Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 77, Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

Hello everyone!  I'm back to beer.  No more Gluten Free stuff for a while.  I can't think of a better way to start off than with one of my favourite breweries Samuel Smith's.  I apologize for the bland writing that I sometimes do.  Last night's post was not very fluid.  I was tired and I had two of the best beers in the world in me (Pliny the Elder) before I wrote about Redbridge.  Man that could lead to depression and a drinking problem!

So here I am with a Sam Smith old style English Pale Ale in front of me and all is OK with the world!
I apologize for the photo.  My apartment is humid.  The glass always fogs up.  But the beer really is clear.   You just cant tell.  I dig the bottle.  I can reuse it.  It's classically attractive too.  I love their symbol.

The beer pours a deep red amber, very clear and with a nice tan head consisting of tiny bubbles that fade to a ring around the glass and a center cap for the rest of the drink.  Lacing is a wide and uniform polka dot pattern, but very little of it.

The aroma is of dark fruits like figs and raisins with a caramel malt base and some nice bread to make you feel at home.  As it warms, it becomes even more like you wanna put your feet up on the coffee table and drink in the atmosphere.

With the taste you can sort of make out the effect of the hard water as it seems to carry the light hop bitterness on top of a caramel malty, bready, figgy base.  The bitterness is mild but apparent with the whole sip as the mild sweetness moves across the tongue and ends up finishing lightly dry with a little bitter at the back of the tongue.  It's nicely mild and balanced well leaning a little more to the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is fairly moderate and maybe a little on the thin side allowing the bitter to slightly overtake the sweetness at first.  I poured it too cold.  As it warms up it becomes even better balanced.  Carbonation is perfectly moderate leading to a lasting dry mild bitter finish.  English hops for sure.  My favourite.

Overall, I would say that this is close to being a world class beer if it were only a little more full bodied, but then it would not be a session-able pub beer would it?  It gets a 4+ out of 5 from me!

You have to try this beer as it is pretty affordable and a classic!  Get out there, drink good beer.  Life is too short for the mundane!


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