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North Coast Red Seal Ale

June 1, 2011

North Coast is a fine brewery that hails out of California, which you’re probably most familiar with because of their Old Rasputin Stout. The Old Rasputin is of course a paragon among stouts, the type of thing that you grab if you want to taste exactly how a Russian Imperial Stout should taste. The promise that this creates in other beers from North Coast creates a tall order that the Red Seal Ale doesn’t quite hold up to. Remember, this is by no means a bad beer but it just wasn’t phenomenal. It didn’t make me want to shout its glory from the rooftops like an Old Rasputin does.

I got this beer last evening at the Taproom because I figured a pale ale would be suitable for the muggy weather we’ve been experiencing as of late along with providing a little flavor. As always though, I was wary of an “American Pale Ale” from California as this would certainly be promising a more hoppy bite than I might necessarily be looking for. The beer poured a light red, almost amber, color not quite the darkness of a copper but blending somewhere between the three which made a stark contrast with its frothy white head. The beer smelled distinctly of floral hops with no other scents that I could distinguish.

The brew had a smooth creamy mouthfeel that was welcome on the hot day. The taste itself was mostly lost to what the brewery calls a “long finish”, I suppose it’s a finish if the beer tastes of nothing else. The beer begins with a sweet floral hop taste that slowly blends into a spicier crisp hop finish. This is interesting if solely for the fact that this is one of the perfect beers for practicing your hop palette with, and to truly get a solid grasp of the different things you can do with hops. Overall, this is a beer that’s best if you’re looking for something good but not spectacular, maybe something you can drink with a burger and not give much thought to beyond: mhm, tastes good.

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