Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hair of the Dog Ruth

Today was BY FAR the nicest-looking day of the year (temperature-wise, it was only moderately warm). So I absolutely HAD to shoot a beer review outside to capture the moment. Unfortunately, it was a Saturday afternoon so there were plenty of noisy distractions. The beer was Ruth by Hair Of The Dog - a brewery from the Pacific Northwest I've heard great things about but have never been able to get until recently. I was hoping to pair some burgers I had cooked on the grill with this beer, but they weren't done cooking until after the beer review was over.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - APR 30, 2011
Orange is an aroma and taste I often encounter in American IPAs, but not as much with pale ales. That is until I tried "Ruth" by Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. It’s a citrusy, sweet, and overtly bitter beer that fits the classic style well.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Appearance: Dark orange with a hazy body, but tons of visible carbonation bubbles. Forms a huge, foamy white head that initially fizzles away like a soda, but eventually condenses down to something more frothy. It never completely evaporates and leaves nice lacing on the glass as well.

Smell: Oranges, orange sherbet and orange juice. Light flowery perfume scent as well. I also detect a strange sour aroma too.

Taste: Pales ales tend to be more on the mild side with the hops coming on the finish, but Ruth delivers hop bitterness from beginning to end. Right away it’s a sharp, somewhat dry hop bite. The orange characteristics in the aroma all seem to combine to make for a citrusy tartness that’s slightly sweet through the middle like an orange creamsicle. There’s a biscuity malt backbone as well, give it some texture and adding a slight dryness.

Mouthfeel: Thin and crisp. Not fizzy, not tepid.

Drinkability: While I wouldn’t consider Ruth to be refreshing, it’s definitely a beer to drink. The good palate has genuine flavor and crisp, lighter body makes it easy to quaff. There’s a slightly dry bitter aftertaste, but it’s easily tolerable. An ideal beer to have with any American meal, really. The 5.6% would seem to be a bit higher than the beer actually feels. I think killing a six pack of this on a sunny day is easily achievable.

Overall, a good pale ale and a good beer in general. Nothing particularly unique about it, but nothing especially wrong with it, either.

Grade: 7/10

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