Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rare Form Sabbatical Session Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1224) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 22, 2014
From what I can tell, Rare Form doesn’t seem to be a fan of traditional beer styles, which is fine with me. Their “Sabbatical Session Ale” could be considered a Session IPA, a pale ale, a specialty grain or – most accurately – “other.” Plenty of hop bitterness and actual flavor, but has a bit more body than your average highly-hopped/low gravity brew. It’s quite enjoyable.

I poured a 16oz growler filled at the tap room into a tulip glass. It cost $6 ($0.38 per ounce).

Appearance: Hazy, grapefruit juice-like complexion of pale orange. Pours to a thin, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Sweet candy and citrus aroma, especially orange.

Taste: The palette to Sabbatical Session Ale is rather direct, as the most dominate flavors are the hops. Fairly intense dry bitterness crackles across the tongue right from the get-go, though the addition of rye and spices probably has a bit to do with that as well (they don’t say what spices are used in the brew). The rye definitely creates for its trademark spice, though it doesn’t seem to be accounting for much in the way of body as it does not taste like liquid rye bread. In fact, the malt composition is a silent partner here. There’s enough of it to give the beer true body, but not to the point of creating for distinct sweetness. I suspect the beer is brewed with Sorachi Ace hops as it has that distinct pink peppercorn/grapefruit taste on the finish (this would be a great beer to pair with seafood, by the way).

Drinkability: At only 3.8% ABV, Sabbatical Session Ale definitely lives up to its name. There’s a lot of flavor here for such a low gravity brew, though the actual mouthfeel is noticeably thin. It is crisp and even refreshing while in the mouth, and it’s easy going down. The hops linger and leave a slightly dry/spicy aftertaste, but it’s easily tolerable. 
Grade: 8/10

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