Verts Monts” started off as a homebrew by Brendan Palfreyman (a dude
I’ve known through social media for a while now) and was then brewed at
Rare Form Brewing in Troy, as they determined it to be the best of all
the entries they received for their second “Scale Up” program. I can
certainly see why. It’s a fantastic-smelling, delicious-tasting and
easy-drinking pale ale. It’s a shame it’s a one-time-only brew as this
would make a great addition to their regular lineup.
I poured a 12oz growler fill (from the brewery itself) into a tulip glass. It cost $6 ($0.50 per ounce).
Appearance: Almost carrot-like shade of orange, though slightly
brownish. Extremely hazy body. Pours to a one-finger, white, frothy head
which laces and retains well.
Smell: Huge tropical fruit notes (especially passion fruit, kiwi, and orange). Clean and inviting.
Taste: The recipe for this beer was inspired by some of the great IPAs
and pale ales currently being made throughout Vermont (hence the name)
and it’s quite clear this beer is an homage to them. The fruity/citrusy
hops dominate the palette, but mostly in terms of flavor rather than
bitterness. Just like the aroma, there’s delicious notes of kiwi,
passion fruit, orange, mango, guava and papaya here thanks to the Citra
and Simcoe hops. The malt base is rather simple with two-row doing the
lion’s share and flaked oats and flaked wheat providing some mouthfeel
and minor flavor characteristics. It’s not an especially sweet or malty
brew, though I don’t think it’s really intended to be balanced per se.
Only minor bitterness is perceived; I’d probably estimate it to be
somewhere between 30-49 IBUs. Slightly dry on the finish with the
faintest hint of alcohol (probably due to the English ale yeast which
tends to under attenuate). Overall, it’s an excellent pale ale for a
palette that’s a bit repetitive and direct.
Drinkability: What really makes “Les Verts Monts” a great beer is the
raw drinkability. There’s a soft, smooth texture here with a finish to
match. I detect a bit of starchiness in the aftertaste, but it’s easy to
ignore. It’s also very refreshing while in the mouth; I could imagine
this being absolutely perfect in the summer months. At 6.2% ABV it’s
technically too big to session, but it would be awfully tempting to do