Beer Squared #15: Assorted Ales

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Beer Squared, Beer: Ales
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Assorted Ales

My father in law Bob was celebrating his birthday and he decided that we should do a beer tasting that night before we ate his birthday pizza.

Well, it was his birthday and if there’s a better reason to drink a beer…well I really don’t think I care. Whatever reason you have to enjoy a series of beers is the best reason in the world…till your next one anyway.

We took a look in the fridge and we noticed a lot of assorted ales. We didn’t really have 3 of any of these particular ales, so we decided on sampling four different ales from both sides of the pond.  We have a macro domestic, a craft domestic, and two big imports from the England and Ireland.

Budweiser American Ale (5.3% ABV)


Nik: We don’t normally do the macro stuff, but every now again something from the local brewery seems to arrive in our hands. I remember the big ad campaign they had for this stuff. Well, that’s got naught to do with this, so… It has a very fruity aroma with a great bronze color and a small head. It reminded me a bit of an English winter ale with it’s warm flavor even though it is a bit watery. This is an acceptable beer. When it comes to AB In Bev, Michelob Golden Draft Light (don’t judge me) aside, I think that’s the best compliment I can give them. This beer does have a good malty flavor, but like most AB In Bev beers, it doesn’t wow and it lacks any kind of singular characteristic to make me come back.

Bob: Bought a 12-pack of these a while back and kind of got burnt out on it. Was pleasantly surprised at this tasting to find that it was better than I had remembered. Poured dark amber and clear in the glass, with a noticeably yeasty/fruity/estery aroma and a nice tan head. Taste was malty with pleasant bitterness and aftertaste.

Magic Hat #9 (5.1% ABV)


Nik: This is a beer I have long loved. It has a great, golden color that is clear as summer day in St. Louis. It has a big bubble head and a very unique aroma. I can’t put my finger on what this beer smells like. I would describe the flavor as more akin to that of an American lager than an ale though. Magic Hat calls it “not quite a pale ale” and I have no idea what that means. It’s crisp and tastes lighter than the slightly elevated ABV would portend. As much as I love Magic Hat, I think my love affair with #9 may have come to an end though. It just seems ordinary now.

Bob: Pale amber color with an OK head. Faint hop aroma. Fruity tasting, light and pleasant. A different brew that is sort of a cross between a lager and an ale. Reminded me somewhat of a wheat beer, with a slightly tangy taste.

Smithwicks Irish Ale by Guinness (5.0% ABV)


Nik: This Irish ale has a very nice brown color. I love the malty smell and foamy head. The foam is made of very small bubbles and is very long lasting. Upon tasting it, I found a very strong bitter bite with a caramel and almost sweet taste to it. I will definitely drink this beer again.

Bob: Medium brown colored liquid, with a malty aroma and decent head. Tasted very caramelly, almost sweet, but tempered by a nice, mild bitterness. Would try this again.

Old Speckled Hen English Ale by Greene King Brewery (5.0% ABV)

Old Speckled Hen

Nik: This beer has a very different almost red color to it. Much redder than most red ales I’ve had in the past. it has a small bubble head that lasts a good long while. It has a very sour nose and a sour taste, but a very bitter aftertaste. It’s the only English ale I’ve had so far that has a very hoppy bitterness to it. Even though it’s a very unusual beer, I really enjoyed and will keep drinking this one.

Bob: Light golden brown color in the glass. Not much head or aroma. Malty taste, with a strong but pleasant bitterness–its signature characteristic. Left sort of a sour pucker in the aftertaste which was not unpleasant, just different.


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