30 April 2012

Let's get literal

"What shall we put on the label of our Moose Drool Brown Ale?"
"How about... a drooling moose?"
"Genius!"

The beer is from Big Sky out of Montana and is a very dark brown, clear, and turning to deep deep ruby when held up to the light. There's quite an intense sparkle though not much by way of head. In the aroma I find dark and sweet fruit: sultanas and black cherries, plus hints at something more bitter as well. And there it is in the taste: liquorice perhaps, or the slightly metallic tang of heavy treacle. The beer itself isn't all that heavy: the strong sugar flavours are melded together and rendered less intense by the fizz. A simple pleasure and nice in small doses.

I wasn't sure what to expect from 21st Amendment Bitter American. The name suggests something powerful, though it's badged stylistically as a "Session Ale", whatever that means. A stiff heads tops a dark orange body which is very slightly misted with haze. I got a blast of grapefruit as I popped the ringpull but oddly no typically Californian citrus on tasting. The aroma offers sugary jaffa oranges rather than anything more zesty and the flavour gives me perfume and orange blossom: old world hop flavours rather than anything I'd associate with the US.

Is it literally a bitter American? With all the succulent fruit I'm going to have to say no. It is damn tasty though.

Both cans came courtesy of the non-bitter American Richard Lubell. Did you see his bit on Irish beer in Draft recently? Top.

12 comments:

  1. While you were drinking Moose Drool in Dublin, I was drinking it (the bottled version) in the Globe in Hong Kong. Personally I found a surprising amount of chocolate in the taste: surprising because I don't associate chocolate with brown ale, only with porter/stout. Too sweet for my palate, though as usual YMMV.

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    1. Hobgoblin's pretty chocolatey. What would you class that as?

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    2. Adrian Avgerinos8:21 p.m.

      "Personally I found a surprising amount of chocolate in the taste: surprising because I don't associate chocolate with brown ale, only with porter/stout."

      I think it's a somewhat common theme amongst American made Brown Ales. I'm guessing that's how we differentiate from amber and red ales.

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    3. BN: I don't find that much chocolate in Hobgoblin myself, certainly not as much as I found in the Drool, and I'd call Hobgoblin a dark ale, not a brown ale (which I expect to have a touch more roast and a darker colour than HG) but that's just my own categorisation.

      Today's fun fact: a moose is exactly the same animal as an elk. So maybe in Europe they should call it Elk Expectoration …

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    4. Is there a "Flemish" joke goes in here somewhere?

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  2. We had Bitter American on tap recently for Session Beer Day and it is a lovely beer. I was half expecting it to be a session version of a standard American IPA, and while you could argue that, it is so well put together that it would feel churlish to do so.

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  3. It is very odd to hear of men drinking Moose Drool on two continents other than the one it was brewed. Montana is rather remote, even in the US.

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    1. Remoteness ain't what it used to be.

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  4. Recently had back is black from 21st Amendment, which un-suprisingly is their black IPA. Had it on draft and from the can, but preferred the draft, as it seemed fresher. Would still like them hoppier for that style though.

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  5. KeeganAles3:40 p.m.

    Thanks for the shoutout, TBN!

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    1. No bother. Thanks for the tinnies!

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