Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Arbor Brewing Company Red Snapper Roasted Pale Ale

I’ve never in my life opened a beer review by talking about head. But there’s a first time for everything! Arbor Brewing’s Red Snapper Roasted Pale Ale (formerly known as Red Snapper Amber Ale) has got head out the wazoo! Seriously, the thing is volcanic! Pour this stuff out of the bottle into a glass, and you’ll have two inches of liquid and a veritable mountain of head! If you try drinking straight out of the bottle, you’re gonna get a face full of foam. Holy carbonation, Batman! But be patient with the Red Snapper, for it’s actually quite the decent beer once it settles. Part English bitter, part American pale ale, and part amber ale, this “roasted pale ale” combines a pine/citrus hop bite with a roasty & sweet malt character. Perhaps the bitterness wins out a little, creating a more assertive hop presence than you’d generally expect from an amber ale. But that’s part of what makes the Red Snapper different. It’s an amber ale, and then again it’s not. Think of it as an Americanized version of an English pale ale, or perhaps an Anglicized version of American pale ale. All in all, the flavor is nice. It’s not quite as “roasted” tasting as advertised, but the caramel and biscuit-like malt notes rise pleasantly to the forefront after that initial hop sting. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, and a nice dry finish makes this one ideal for quenching a monster thirst. Just be careful with the pour – you don’t want all that head overflowing onto your kitchen counter!

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