Friday, June 5, 2015

Rising Tide Maine Island Trail Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1367) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 5, 2015
A 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 beautifully.

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!

Score: 9/10

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