Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 63, Newcastle Winter IPA

This beer from Scotland is considered to be an English Pale Ale and if you remember, the English shipped this beer over to it's armies in the Indian colonies and the beer was hopped extra as a preservative.  With more hops came the need to balance the beer with more malt so the alcohol content was greater as well.  From what I understand the English troops drank a watered down version and the officers enjoyed it full strength.

So because the English tax beer by alcohol content, the English IPA's for the most part are less malty, and therefore less hoppy than their 18th century relatives.

That is pretty true for this Newcastle.  The bottle is really attractive and reuseable, so they get homebrewer points!

The beer pours an amber color with very little head or bubbles with only a tiny ring around the glass to leave the tiniest lacing.

The aroma is clearly mellow caramel malt sweetness with only a bit of floral hops.  It's pretty straightforward and pleasant.  Not a whole lot of complexity.

The beer tastes really well balanced between the caramel malt sweetness and the bittering hops.  It's really pleasant and drinkable.

The body/mouthfeel is thinner than I would like being well under medium.  It starts off sweet and creamy while nearing the end the hops start to take over with mild bitter moving towards a slightly dry peppery finish.  The carbonation is fairly lively.

All in all it's very pleasant and drinkable, but it doesn't have much of a head and it almost watery to the mouthfeel.

I'm going to give this beer a score in the mid 3's out of 5.  It has lots of redeeming qualities and it totally something that I would seek out even in the summertime, but that is because it is a bit watery.  Otherwise, it's pretty refreshing!

Try it, you might like it and that is all that matters!  Try new stuff, life is too short not to!


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