Monday, July 19, 2010

384. Nantahala Pale Ale

Nantahala Brewing Company is located in Bryson City, NC. They only started selling beer on May 24, 2010, although they attempted to get going a bit sooner—their site runs through all their fun hijinx getting labels approved and accepted by all the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies. Good times! We found this on tap at Nick & Nate’s in Sylva, NC. So close to Asheville, and yet so far...

I know this is from the IPA, but I couldn’t find anything else to steal...

Nantahala Pale Ale was served in a pint glass; it is a lightly hazy deep copper brown with a persistent, creamy eggshell head that laces the glass well. Flavors start sweet with caramel and biscuit malt in the front before moving into a large amount of bitterness and dryness in the middle—we’re guessing the dryness is a result of the bigger hop presence—with hop pine and resin flavors (Simcoe?). The finish continues dry with more hop flavor—citrus and possibly smaller amounts of grapefruit—as well as a fair amount of lingering bitterness. Nantahala Pale Ale has a medium body and carbonation with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. The carbonation has a bit of a bite in the turn to the final third, creating a lightly bright feel on the palate. As well, there is some dryness in the mouth via the bitterness, along with a slightly tacky sensation. We picked up on a couple of lighter sensations in the beer: there is something of a light brown malt taste and a slight rye graininess in the body, but it was hard to specifically place or quantify either—both were more of a presence invoked in the drinking. Overall, Nantahala Pale Ale is a very nice beer. While it is a bit dark for a pale ale, there is a good balance between malt and hops and a nice complexity in the body. Well done.

From the Nantahala website: “An American Pale Ale made with a variety of malts and hops to create a well-balanced, reddish colored ale that is citrusy and sweet.”

Couldn’t find anything on the ABV or other pertinent brewing details...


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