Yum. My first beer that stylizes itself an “American Pale Ale.” As such, I couldn’t as yet tell you if this is a consistent or representative APA.
Certainly there was strong familiarity with its parent, India Pale Ale (IPA), it had a wonderful, hoppy aftertaste so crucial to any good IPA. My first impression provided by that all-important first sip was that this APA was sweeter than a typical IPA. It may be that this is a consistent with the gorgeous amber tones that run throughout the beer. The hops are a predominant and strong component of this beer — which gives good reason for the “Signature” that is beautifully emblazoned on the bottle. I was also pleased by the relatively moderate level of carbonation which I think sometimes steals from a beer’s taste – like too much sugar in a gelato: it disguises an absence. As such, this beer was naked … and what hedonist doesn’t appreciate the confidence of something that says, “Take me like I am?” Having said that, where I think the beer let me down personally was in the alcohol stats. At 5%, whatever this APA had going for it in terms of confidence I thought it gave back with the passivity of its alcohol volume, a level I often assume is going to be higher in an IPA. Again, this may be an accurate characterization of an APA vs. IPA … or it may have been a choice by the brewmaster to not let anything mess with the hops, but in my mind, it left for an unnecessarily “flat” middle-to-after taste.
In short, I’d say that this is drinks like an IPA with the character of an amber. Something in between would be a fair approximation — probably a result of the American hops (the back of the bottle proudly proclaims “America’s West Coast Hops”) and the lower alcohol content. However, this beer quickly grows on you and for those new to IPA’s or those who like a little less ‘hop’ on their tongue, I’d say this is a great introduction or compromise. I had some with a 6 yr old cheddar on a piece of crusty bread, and I must say, it was amazing. Only thing that was missing was a piece of smoked sausage, but that’s my fault, not the brewmaster’s.
Stats: APA. 5% ABV. 32 IBUs. Brossard, Quebec.
Colour: Copper-Amber, almost orange. As it is unfiltered, it has a cloudy beauty that makes the colours really pop.
Mouth Feel: Light start with a richer finish. Medium carbonation.
80 points (of a 100)