Saturday, November 03, 2007


This is one of those ales that I picked out somewhat at random in my big Liquid Solutions order a few weeks ago. A brewery I've never heard of - GOLDEN VALLEY BREWING - from a state renown for great brewing - Oregon - and an amber ale, perhaps my vote for most underrated beer style. Hey, I understand why it's underrated - it's hard to stand out when your defining qualities are smoothness, drinkability and maltiness. These guys, though, have a really good amber called RED THISTLE ALE that they're understandably proud of. It's their "flagship ale". I like it because they've added just enough "bitter" to make it interesting, and it's a hell of a lot more bold than many beers of its ilk. Like my favorite from Anderson Valley Brewing - Boont Amber. Sure, Boont's the best amber in the land, but it surpasses all the others because it tastes - especially on tap - like it was made from arctic water, hops picked 5 minutes ago, and malts that only a king could afford. RED THISTLE ALE, on the other hand, is a cut above because of the highly-hopped taste and the incredible aroma, which is apparent from time the cap is popped, and smells of caramel and chocolate. It may not be an "imperial" red (so what, right?), but it's damn good. 8/10.

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