Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rare Form Royal Toasted Coconut Cream Ale

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1341) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 3, 2015
Cream Ale is an underrated style, IMHO, and breweries that can do it well are worth applauding. It’s not too often you see major deviation or supplication to the style, but in the case of Rare Form’s Royal Toasted Coconut Cream Ale, the addition of the toasted coconut complements the tropical fruit-flavored hops quite well. My only complaint is that it doesn’t really taste or drink like a true cream ale, but rather some kind of blonde ale (I actually kind of like the overt corn taste in traditional cream ales as well as the lager-like crisp body).

I poured a 16oz growler fill into a tulip glass. It cost $8 ($0.50 per ounce).

Appearance: IPA-like orange hue; fairly cloudy; little visible carbonation. Pours to a fairly large, white, soapy head but it nearly completely dissipates and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Mostly coconut with mild tropical fruit scent. Pleasant.

Taste: This is exactly the kind of palette I would associate with a tropical location (and a brewery located in such a place). I’m not sure which hops are used in the brew, but they provide for a light fruity scent and matching flavor: minor notes of guava, papaya and passion fruit. Though I would not consider it to be citrusy or “juicy” tasting. The toasted coconut is impossible to ignore – and for good reason. It’s noticeable right away, but really comes out on the finish. It combines with the hops to create for an interesting synergy of mild bitterness and slight astringency. Maybe even a candy flavor. While all this is nice, I do find the beer to be a little simple and repetitive. The corn is a little too subtle, actually. All in all, it’s certainly a unique brew to say the least.

Drinkability: At 6.2% ABV, Rare Form Royal Toasted Coconut Cream Ale is a bit bigger than your average cream ale. It also has the body of a stronger beer and the mouthfeel to match. Instead of being light-bodied and crisp like most, it’s remarkably more viscous and slightly tepid. I will say this is extremely smooth and easy going down, but I would not consider it refreshing. A lighter, more crisp version would be ideal, but this is pretty nice.

Score: 7/10