Monday, September 1, 2014

Saranac High Peaks Clouded Dream

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1165) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 1, 2014
Saranac describes Clouded Dream as a “Hybrid IPA/Belgian Style White Ale,” which is fairly accurate. It does have a lot of makings of a witbier, only stronger; though it’s not quite hoppy enough for a White IPA (is “White pale ale” a thing?). What it is, however, is an interesting brew.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It appears to have been bottled on 5/10/14.

Appearance: IPA-like look of glowing orange hue with an opaque body from all the sediment. Pours to a two-finger, white, frothy head which laces and retains pretty well.

Smell: Sweet confectionery aroma of butterscotch, orange marmalade, and a touch of spice.

Taste: The first thing I notice about this beer is how sweet it is. Much like nose, the palette has a sweet confectionery taste of butterscotch and orange marmalade. There seems to be an herbal presence here, similar to that of an all-natural cough drop. Lemon peel is also noticeable, though that could be due to the Citra hops. The coriander is subtle and shows up right at the end and leaves a slightly dry, peppery aftertaste. It’s not an especially bitter brew, or perhaps the hops have faded by the time I got to this bottle. I’m not sure what yeast strain was used, though it doesn’t have much of an obvious Belgian character. I did enjoy the traditional witbier spices, but I could use a little less malt presence and more hop bitterness.

Drinkability: For a 7.3% ABV brew, Clouded Dream is surprisingly full-bodied. The mouthfeel is soft and calm with a smooth texture, though the alcohol does make itself known in form of both flavor and warmth. I would not considering this refreshing, though I would say it’s easy to drink. 
Grade: 7/10

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