Preface: The promotional material that came with this beer describes how the first sign of spring in the Bend, Oregon area, is the first sign of the cinders as the snow melts and the skiers run the risk of scratching their skies or worse. And so the good folks at Deschutes Brewery welcome the season with this brew. (This was a sample beer.)
The following are my tasting notes:
Appearance: Here is an amber/copper colored brew with a soft carbonation and a slight “chill haze.” It is topped with a glistening, sandy brown head of medium sized and small bubbles forming a rather rocky head.
Aroma: The initial aroma sensation is of fresh green vegetation (what beer tasters know as a “hoppy” aroma). The second visit introduces the rather sweet sugar candy notes (what beer tasters call “malty”). The moment between lip and sip reveals an accent on the hops aromas.
Mouth feel: The initial cooling sensation is followed by a fairly average mouth feel that is almost instantly buttressed by the sharp/bitter hop flavors of this ale.
Flavor: As noted above, the hops are king here. The front is all steely, and then bitter accents that are not spiked with the trade-mark accents of grapefruit flavors of Cascade hops. Instead there is a tang of almost metallic character that is neither off-putting nor obnoxious. In fact, it is a real pallet cleanser.
Finish: The hop accents glide into the finish and, as noted above, really get the pallet ready for the next sip.
Comments: What we have here is a brew that treads close to India Pale Ale but has none of the unique English hop accents. I would serve this brew with a good hour or two of conversation on every top except the weather.
Alcohol content – 5.4% abv
The Brewery: http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/splash/default.aspx
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