Are You Tasting the Pith? - 23rd January 05
One of their harder-to-find beers (well, for me, anyway) Coopers Dark Ale (4.5%abv) pours a deep stouty brown with reddish highlights. The immediate aroma is chocolate malty, although there are mineral and vegetal notes, perhaps even a bit of wet towel that has been left forgotten in a kit bag after a swimming trip. Not unpleasant, but a little feral and musty, and an eye opener in a beer. It's immediately identifiable as a Cooper's beer from the aroma of alone. One the tongue, it has a slight sweetness, a hint of minerals (iron), and then a long dry saltwater-toffee finish. Unusual, and all the better for it.
Pumpkin ale? What the hell is that all about? Post Road Brewery? Wha? Huh?
Calm yourselves, baffled ones, for I am here to part the seas of your ignorance with my bottle-opener of truth and wisdom. A traditional American ale from the Brooklyn brewery, this spiced ale is brewed utilising the noble gourd, although whether as source of fermentable sugar, or purely as a flavouring, I've no idea. It certainly has an earthy, squashy taste, enhanced by the use of winter spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and perhaps a hint of ginger on the nose, more earthy and sweeter on the palate, and then a long spicy, orangey finish. Oddly, much better than it sounds.
Rounding off this session, a bottle of Brooklyn Brown Ale, which noses a bit like a Belgian dunkel, and isn't too far off in the malty complexity either. Again, like the Coopers Dark, there's a bit of vegetal, feral aroma. Across the palate, it gives a burst of lavender/violet sweets, and then bitters out into an aromatic, chocolatey finish. My father will love this, as he (perhaps rightly) mocks my more florid descriptions, but it reminds me of some rather fine lavender chocolate that found its way into the house at Christmas.
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