Thursday, March 5, 2009

Keegan Ales Old Capital

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (569) - Albany, USA - MAR 1, 2010
There are some niche styles of beer which are acquired tastes, but I’ve never understood the appeal of a blonde ale because it’s an inherently mild, generic beer. That’s why Keegan Ales Old Capital caught me off guard because it’s made by a microbrewery whose other two beers were great examples of nice styles.


This beer pours smoothly and forms a slightly dark golden body which is a little cloudy (which is odd because there’s no sediment noticeable). The head is white and foamy and about an inch and a half thick. Strangely enough, it is quite hoppy-smelling for a lighter-style beer.


The ale family of beer is usually known for its specific taste styles, unlike lagers which are quite similar across the board. Maybe that’s why Old Capital threw me for a loop – because I was expecting something more substantial, but what I got was so seemingly average.

The beer starts off with a distinct hop bitterness along with a mild, but noticeable, flavor of banana and clove. However, as I continued to drink I found the fruity flavors took a backseat to a dry, doughy, yeast-like taste. There also seemed to be hints of lemon, but it was washed out by the beer’s thin, watery body. Overall, it wasn’t bad-tasting, but there just wasn’t a lot to like.


When people hear a beer has a hop bite to it, they tend to assume it’s difficult to drink. While Old Capital certainly is more bitter than your average session beer, it’s not strong and tart like an India pale ale. Combined with its mild taste and watery body, it’s no surprise it’s very smooth.


I wasn’t able to find out the ABV or calorie count for Old Capital so my judgment of its weight is entirely subjective. However, since this is a lighter beer it definitely drinks and feels like such. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or filled up at all. If this beer is intended to be a session brew, it certainly has a case for such.


Beers like Keegan Ales Old Capital are a bit of a head-scratcher because I’m not sure who their target is. It’s too bland for the connoisseur seeking potent flavor and a little too crafty for Joe Six Pack wanting something without surprises. It’s drinkable, to be sure, but not as enjoyable as I’d prefer.

Grade: 5/10

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