Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale (Blue Mountain Brewery)

American Craft Beer Week? Yeah, another commercially manufactured observance, but I'll play along. And it's been so long since I posted a review to this blog that I shouldn't turn down an excuse.

Tonight I am sampling Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery out of Afton, Virginia. I have no foreknowledge of this brewery, so this beer will be my first impression. I am sampling it from a can, but the website reveals it is also available in 12 oz. bottles.

When poured into my tumbler, a massive quantity of foam was produced -- as in, the glass was basically full of it and I had to wait for it to collapse a bit before I could pour more from the can. The head is lovely and fluffy like sea foam, and just a slightly pink-tinged off-white. Honestly, I would say that this beer's ability to raise and sustain a head is one of its most remarkable qualities. The liquid itself is an appealing copper-amber color.

I am able to just detect the sweet, citrusy aroma at a distance of two feet. With my nose next to the glass, the smell is like a freshly sectioned grapefruit -- delicious!

The taste is good, too. Straight into an earthy hop flavor that does not completely obscure the barley backbone. Just behind the flavor peak is a distinct hop-derived fruitiness, then a slight re-emergence of grain as the bitterness really kicks in with the aftertaste. The mouthfeel has a nice weight to it, and the overall drinkability is high.

I like pale ales that are structured like this. Nothing mind-blowing going on here, but a commendable brew from this relatively new producer.

Get a load of all this copy on the can:

Nelson County: Yeah, we've been called Virginia's love child, and we're OK with that. Backwoods botanical experiments, hillbilly shine and mountain music... Not bad livin' when you consier it. So put a little authentic Virginia terroir in your mouth with a brew loaded with out farm-grown Cascade hops and deep-drawn foothills water. Got a bite, y'all.

Featured beer:
Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale

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