Friday, September 20, 2013

Northbound Smokehouse Wild Rice Amber Ale

Like I said in the last post, I took a week (or 10 days) off of doing this stuff due to liquids getting into my laptop. There were a few ways I could have continued doing this without it, such as plugging in my old gigantic eMac, adding an external keyboard (which, come to think of it, is what I used with that anyway), save the notes and transfer them via flash drive (which I no longer have, those pesky things get lost so easily!), then upload them later. Too much hassle, I thought, and just took a week off of notes taking. Meanwhile, I started to run out of just regular drinking/non-reviewing beers. I had to get creative, or start drinking less. Chose the latter, which is good to do, once in a while.

So, we're looking back at notes from last week, a seasonal from Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub in South Minneapolis. I really do need to get there more often, it's so close to my home. Actually, I've got to make a routine, so I remember to get out and visit some of the ones I forget a bit more often. It's a hard life, this beer reviewin'.

Northbound Wild Rice Amber Ale. 6.6% ABV.

Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub Wild Rice Amber Ale. This one debuted right around when the brewery opened last year, and i passed on it that visit. Next time I stopped in it was gone, and I was disappointed, after hearing so many accolades from others. "Don't worry, we'll make it next year," I was assured. It's next year, now, and I took home a growler, ready to check it out.

Clear, dark amber, nearly copper coloring, with an off-white head that starts flush, then slims down to a tight ring.

Aroma: sweet, malty nose, earthy, grainy, herbal. Minimal hops.

Taste: Mild hop bitterness hits the palate first, swallowed up by a rich of malty sweetness. Between light and medium bodied, supremely consumable, and just tasty enough. Hop bitterness returns to the taste from time to time, keeping a very fine balance.

I'm afraid I'm at a loss to describe what the wild rice contributes to the flavor, but it certainly doesn't detract. Actually it's really quite delicious, well-made amber. Good show, Jamie.

Speaking of Jamie, here's how he describes it:

An American Amber Ale brewed with Minnesota grown wild rice.  5% of the grain is wild rice giving this beer a unique flavor of nuttiness, earthines and a hint of vanilla.

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