Hood River, OR (USA)
Preface: Once again I reach to the back of the fridge and find what might be a relic… I can’t find any promotional literature or sell-sheet. There is no “Best By” date on the bottle. However, it does note that the contents are in the style of a Scottish Ale and the alcohol by volume 6.8%… and so another Friday begins.
Appearance: The crystal clear almost red amber brew is topped with a very rocky light tan head of rapidly collapsing large and medium size bubbles. They tat a very loose Belgian lace
Aroma: The first impression is a touch of sugar candy with under-notes of prune. Next comes a toasted malt aroma, followed by that prune note. Finally the aromas blend together and the sugar candy wins with the toasted malt and prune falling away.
Mouth feel: There is a surprising light mouth-feel to this brew.
Flavor: Between lip and sip there was hint of sweet malted barley and then the warmth and tawny sherry flavors exploded. The second sip woke up the hops and they came late to the table but you know they are there. After the third sip the flavor receptors have been overcome and you could be convinced that this is fairly light bodied brown ale with a bit more alcohol than expected.
Finish: The last impression is slightly metallic and hovers between sweet and dry but can’t make up its mind.
Comments: First impressions are always important and this brew comes in as homely a label as I have seen in a long while. I do note that it is a vintage Brewmaster Reserve. With relatively high alcohol content I imagine this could take a bit of cellaring to reach its peak flavor.
The pairing of this brew with a crumbling hard salty cheese or rich Stilton would do it no harm.
Company Site: http://www.fullsailbrewing.com/default.cfm
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