Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pride of Milford Special Ale

For the 4th of July holiday I thought I would review the most "patriotic and/or American-themed' beer in my fridge. So I'm reviewing the baseball-themed Cooperstown Brewing Company's "Pride of Milford Special Ale". I actually have given this beer a brief review TWO YEARS ago when I was visiting Xpoweruser and PersianLad in Pennsylvania. Anyways, it's been a long time since I've sat down and given this thing a serious look. Happy Independence Day! Play ball!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUL 3, 2011
American breweries are often able to take niche styles from other regions and make them uniquely American while still maintaining their original heritage. I think that’s a good way to describe Pride of Milford Special Ale as it certainly tastes like an American beer on the surface, but just a little contemplation reveals its true English roots.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Appearance: Hazy blood red/burnt umber color with noticeable carbonation. Forms a small, tannish/yellow soapy head which fizzles away quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Genuine aroma of caramel and toffee candy, but not sugary or rich. Slight dark fruit notes with a cereal malt scent as well.

Taste: As much as I hate umbrella styles of "____ strong ale", I’d say Pride of Milford Special Ale definitely falls into the category of an English strong ale (Americanized). The majority of the palate is in line with the aroma of caramel and toffee candy flavors. They make for a sweet flavor, but aren’t as sticky, rich or cloying as the individual confectionary components. There’s a somewhat familiar backbone of English malts - slightly bready, slightly toasty and slightly cereal-like. German doppelbocks also tend to have these components, but this beer isn’t nearly as robust.

The middle of the palate imparts a light bitterness, with the finish delievering another bout of candy sweetness combined with almost iced tea-like sensation. It’s actually quite refreshing, although the beer doesn’t finish completely clean but does leave a pleasant, mild taste of candy and malts.

Mouthfeel: Proportionately speaking, this is a rather thin brew. There’s a slightly watery consistency, as the slightest fizzy texture while it’s in the mouth.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 7.7% ABV, Pride of Milford Special Ale would seem to be a middle to light heavyweight of a beer, but it drinks like something of a much lower weight class. The palate is flavorful but not cloying, and the tepid, thin body makes its chuggable, smooth and slightly refreshing. The alcohol will sneak up on you, though, so handle this beer with kid gloves.

Overall, Pride of Milford is one of, if not the best beers by the Cooperstown Brewing Company. It’s a beer that with a little more strength would make it a heavy hitter instead of just a good position player.

Grade: 7/10

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