Monday, April 5, 2010
Great Waters Glacier Pale Ale
On Friday, I only worked a half-day. Since I finished work at 11:45am, I figured I would head over to Great Waters to try a couple new beers they had listed on their website. Because I would be tasting these beers all alone, I decided I should write up some beer sessions on these brews. I thought it would be fun and different from my usual home sessions.
As long as I was there, I figured that I would also order some lunch. I always enjoy the food at Great Waters. When the waitress told me about their Salmon Burger special, I knew that's what I should get. It was very tasty, if any of you are curious. Sorry, no lengthy descriptive food review here. That's not what I do.
Since this was my first beer session away from home, I couldn't set up the awesome photo station that my wonderful wife helped conceive. I had to improvise with my phone's lackluster camera, so let me apologize for the picture quality.
This first Great Waters beer session is with their Glacier Pale Ale. This brew is 5% ABV and is a true cask ale served at cellar temperature (52°F) after being hand pumped through a beer engine. (Keep watch for a future post about cask ale if you have questions.) Here is the description from their site:
"This pale ale is single hopped with Glacier hops. It's not over-powering. A more balanced and biscuity beer, the Glacier P.A. resembles an English pale ale. It's appropriately being served on cask."
I like a good English Pale Ale, so let's see about this one. The Great Waters pint glass is set in front of me with a nice 2-fingers of frothy off-white head. The body is cloudy with sediment and is golden-orange in color.
After taking a whiff of this, it's hard to determine what I smell. There is a sweet malt aroma that reminds me of honey. There is also some fruit. I'd say apricots and peaches are the ones that come to mind.
The taste? Sweet mango-like fruitiness with some apricot and a slightly tart acidic flavor. There is a metallic bitterness that seems to come on slowly, but it eventually balances the malt sweetness.
The mouthfeel is one of my favorite things about cask ales. This beer is creamy and velvety with a medium viscosity. The carbonation level is light and natural. Each swallow is silky smooth going down my throat and there is lovely lacing on the glass.
This beer was briefly enjoyable to me mainly because of how different it is than I expected. However, I don't think I would go out of my way to drink it again. There is almost too much of a sweet fruit quality, especially for this style. There is some mild hop bitterness that tries to balance it out and make it a pale ale, but it only partially succeeds. It is far from what I usually enjoy at Great Waters. Thankfully, the second beer I tried was much better. Look for that session tomorrow!