Pouring the brew gets you a khaki colored head that dissipates quickly, leaving a ring of bubbles around your glass. The nose isn’t much to write home about, but to be honest? I’m not upset by that. In a season where beers tend to grab you by the nosehairs and demand you pay attention to all their additives, taking a sniff and getting clean, sweet, caramel-nut notes – ones that don’t yell at you but whisper enticements – is a refreshing change. That refreshment carries over to every sip you’ll take.
There’s an immediate sting of fizz as you sip, filling your mouth and tickling your tongue with it’s sharpness. It’s a contrast to the smooth savory tastes in the beer itself. Speaking of, this ale is so dark brown it’s almost black. To be honest, I was about to tuck in to this brew in a darkened room…but then I had to turn the light on because I couldn’t believe this ale was such a deep shade. It’s almost porter-like in its depths.
As for the taste? Deep smokey caramel, clean earth, with a smooth, nutty, almost creamy finish. There’s a lot going on in this ale, and I’m fine with that. The fizz lasts a good long time, which can “hide” the flavors if you’re just taking a quick sip. Letting yourself kick back and let the flavors sit on your tongue for a second or two gives you all the flavors Breckenridge packed in. And it’s powerful, yet surprisingly light for a brew that isn’t particularly easy on the boozy.
At seven percent alcohol by volume, this isn’t a true heavy-hitter, yet it packs a nice bit of buzzy warmth. That warmth, balanced by a light and bubbly mouthfeel, makes this a perfect pairing for just about anything. Butternut squash soup? Done. Tortellini and roasted fall veg? You bet’cha. Popcorn and chocolate? Have at it. I’m already planning a big bowl of chili and a bottle or two.
Happy Autumn y’all. Go forth and imbibe all the things. And perhaps keep an eye out for this ale. You can thank me later.
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: (alcohol by volume): 7%
IBUs (international bitterness units): 21