Friday, August 1, 2014

Butternuts Porkslap Pale Ale

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (1141) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 1, 2014
I poured a 12oz can into a mug. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.29 ($0.19 per ounce).

Appearance: An ugly shade of rusted orange/tarnished gold over a hazy body. Pours to a two-finger, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Strong ginger aroma, a hint of clove or some other spice.

Taste: This is actually one of the most popular craft beers on the market mostly due to its name and label (I’ve gotta admit, it cracks me up every time I see it). However, the beer inside the can is a bit strange. Pork Slap is an English pale ale at the core, though the recipe has recently been modified to include a ginger seasoning to make it more distinctive. In that aspect it works, as it’s a fairly boring brew otherwise. But unless you’re a big fan of ginger you’re probably not going to find this beer all that delectable.

The ginger is noticeable right away, though it’s light and slightly sweet – almost like a sucker candy. Through the middle I taste the pale ale and it’s pretty standard. Some caramel flavor and a general amber maltiness coupled with just a touch of dry bitterness from the hops. Thankfully there’s no diacetyl character from the yeast strain. But the finish is what kills it, as the ginger re-emerges from nowhere and overwhelms the palette with an almost medicinal taste. It’s a flavor combination of herbal tea, mint and ginger. I’m sure some people can enjoy this, but for me it’s difficult to enjoy. That being said, this beer is at the very least tolerable. A few tweaks to the recipe and it could be more than solid.

Drinkability: I was actually surprised to find that Butternuts Pork Slap Pale Ale is only 4.3% ABV as it’s fairly strongly-flavored for an otherwise traditional session beer. Drinking it is no challenge whatsoever. The carbonation is consistent with a mouthfeel that’s not overtly thin or watery. Though I wouldn’t consider it refreshing, I could see drinkers of a certain experience level enjoying this in large quantities in any season or setting. 
Grade: 5/10

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