lot of people bash the Session IPA style for being all style and no
substance, but I think it’s the great examples of the style that prove
you can indeed have both simultaneously. Rising Tide’s Maine Island
Trail Ale would be a great example of this as it has the easy
drinkability of a session beer but with the refined nuanced palette of a
big IPA. Though small in stature, it makes up for it in character.
I poured a 16oz can into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. Thanks to Jason for this can!
Appearance: Rather pale golden hue with a slightly cloudy body, though
spastic effervescence can always been seen rising up in the glass. Pours
to a fairly large, white, frothy head which retains and laces
Smell: Potent herbal/grassy aroma. A combination of freshly-clipped grass along with slight citrus notes.
Taste: Though this beer isn’t billed as a session IPA, it definitely
drinks at such. It appears to be only 35 IBUs, yet there’s a lot of
actual hop flavor that never backs down. Right away there’s a light,
clean citrusy taste – not unlike that of a breakfast fruit juice. The
actual bitterness asserts itself on the backend with a fairly dry
sensation and a grassy flavor. I’d probably like a bit more malt
presence, though. There’s enough to keep it well-balanced, but not so
much to create for any kind of distinguishable character or sweetness.
Overall, this is still a really enjoyable palette whether viewed as a
pale ale or session IPA.
Drinkability: At only 4.3% ABV, Rising Tide Maine Island Trail Ale is a
light brew from any perspective. It’s well-carbonated and always crisp,
yet not aggressive on the system like a cheap adjunct lager or malt
liquor. The texture of smooth, as is the finish. I will say the hops do
linger and leave a bitter aftertaste, though it’s easily tolerable.
Maybe not refreshing per se, but it’s certainly pleasing to the mouth.
Bonus points for not only being packaged in cans, but tallboy cans!