Peak Farm is an Imperial Pale Ale from Sycamore Brewing in Charlotte, NC. The nose is predominantly floral with some light fruity notes of apricot and mango. The middle has some citrus in the form of orange and lemon. The finish is citrusy and bitter, tempering as it warms. The body is heavy and the alcohol is a moderate 7.2% ABV. A nice double pale ale with nothing against it, but not particularly special.
I give it a 3.9 out of 5.
From right here in Charlotte, NC, Birdsong Brewing Co. has produced a beer styled just for me…One that’s spicy. The do remove the seeds from the fresh jalepeños they add to the brew, so it’s not burn-your-mouth-down spicy, but it’s a nice hint of heat. The beer otherwise is their Free Will Pale Ale, which is a nice malt-forward pale ale. I do remember Free Will (which I haven’t reviewed yet) having a bit of a bitter finish, but that seems to be gone here, perhaps due to the flavor of the jalepeños. A nice beer, medium bodied, and a summery 5.5% ABV.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5.
An American Pale Ale brewed with spruce lips, Pennyslvania Tuxedo is a collaboration between Dogfish Head and Woolrich. The nose is bready with plenty of pine from the spruce lips, though they’re just barely beginning to play their part. There’s some orange and caramel in the middle, but the predomint notes are piney in nature. I’m nearly certain that I can taste every part of the tree. The finish is slightly sweet with the orange coming back into play, and a bit of licorice and brown sugar. It’s a wonderful twist on a play ale, and though it’s certainly not the pine of a West Coast IPA, would probably appeal to many of the same fans. A really nice, and really fun beer.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
The first thing to note about Silent Treatment Pale Ale from the No-Li Brewhouse of Spokane, Washington is that the head is staggering. It’s like beaten egg whites, and lasts for a good 10 minutes after the pour. The nose reminds me of Washington, with strong pine and a bit of grain. The middle has notes of honey, orange, and a grain that I’m pretty certain is wheat. The finish is more of the same, more malty than hoppy, but there’s a slightly bitter undercurrent. The alcohol is a moderate 5.75% ABV. This is a nice pale ale of the sweeter persuasion.
I give it a 4.1 out of 5.
Compass, by New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Company, is an Imperial Sparkling American Pale Ale. Oh, and it’s bottle conditioned, and brewed with rose hips. So, it has a lot going on, to say the least. The nose is predominantly citrus with lemon and grapefruit, and it has a floral note that Southern Tier tells me is rose hips, but that I associate with honeysuckle, and a slight undertone of tropical fruit, specifically pineapple. The middle is creamy and buttery, with more tropical fruit and a bit of citrus. Southern Tier promises some bitterness, but I’m not tasting much at all. A tiny hint of citrus rind/pine in the finish, perhaps, which is also where the carbonation makes its presence felt. The body is medium, and the alcohol is a healthy imperial-level 9.0% ABV. I really like Southern Tier, but in honesty this one wasn’t one of my favorites. It’s good, but not great.
I give it a 3.8 out of 5.
Jam Session is, as its name implies, a session beer. I’ve found it in 16oz cans, which is just about my favorite container these days. It’s a 5.1% ABV American Pale Ale from the NoDa Brewing Company right here in Charlotte, NC. It is deep orange-amber in color, and has a thick, meringue like head that sticks around. The nose has pine and lemon, and is predominantly hoppy. The middle still leans toward hoppiness but isn’t overpowering. It’s grassy with more lemon and a bit of caramel from the malt balancing it. The finish has a touch of orange and toast and the tiniest undercurrent of pine. This is a really nice pale ale and in this lighter session beer format, one I’m going to be happy to drink quite a bit more of this summer.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Pale Ale is a beer that needs no introduction. You’ve almost certainly had one or six in the past, and it’s available nation-wide. Why would I review a beer that all you readers have already tried? Simple…I believe this beer deserves it. To me this is one of two beers (Samuel Adams Boston Lager being the other) that epitomize the success of modern craft brewing in the United States. This is one of the two beers that sets the standard for brewing high quality beer with care, and still being able to make it widely available for the enjoyment of a general national audience. But I digress. The beer: This is a classic American Pale Ale in all it’s hoppy glory. The nose is slightly bready, with some floral notes. The middle is bursting with clean bitter pine, and a hint of orange peel. The finish is pine and bread. It’s a medium-bodied beer, and clean and crisp all the way through. There’s nothing outlandish about this beer, but it excels in its simplicity. This is one of my favorites for a hot summer evening.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.