Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Belgium Hoptober

This recently introduced brew is now on tap at the Flying Saucer. The name implies an Octoberfest style, but it's actually a Golden Ale. Since I was expecting an Octoberfest, I was disappointed when I saw the light color.

When served, the 16 oz. tall draw sports a healthy 3 finger head, a slight haze and a dominant citrus hop aroma. This has lots of carbonation, in fact it is almost fizzy. The head dissipated quickly after the first strong swig. At 6% ABV, there was some warming effect, but no alcohol burn. The hop flavor is up front, but the impact was not as strong as I expected, which was somewhat disappointing. There was some bitterness in the middle palate, with a dry biscuit finish.

I was ready to write off this New Belgium offering as a bland misnomer, but as it warmed up a subtle malt/wheat/rye aroma appeared and began to subdue the bitterness. I enjoyed this development along with the silky mouth feel and the ample carbonation. Before any malt sweetness could take hold it was swept away by the dry finish and an immediate desire to take another sip.

While this style of beer is not likely to evoke a desire to write sonnets in praise of it, I'm glad I was able to put aside my initial disappointment and enjoy this very refreshing beer.

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