Monday, August 4, 2014

Sierra Nevada / Three Floyds Chico King Pale Ale (Beer Camp Across America #5) (plus, a continuation of the previous ramble)


Beer Camp Across America Beer #5: Chico King, collaboration with Three Floyds.

Before opening this one, I've got a little more rambling to do about my glassware fanaticism. Why? Because I'm a fanatic, that's why. So, one thing I wish I had was a cool Three Floyds tulip. I've seen photos of them, but never in real life. Didn't see any for sale when I was there last year. Not even any logo pint glasses. Or maybe they did have them, but I was being reasonable, and said no to my maniacal desires. No, that can't be, for I did buy a Half Acre glass, and took a Hop Leaf sample glass with me (asked for it, of course).

So, I have no 3F glassware, and I have one SN pint glass. Why don't I have a SN snifter, for use with Bigfoot, Narwhal, Hoptimum, etc? I had them at the Blue Nile, thanks to the distributor and my sales rep, but forgot to bring one home for the collection. They must still have some, in the secret places where I stored them. Should I return and ask for one? Isn't that crazy, though? I don't go back because the little changes they've made inevitably drive me bonkers for no known reason.
 I recently broke an Urthel tulip glass while washing dishes, and I know there are plenty more in the basement of my former employer. Again, as I asked last time, do I really need it? How often do I drink their beers? But, don't I want to have one available for when it does happen? After all, they're so cool! There were the 2 different ones…the shorter, and the taller, and those hops, and the gnomes….ooo, it's insanity, I tells you. I've got plenty of Belgian-style tulips, missing one doesn't matter. Who cares if I don't have a Sierra Nevada
snifter…but, I "should" have one, shouldn't I? I mean, why shouldn't I? I should, right? I have to!

Stop it, voices in my head! Stop! STOP!!!

(There's one glass that I've been very protective of, and that's a 15-year old La Trappe small tulip, which was given to me by Lanny Hoff after I broke one in my last move. I can't let this one go.)

Okay, enough of that, here it is, the Chico King Pale Ale. Alc. by Vol. 6.5%, 45 IBU.

Clear, bright amber coloring, lush, creamy head, leaving lace, looking lovely.

Aroma: spills out of the glass. Floral, spicy, citric. Delicate and glorious.

Taste: Mmm, bitter. Mmm, fruity. Not too much this, not too much that, in every way a triumphantly hopped pale ale, not an overdone IPA. Lush, plump sweet malt keeps it all together. Balance is key here. This is no monster, no imperial anything. It's just a big bunch of yum, is what it is.

I want to know more, so I'm peeking at the label: "This pale ale packs plenty of bright, fruit-forward resinous hop varietals above a robust malt body." That's the bottleneck. Now, the back: "3 Floyds has a reputation as the Midwestern kings of alpha (hops), and it seems our flagship beer helped lure them down the lupulin-paved path. Chico King is a mash-up of our mutual passion for hoppy pale ales and we suspect you'll find it fit for royalty."

So, what is it? It's not SNPA, and it's not Alpha King, but it's somewhere in between. And to tell you the truth? I'd rather have the others. This mash-up doesn't make a better beer. It's good, don't get me wrong, it's just not better.


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