Friday, October 25, 2013

Lawson's Finest Liquids Steve’s Back Yard Red Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (995) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 25, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a goblet. There was no freshness date. It cost $7 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Seemingly opaque purple, but actually dark red. No visible carbonation. Pours to a fairly big, off-white, frothy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Mostly piney hops and resin, though not extremely aromatic per se.

Taste: The red ale isn’t a style that’s really been defined. It tend to get lumped in with amber ales or confused with Irish Reds, but it’s not really either. Steve’s Back Yard Red Ale is a good example since you wouldn’t mistake it for either of these styles. It’s a fine beer that’s a bit simple, but makes it work towards its advantage.

The main flavor here is that found in the nose: resiny, piney hops. Not quite as aggressively bitter as an IPA, since it does have a noticeably malty backbone to it. I don’t really get any distinct malt character, though. Perhaps it’s akin to a Scottish or similar style but without any smoke, yet it’s not particularly sweet either. The piney hops are pleasant, imparting a strong, flavorful bitterness that doesn’t overwhelm. Balancing out this palette would probably make for an excellent beer, though I’m not complaining about what I have.

Drinkability: While Steve’s Back Yard Red Ale has a lot of hoppy flavor, I was surprised by how smooth the mouthfeel was. It has a texture that’s somewhere between that of water and cream (milk?). It’s easy to drink in larger gulps, but it’s not refreshing. At 5.5% ABV it’s pretty efficient I’d say, and ideal to pair with dinner. 
Grade: 7/10

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