Thursday, August 15, 2013

Upstate Brewing Common Sense

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (943) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 15, 2013
I poured a 16oz can into a large mug. There was no freshness date. A 4-pack retails for $9.99 ($0.16 per ounce).

Appearance: A very attractive shade of chestnut/mahogany. Carbonation visible. Forms a large, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces quite well.

Smell: Slight nutty character, a hint of corn, but nothing lager-y per se (it is an ale after all).

Taste: It’s difficult to classify Upstate Brewing Common Sense in modern brewing terms since it’s essentially a recipe used in pre-prohibition times. This is a mild, yet consistently interesting, lighter-bodied beer with a dark color. An interesting choice for an upstart brewery to use as their flagship.

This beer has components of brown ale, amber ale and cream ale styles, though it’d be incorrect to place this beer in any of those categories. There’s some nuttiness akin to a brown ale, some bitterness and maltiness akin to an amber ale (as well as the color), and the slightly sweet flaked maize character and mildness of a cream ale. Faint traces of caramel and toffee throughout the first half with noticeable, but restrained, bitterness at the peak of the swig. There’s some corn detectable on the finish, but it’s nothing off-putting as is often the case in an adjunct lager. It actually works quite well in this recipe. While not highly robust, "Common Sense" has enough flavor to more than satisfy.

Drinkability: The palette to this beer reminds me of a pub-style cask ale. The mouthfeel is soft with a creamy texture and easy finish (nitrogenating this beer would be pretty awesome, I bet). It’s actually a bit refreshing while in the mouth and the aftertaste is quite clean, making it highly quaffable. My only complaint would be the weight is a tad too heavy at 5.3% ABV, since it drinks like something lighter. If this palette could be done at 4.5% or lower it would be a perfect session beer. 
Grade: 7/10

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