Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Westbrook One Claw (2014 original review)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1178) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 17, 2014
I’m not 100% sure what hops and malts went into Westbrook One Claw (except for rye), though I bet I could take an educated guess. All the local beer nerds in my area have been raving about this beer all summer so I finally decided to give it a try. I’m definitely kicking myself for not having done so sooner since it definitely lives up to the hype. A hop bomb for a pale ale, but with plenty of malt presence to give it balance and remain a true pale ale.

I poured a 12oz can into a goblet. The freshness date was unreadable; it cost $3.19 ($0.27 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale orange/golden hue over an extremely hazy body though some carbonation can be seen rushing up the edge of the glass. Pours to a small, white, soapy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Strong hoppy aroma with distinct herbal and citrus juicy notes.

Taste: From beginning to end there’s a strong hop flavor here; a combination of herbal/earthy notes (probably Mosaic or a similar hop) followed by a tropical fruit juice/citrusy flavor (probably Citra and/or Simcoe hops). A solid malt base supports these hops quite well, though they’re not especially bitter. There’s a spicy bitterness throughout this palette, balanced out well by the use of rye in the malt foundation. Light on the sweetness, but there are faint notes of lemon. I like how the hops re-emerge at the end and create for additional juicy flavor. This is a pale ale I could drink often without becoming bored.

Drinkability: What’s really nice about Westbrook One Claw is the fact the beer is just so easily drinkable. Technically a fairly “light” beer at only 5.5% ABV, it has the body of something much stronger. It’s quite robust compared to so many other brews of the style of comparable weights. It’s also a pleasure to drink as the mouthfeel is well carbonated, but still quite comfortable as it’s not spastic and goes down super smooth. It’s refreshing while in the mouth; though it does leave a slightly pasty aftertaste, which is easily tolerated. 
Grade: 9/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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