Wednesday, July 05, 2006

NOW THAT’S A STRONG PALE ALE

After a most enjoyable Happy Hour downing a SMUTTYNOSE IPA last Tuesday at the Ginger Man bar in Manhattan – and seeing at last 25 beers on tap I’d never even heard of – I just had to make a return visit after a hearty meal elsewhere. After all, there were two selections from Colorado’s AVERY BREWING on tap – and I have heard that they are one of the top upstart brewers in the US, and you can’t get ‘em where I live in California. There was a “Karma” Belgian Pale Ale and a “Maharaja” Double IPA on tap; the Double IPA would have been the safe and predictable choice, but I decided to live large & went Belgian. The Karma Belgian Pale Ale is simply put, one of the strongest “light, pale” concoctions I’ve ever experienced. To hear the connoisseurs on Beer Advocate tell it, this is a smooth, refreshing, easygoing pale ale – which was exactly the opposite of my experience. I found Karma to be exceptionally strong drink, a real beguiling gullet-chewer that packed a wallop of intense, complex flavors in every swallow – almost the way a barleywine (!) can taste when you’re not ready for it. This was a pale ale?? Come on. At the same time, I appreciated it for what it was – a very authentic Belgian-style beer that tasted like sucking on a robust, malty orange. If I had to choose at knifepoint between this and the NORTH COAST BREWING’s PRANQSTER, I’d go with the latter, but I applaud Avery brewing’s chutzpah with this one & will sample their wares again when I get the chance. 6.5/10.

1 comment:

Tedo said...

If you get the chance try Avery's Thirteen Weizen Dopplebock. Its a specially brewed beer celebrating their 13th anniversary. Pretty good beer.