There’s so much hype about IPAs these days that the classic pale ale
tends to be forgotten about. Once in a while a pale ale comes along and
reminds me how good the style can be. A good example would be Hangar 24
Amarillo Pale Ale - a beer that has plenty of flavor, bitterness and is
highly drinkable without making a big deal about it.
Appearance: Clear, bright orange/amber hue. Plenty of visible
carbonation. Forms an average-sized, off-white, foamy head which laces
and retains pretty well.
Smell: Sweet, orange candy-like aroma with a general floral bouquet. Clean, but not intense.
Taste: Hangar 24 Amarillo Pale Ale is exactly what I expect in an
American pale ale. Plenty of hop character throughout the palate but
without the raw density or chutzpah of an IPA. The Amarillo hops give it
a distinct orange flavor all around - slightly sweet candy-like flavor
up front with a slightly sharper, dryer bitterness through the middle.
The malts are muted, imparting a light sweetness to balance out the
hops. There’s a quick hop bite at the apex which linger for just a few
moments before finishing cleanly.
It’s interesting how much flavor is here, yet at the same time I would
not consider this a super robust beer in general. It’s satisfying and
enjoyable at the time and seems to have good re-drinkability in that you
could drink many of these without it wearing you out.
Drinkability: Half the enjoyment of this beer is how pleasantly
drinkable it is. The body is medium, there’s a perfect level of
carbonation to give it noticeable, but contained, energy. It’s crisp and
refreshing while in the mouth and goes down smooth. I was surprised to
see it’s "only" 5.5% ABV as it has so much flavor, but without the
weight of something bigger. This might be dangerously drinkable in the