3.1AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Is there a difference between regular IPAs and East IPAs? I’ve seen a few beers with the “East” notation in the title but have not tried one until Sea Dog Old East India Pale Ale. IPAs are usually bitter and tart, but this one was actually sour and sugary. I wasn’t a big fan, but at least I can’t accuse of being unoriginal.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
India Pale Ales, aside from being extremely tasty, are often beautiful to look at. Sea Dog isn’t quite as attractive as others of the type, though. It pours very smoothly to a cloudy copper color. There are no pulp bits noticeable but it is surprisingly blurry and seemingly low in carbonation.
The aroma is a mixture of organic sweet smells: maple syrup, butterscotch and brown sugar. In fact, I detected a scent somewhat similar to liquor, especially rum. I was very curious to see how this would beer would taste.
In my experience with IPAs I’ve found them to be some of the most bitter and, paradoxically, most sweet beers. I was taken aback upon my first taste of Sea Dog Old East India Pale Ale. Much like its aroma, this beer has a strong taste of butterscotch and syrup.
Now, I have nothing against sweet, malty beers, but they should have a taste appeal. In the case of Sea Dog it’s like drinking a very thin, alcoholic syrup. It also has a sour component reminiscent of pomegranate or cranberry juice. Where is the hop taste?
Beers with strong flavors aren’t known for their smooth finish, but Sea Dog’s flavor, although strong, doesn’t make it difficult to drink. Since it’s so rich and malty it finishes pretty smooth. If it didn’t have a sour aftertaste it probably would have been even smoother, but that’s expected of an IPA.
Since this beer can be easily compared to syrup, do you really think it’s going to be a lightweight beer? Not hardly at 6.2% ABV. I definitely noticed its potency only halfway through my first bottle, which might explain the rum-like aroma. I wasn’t able to find out how many calories it contains but I’d guess about 200, which could easily be considered too heavy for a beer of this type.
I’m not sure how to react to Sea Dog Old East India Pale Ale. Yes it was sweet and remotely easy to drink, but there just isn’t a lot of appeal to it. I found the butterscotch taste to be original, but not tasty enough to really savor and appreciate.