from the Brewer:
This voluminously hopped mutha… delivers a hoppy nose and assertive-but-balanced flavors of pale malts and citrusy floral hops from start to finish. Oskar Blues launched its canning ops in 2002, brewing and hand-canning Dale’s Pale Ale in the Lyons, ColoRADo, brewpub. America’s first-craft-canned mountain Pale is a hearty, critically acclaimed trailblazer that changed the way craft beer fiends perceive portable beer”
Stats: American Pale Ale ♦ 6.5% ABV ♦ 65 IBUs ♦ Longmont, Colorado.
Colour: Medium-Amber; Filtered. Medium-foam. Light-lacing.
Mouth Feel: Medium carbonation present and long lasting; not particularly ‘soft’ — a bit of a ‘burn’ (she says)
Location/Price: LCBO ♦ $9.10/4-can pack (355ml)
Pairings: Standard pub-fare; fish and chips; mussels and fries. (). ♦ Fish & chips; turkey burgers; kettle chips or fries; Szechuan beef or other big Asian dishes ()
When I first spotted this beer in the store one day, I thought “I have to buy some for Dale.” I bought 4 and we really enjoyed them, and so have returned to buy more. Generally we buy local as much as we can, so we typically repurchase only imported beer we really like. This is one of them, and the name doesn’t hurt either. I even bought Dale some merchandise to go with it (see below)
Overall, I really like the flavour of this beer on its own. It doesn’t need food but certainly would work with a variety of pub fare or a big bowl of salty chips or fries. The brewers call it a “voluminously hopped mutha of a pale ale” and I would agree. It is not a shy beer for sure, and comes off quite big and strong. I am not sure what a ‘mountain pale ale’ is exactly, other than it comes from the mountains of Colorado and I can imagine skiers gathered in a local pub after a day on the hills enjoying this with some great pub grub.
This ale pours nicely with a substantial foamy head and leaves tight lacing which lasts and lasts on the glass. Be sure not to serve this too cold or you won’t get the nice fruity aromas of citrus and some tropical fruit — pineapple and a hint of caramel (grilled pineapple) — because the warmer this gets, the more beautiful its nose becomes: from earthy malts to more tropical. It’s colour is a gorgeous burnt amber, very warm-looking and appealing on a cold day when I might have otherwise wanted a stout instead!
At first taste, I do admit that, initially, the carbonation is a little bit too much for my taste — the tingle on the tip of my tongue is on the verge of a burn and I’m simply not a carbonation lover. If you hold it in your mouth, it continues to burn lightly…but doesn’t bother the back of my tongue and throat and I’m left with the big bitters of this pale ale. Once the beer has sat for a bit getting sipped, the carbonation becomes more palatable for me. The first taste sort of slaps you because of the prominent bitters, but if you enjoy a big, hoppy, bitter beer then you settle into its confidence quickly. I would say this beer actually tastes like it has more like 8-9% alcohol – probably fooling me with its malts.
This beer has some really round, smooth malts that provide a balancing sweetness against the bitterness of this beer. The bitters do linger on courageously — a good minute before the bitters on the back of my palate fade.
Overall, I would say this is a beer we could easily keep around as a standard in our fridge if it continues to be available — and I would love to try this on tap (perhaps in Colorado?!). It is pretty and flavourful, confident, and makes me feel like a veritable, beer-loving woman. 🙂
First Taste (10) = 8
Appearance (5) = 5
Aftertaste (15) = 12.5
Aroma (10) = 9.25
Mouthfeel (10) = 7.5
Overall: (10): = 8.75
51/60 = 85%
What does a name matter? Well, if you’re like me and you’re another ‘unusually’ named “Dale,” you get a little bit of childish giddiness anytime you see your name in print. And when you’re a beer lover and, for the first time in your life, you see your name festooned on a can — and bonus of bonuses, with a possessive apostrophe after it that says it’s “yours” — well, you have to get your hands and lips on it when you see it. So with all due respect to our many great local beers, this review goes south of the border to Colorado for a great experience.
Out of the can, the beer produces a strong bit of foam — a couple of fingers, depending on how hard you pour. Within 10 minutes, this has reduced to some uneven lacing left all around the glass. From ‘head’ to mouth, the beer is more than a little ‘crisp’ with a medium carbonation. This is fairly well-balanced on the tongue and complements the very ample bitters in this American Pale Ale. With a beautiful clear, copper amber, it begs to be drank.
First tastes get interesting pretty quickly and are “bread”-soaked and full of malts. I personally taste the earthiness of some rye in there which both develops and closes with “minerality” — iron, copper, and some tin. The malts, which are clearly on display, become caramel … but with little in the way of any diacetyl to balance it, this is more earthy and less creamy as caramel goes. Heck, I’d even say there is some elements to this that remind me of a rye whiskey.
All of this really presents a stage for the ample bitters to emerge and take over. While the strong malt profile provides good camouflage for the 6.5 % ABV, more than anything, it is a springboard into the west-coast trio of Centennial, Cascade, and Columbus hops. And to be clear, the 65 IBUs, well-balanced by the malts, make their entrance early and last long. In my view, for a beer whose personality is clearly defined by the malts, the decent 65 IBUs have a bigger hit than you might expect. There is definitely some pine or even some spruce mixed with some bitter citrus peel. Not a surprise with the hops being used.
The thing I debated most is whether I’d call this beer “balanced.” The character and profile might suggest it so — but there is a bit of a bipolar extremism in the taste as it swings pretty massively from malts to bitters with the two spending little time in any meaningful co-existence.
All in all this may not be the most inventive or ‘wow’ beer out there, but it a highly drinkable, very enjoyable, and very tasty offering which has found itself a mainstay in our current fridge. And more than anything, this is one Dale who is happy to have found another friendly Dale with which to drink beer.
First Taste (10) = 8.5
Appearance (5) = 5
Aftertaste (15) = 14
Aroma (10) = 8
Mouthfeel (10) = 8.5
Overall: (10): = 8.5
52/60 = 87.5%
Overall: 86 points
This beer ultimately is for true pale ale lovers — those who enjoy big bitters and also those who enjoy higher amounts of carbonation (which typically isn’t Jess, but she can “get past that“). However, we both really enjoyed the aroma and flavours both conclude this to be a good example of an American pale ale. Pretty typical in the style of the west-coast, the malts make this a highly sessionable ale that nonetheless packs a punch. Two thumbs up from Hopped and Bothered and we look forward to trying their Ten FIDY Imperial Stout next.