though, a new scent comes out, almost like chocolate frosting. Surprisingly sweet.

It’s a damn pretty beer, deep amber color that’s almost but not quite see through.

The flavors are an interesting blend of touches of chocolate and molasses, all overpowered by a more intense and a little burnt roast malt. I do get minute dark fruit- dates, I think, but it’s quiet and in the background. It’s not bad but I’m just not sure I’m all about this. Again, as the beer warms up, the roasted qualities soften and the beer gets a bit sweeter, in a banana-ish way. There’s a little spiciness too-the beer gets more complex as it warms I’m still not quite convinced here but I can totally see someone else loving it.

Common Ales: Occidental Altbier

37386133964_0950aa21d7_cOccidental Altbier: pleasantly roasted nose, and it rolls right into the mouth. The beer itself has a little bit of chocolate in there but I’m reminded of that scent that I get when I go to the homebrew store and put my nose into a container of biscuit malt. I like it.

This finishes really clean, with no aftertaste at all. I want to get a plate of nachos with this. Sushi would work too: foods that might need a lighter feel and less intense flavor would be well matched to this beer.

Occidental did well with their altbier and I’m thinking this would be a good one to recommend to people who aren’t well versed in craft ales. It’s tasty without being overwhelming.