Saturday, July 10, 2010

Extra Pale Ales — Full Sail vs. Hood Canal Brewing

Full Sail Hop Pursuit
Extra Pale Ale

ABV 6% IBU 55

Hazy yellow.
Sweet and malty with a small dose of citrus hops. Ellen detected some rose aromas.
Sweet citrus, more orange than grapefruit with nice malt backbone, not very bitter.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Slight citrus bitterness and a bit of grassiness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Mediocre +

Hood Canal Brewing
Dosewallips Special Ale

ABV ?% IBU ?

Crystal clear light orange.
Stinky cheese, sweet malts and butter, like a buttered popcorn jelly belly.
Slightly sweet and malty with absolutely zero hoppiness.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Malty.
Buttery and metallic.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Winner by unanimous decision
: Full Sail.
This one wasn't even close. The Dosewallips started the fight by spitting up a bit (foaming over) when I popped the cap and it was downhill from there. The beer was likely infected with diacetyl, a naturally occurring by-product of beer fermentation that can really mess up a beer if it becomes too prominent. At high levels, it gives beer a buttery aroma and flavor that can be downright nasty. We definitely detected butter in the Dosewallips and it was not pleasant. We tried to give it a chance, Lord knows we tried, but ultimately we had to admit that it was a bad beer. As a matter of fact, it is the first beer that we have rated "bad" in six months of doing battles. A dubious honor to be sure.

The Hop Pursuit was not a great beer, but all it really had to do was show up and it was guaranteed a victory. Against stiffer competition it might not have fared so well. The name was a bit misleading, as it didn't really have a prominent hop aroma or bitterness. It may have been pursuing hops, but it sure wasn't catching any.

And finally, what the hell is an Extra Pale Ale? Is it supposed to be something between a Pale Ale and an IPA?
Is it an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) in disguise? Is it a marketing gimmick? My half-hearted Google search yielded no answers. Anyone want to fill me in?

1 comment:

  1. It's too bad that Hood Canal doesn't Q/C their beer very well. I've had a couple of critter-contaminated bottles myself. Likely reason for the foam over....