Sunday, December 7, 2014

Elysian Oddland Spiced Pear Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1233) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 7, 2014
I appreciate it when breweries make beers that don’t conform to any particular style and make that clear right in the name and label. Elysian Oddland Spiced Pear Ale could be considered a fruit beer, perhaps a saison, or under the umbrella term of spice/herb/vegetable. Wherever it lies is inconsequential, what does matter is that it’s a tasty, original, and interesting brew to say the least.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a mason jar. It had no freshness date. I won this in a raffle (thanks to Eric for donating it!).

Appearance: Hazy shade of dark orange; some sediment can be seen floating in suspension. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces wonderfully.

Smell: Strong aroma of spices, especially ginger. Slightly fruity, though has a scent reminiscent of antiseptic cleaners.

Taste: This beer is properly named as the “spice” reference proceeds the pear reference. In other words, yes, this beer is spicy as hell. As soon as it hits the tongue, the palate lights up with an array of spice rack seasonings: ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander and allspice all seem to be present (though, according the brewery’s website, only cumin and cardamom are actually used in the brew). The pear component definitely takes a backseat to the spice, though it does work as a continuous fruity counterbalance. It imparts a hint of cider-like tartness, but there is little in the way of overt fruit juiciness and sweetness (I do get a slight lemon/lime soda flavor, though). The use of Saaz hops really complements the spice palette in the way of strong dry bitterness, especially on the finish. That “antiseptic” character from the nose does carry over to the taste, though that might be an off-character if this bottle is old.

Drinkability: At only 6.3% ABV, Elysian Oddland Spiced Pear Ale isn’t all that hefty of a brew. However, it’s not exactly a guzzler, as those spices really make their presence known in the mouth. It doesn’t have the heat of a pepper beer, but there definitely is an intense element here that leads it more into the sipping territory. The mouthfeel itself is medium-bodied and crisp, though the combination of spices and bitterness from the hops does leave a lingering, drying sensation. This would be fun to pair (no pun intended) with a fruit salad. 
Grade: 8/10

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