Saturday, July 25, 2015

Broken Bow Red Ale

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (1413) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 25, 2015
Irish Red is one of my least favorite styles of beer in the spectrum. The only thing I dislike more is an Irish Red that’s gone bad, much like Broken Bow Red Ale. This is the second beer I’ve had from this brewery that’s been barely drinkable and sour (and not in a good way). 

I poured a 12oz can into a mug. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.45 ($0.20 per ounce).

Appearance: Initially, a rather dark but pretty red/auburn hue. It pours to a massive yellow soapy head and spastic carbonation is visible. Once I get the rest of the can in the glass it becomes extremely cloudy due to sediment.

Smell: A slight lacto tang is the first thing I detect. Eventually, I smell some malt aroma but it’s quite mild.

Taste: Anyone who knows beer knows that lacto only belongs in select styles like Berliner Weisse, Gose, etc. I highly doubt this is an intentionally soured beer so I can take an educated guess and say the sourness is due to either old age or poor sanitization at the brewery. It’s a shame because that tanginess actually kind of works in the beer’s favor. It actually is a bit reminiscent of a Flanders Red rather than an Irish Red. The usual dark malts are here, though they’re fairly mild. I do get a bit of a chocolaty taste on the finish, which would be nice if the lacto didn’t make the beer taste like I’m drinking it from a glass with dish soap still in it (I wasn’t). Perhaps this is nice on tap, but not so much out of the can.

Drinkability: I notice that beers that have intense and clearly visible carbonation tend to be crisp at first but die down quickly (e.g. every adjunct macro lager and malt liquor ever). That’s how Broken Bow Red Ale drinks, too. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly at first, but then becomes rather tepid and muddy. The sourness lingers on the tongue momentarialy, but otherwise finishes clean. Though 5.5% ABV isn’t that strong, there should be a lot more body and complexity than what’s here.

Score: 3/10

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