Friday, April 19, 2013

The Beer Diviner Original Pale Ale

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (857) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 19, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Though there was no freshness date on the bottle I assume it’s fresh since I bought it directly from the brewer himself for $5 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Quite dark for a pale ale. Dark orange/burnt umber. Translucent glow around the edges. Forms a fairly large, white, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: A delicate bouquet of pine, flowers and a hint of spice.

Taste: There are certain beers that take a while to warm up to, and the more you drink the more you like. The Beer Diviner’s "Original Pale Ale" is one of those beers. It starts out quite eccentric with a taste of apple cider, cinnamon or other Gruit-like spices. But then it begins to resemble an extremely earthy pale ale with emphasis on the earthy. This is a beer where you taste the actual hops, rather than feel their raw bitterness. There’s also a strong, slightly sweet malty backbone to balance it out.

The palette opens with a mild bitter sensation in the raw botanical flavor: tree bark, pine needles, wet leaves, etc. There’s a solid bitterness at the core, but nothing too intense. I sense some spices or herbs, similar to that found in the Beer Diviner’s "Ancient Gruit Ale," but much more refined. A taste of cider or sorghum but without any tartness or twangy sensation. It finishes with a sweet sensation of raisin cinnamon bread combined with citrus juice concentrate. There’s a pasty, bitter aftertaste, but it’s not too intense and actually complements this palette well.

Drinkability: Though on the heavier side, The Beer Diviner’s "Original Pale Ale" is to be commended for its high drinkability. The mouthfeel is soft, slightly thick, but with a smooth finish that makes the drinking experience comfortable and fun. There’s enough flavor and balance to make it quite versatile, as I could see this pairing with a meal well, but works well on its own in a variety of situations. At 7.7% ABV, this is quite heavy for a pale ale, though a stand-alone bomber is a perfect serving size for an individual drinker. 
Grade: 9/10