Saturday, January 10, 2015

Newburgh Cream Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1257) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 10, 2015
The cream ale is a really under appreciated style. Probably because most breweries opt to make a lager-tasting beer as a cream ale. But when you find one that’s really refined, like Newburgh Cream Ale, it’s a special treat. This is an all-malt brew (which would seem to defy style categories, but whatever). It definitely has a classic cream ale palette and is definitely one of the better examples of the style I can recall.

I poured a 16oz can into a mug. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.30 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark golden/light copper cue. Slightly cloudy, but otherwise transparent with carbonation visible. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Sweet specialty malt, candy, and lemony hops. Has that distinct cream ale aroma.

Taste: “Grainy” is a term beer reviews (and regular drinkers) tend to use as a derogatory description. But in the case of Newburgh Cream Ale, it truly is a grainy-tasting beer. There’s a lot of traditional pale malt flavor plus a lot of distinct specialty malt sweetness. Distinct notes of butterscotch and caramel as well as the authentic cereal-like grain flavor. Though only 30 IBUs, there’s a distinct bitterness and true hop presence here. Lemony is the most dominate characteristic – not quite citrusy, more of lemonpeel or zest. Maybe even a hint of witbier-like coriander or other spice. And yet, this beer has that “je sais se quois” cream ale distinction. A great beer to have available in cans.

Drinkability: This is exactly the kind of brew that lends itself to being in a 16oz can. Newburgh Cream Ale is light in the mouth, but still plenty flavorful. It finishes clean and is refreshing across the tongue. And at only 4.2% ABV it’s got a surprising amount of taste for such a light brew. Bring a cooler full of these to Saratoga Race Course next summer. 
Grade: 8/10

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