Hops aren’t something you tend to associate with fall seasonal brews, so
I was caught a little off guard by Peak Organic Fall Summit Ale. An
amber ale brewed (as far as I can tell) exclusively with the Summit hop.
It’s a borderline IPA, but the fact it’s not makes it a nice change of
I poured a 12oz twist-off bottle into a nonic pint glass.
Appearance: Dark copper color, extremely clear body, not much
carbonation visible. Forms a huge, off-white, fluffy head which never
completely dissipates and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Resiny pine sap first and foremost with a hint of coffee or some earthy character.
Taste: The Summit hop should be the official hop of the East Coast as it
imparts all the traditional flavors: piney bitterness, resin and a bit
of "cat piss" astringency, plus a hint of coffee on the back end. There
isn’t much going on as far as malts, though. The beginning features
typical amber malt mild sweetness. This continues through the middle,
but it’s the finale that makes the beer what is it: a crescendo of hop
bitterness and piney flavor that lights up the tongue. A hint of coffee
and bitterness just as it washes away quite cleanly is a great way to
end it. I might criticize it for being a bit too simplistic of a palate,
but the flavor that’s here is delectable and enjoyable so I can’t knock
it for that.
Drinkability: Not intended to be a thirst quencher, Peak Organic Fall
Summit Ale drinks as it should. Plenty of carbonation and energy in the
mouth, but not spastic. Smooth finish and a fairly clean aftertaste make
it easy to drink in bigger gulps but probably only for hopheads. That
it’s only 5.7% ABV is impressive since it seems to have the weight or
something bigger. I could drink several of these in a row no problem.