Best Pale Ales and IPAs 2010: #4 Dale’s Pale Ale

13 07 2010

Oskar Blues has been around for a little over a decade and they have been distributing for less than that. But already, they have fundamentally shifted the way Americans think about beer in general and can beers specifically. Oskar Blues was the first American craft brewery to distribute their beers in twelve ounce cans. Sparking a “Beer Can Apocalypse” (in every sense of the word), they have “lifted the veil” on good beer in a can. This is all lead by their flagship beer- Dale’s Pale Ale.

A monster of an APA; Dale’s is bold, dripping with resinous hops but sweet and smooth by balancing malts.  It is the first horseman of the beer can apocalypse.

Oskar Blues- Dale’s Pale Ale

Photo Credit: Bernt Rostad CC

Rate Beer Score: 98 Points (100 for style)

Aroma: Resinous, piney, vegetal hoppiness with sweet malt aroma.

Appearance: Toasted oak with thin, white head. Solid carbonation. Hazy to clear body.

Taste: Resinous, piney hops with notes of spruce tips, rose hips and spearmint. English malt add biscuit and cracker like bread notes.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry and slightly astringent. Strong, scrubbing carbonation with medium body. Very clean on the back end.

Pairs well with fried foods, Mexican and TexMex like burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. Good with sweet and smokey foods like BBQ chicken and ribs.

Runner Up:
Stone IPA
Rate Beer Score:
100 Points (100 for style)

We have the utmost respect for Stone and what they do.  They emphasize sturdy, in your face beers. Their brew pub specializes in local and organic food. They call imported beer “a sin.” They make good beers.

But my problem with Stone is that their IPA is a little too monotonous. It is that bold, slap-you-in-the-face bitterness that does not say much to any real depth or significance. I would rather have a beer that has nuance, subtly changes over time and has a mature complexity to it. While Stone IPA is bitter, it is not complex. Notes of grapefruit, lemon pith and a faint hint of cat piss are the predominant notes. Then it drops off to, well, nothing else. It is great if you want bitterness. But there is little more to it.

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2 responses

13 07 2010
Orelia

This is one of my favorite summer beers… or anytime really. And it’s what I tend to go for at the Red Derby. Good prices and good canned beer make me a pretty happy woman (also, it doesn’t hurt that this bar is roughly 500 meters from my house… come visit sometime, I promise good beer!)

On a hoppy, but slightly unrelated note, I had a nearly two-year-old bottle of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA tonight. It was a 29th birthday present last March, and I am quite pleased, if a little tipsier than expected. Yum

As always, thanks for helping me think about and appreciate beer. Those are two of the happiest things I can think of to do. Cheers!

11 03 2011
Archie

Spot on Review, just had a can last night

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