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Peter LaFrance

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A taste of… XX Au Naturale Double Red Ale

Grand Teton Brewing Co.
430 Old Jackson Hole Highway
Victor, ID 83455

Preface: I apologize for the crude bottle adornment. The folks at Grand Teton ship their samples in “barely marked” bottles. This one was shipped 8 October 2008. This sample came with the XX Bitch Creek sample and the good folks at Grand Teton neglected to include a “cheat sheet” on the XX Au Naturale. Ergo I go un-lead into these notes.

Appearance: I would call this a red brew with some orange hints. The head was so short lived I am going to blame the glass this time. What head there was seemed to be knit of medium bubbles that formed a very rocky sandy brown foam.

Aroma: First impressions are of damp whole wheat bread. Closer exploration reveals caramel and rock-candy accents. That moment between lip and sip reveals low levels of vegetal esters.

Flavor: After the refreshing cool sensation of brew served at the best temperature, the flavors begin a series of feints and advances. First is a grainy and caramel flavor base that is swept over by a series of flowery but truly bitter flavors.

Mouth feel: The body is enhanced by the effects of the bitter floral flavors.

Finish: The bitter floral accents disperse gradually. They don’t over-stay their welcome but rather remind the imbiber that there is more where they came from… so drink up!

Comments: Except for the caramel “nose” to this ale, I would imagine that this could be regular “session” ale in places where it can find an available tap. As it is a limited edition this means another reason to enjoy autumn.

I would pair this with rich cold cuts of meat and cured sausages. It also has a fine palette cleansing ability that would make a plate of mixed cheeses a real treat. (Warm bread for real flavor explosions of cheese and beer.)

Original Gravity: 1.052
International Bittering Units: 23
Alcohol content – 4.94% abv

The Brewery: http://www.grandtetonbrewing.com/ourbeers.html

What others say:
BeerAdvocate: http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/1394357

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