Thursday, June 7, 2012

Captain Lawrence Brown Bird Ale

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (673) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 7, 2012
The brown ale gets a bad rap as boring, which I’ve never understood because it can be a very tasty style while still having a mild palate. Captain Lawrence Brown Bird Ale is proof positive of this as it has a great balance of sweet (but not cloying) maltiness, and pronounced (but not extreme) hop bitterness.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown/chestnut body - not quite opaque, but hardly transparent. Forms a large, tan, frothy head but it doesn’t retain or lace all that well.

Smell: Brown ale sweetness of confectionery aromas, plus a light, floral hop scent.

Taste: Captain Lawrence Brown Bird Ale definitely has the confectionery sweet flavors going for it: toffee, caramel, and hazelnut coffee creamer. Yet it doesn’t assault the palate - it’s more of a subtle pub-style real ale. The difference being hops are more noticeable here than your average American or English brown ale. A quick burst of dry bitterness comes through in the second half and again in the aftertaste. A very light coffee-style bitterness perfectly complements the hazelnut flavor found in the malty component of the palate. There’s even a subtle cola or root beer taste. There are other brown ales with a more deliberately energetic palate, but the laid back approach really works here.

Drinkability: I was very surprised to learn that Captain Lawrence Brown Bird Ale is only 4.8% ABV. The palate seems a little too robust and complex for something that small, but that makes the drinkability factor all the more impressive. With a medium body, slightly thin mouthfeel, and creamy texture, this beer is easy to throw back quickly and easily considering how smoothly it goes down. There’s little aftertaste, so it doesn’t wear you out. It’s a beer that could be enjoyed by drinkers of all experienced levels.

Grade: 8/10

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