Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Upstate Fire Pit Pale Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1460) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 23, 2015
It’s September, so it’s harvest time and a lot of breweries tend to put out “Harvest IPAs” this time of year – beers brewed with “wet” hops. In the case of Upstate Fire Pit Pale Ale, it’s a wet-hopped pale ale rather than an IPA, which is definitely unique and interesting. This beer opts more for hop flavor than raw bitterness and the result is a flavorful and highly drinkable spin on the usual pale ale. 

I poured a 16oz can into a mug. Thanks to Mark at UBC for this can!

Appearance: Rusty copper/orange/brownish hue with an extremely hazy body. Translucent and carbonation is visible within. Pours to an average-sized, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Light tropical and stone fruit aroma (kiwi and peach); also a bit rustic and piney (as is usually the case with wet hops).

Taste: As much as I love hops and IPAs, I’ve honestly never been a big fan of harvest ales because of the intense resiny character of the wet hops. But this beer is different because it’s done as a pale ale so that intensity is dialed down a bit. I do notice a dank, resiny, almost tree-sap like flavor right away. There’s a fair amount of dry bitterness as well, but it’s restrained. On the second half the malt begins to emerge and creates for mild confectionery notes with just a hint of toffee. Peach, kiwi, and melon flavors round out the palette and end it with a light juicy flavor. What’s really interesting about this brew is that the flavors are delivered in the opposite order I usually get them in similar beers. Those who appreciate a good pale ale will enjoy this.

Drinkability: This beer would seem to be much bigger than it actually is. At only 5.2% ABV, Upstate Fire Pit Pale Ale is remarkably big in body with a mouthfeel to match. Well-carbonated to be sure with a crisp, dry finish; yet thicker and fuller than most pale ales of its size. I wouldn’t consider it refreshing, but it is quaffable. This would stand up to an autumn dinner very well, though a standalone serving is enjoyable, too.

RATING: 8/10

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