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Friday, April 19, 2013

Alexander Keith's Single Hop Ales Review


You heard right - Alexander Keith's just released a couple of single hop ales - one made with Cascade hops and one with Hallertauer hops - both one of the most popular and widely used hops. As much as craft beer drinkers dislike Alexander Keith's brews, I love that they are not afraid to try a few new things.

I love single hop series. Not too long ago, a friend of mine gave me about 18-19 different single hops brews Mikkeller makes and I had a blast trying them all. The recipe is very similar - the base is all the same and the only thing that changes are the hops. It is a great way to see how hops affect the profile of beers. Also, please enjoy this photo of the Mikkeller brews nicely arranged my friend took.


Cascade Hop Ale

This beer has a surprisingly good aroma with a decent amount of Cascade hops and a bit of a caramel undertone, and a tiny bit of citrus and pine. The taste, though, is not quite what I expected. The start is hoppy and mildly sweet with a good amount of malt. The mouthfeel is mostly medium, yet the beer somehow feels watery and very thin from time to time. There is very little of the hops and malt in the finish and partway through the can there was a weird build up at the back of my throat.

Hallertauer Hop Ale

I am not a huge fan of Hallertauer to begin with. Sure, I have used some for brews in the past, but just love the strong notes hops like Cascade and Citra have.

This beer has a sweet and malty aroma with just a little bit of hops in the background. The taste is similar - sweet and malty with a distant grassy tone. The finish is, once again, very similar - sweet and malty. Not much complexity here.

Once again Alexander Keith's have made something a notch better than their mass-produced beer, but not quite what connoisseurs are looking for or what small craft brewers can brew. It is not a bad brew for those tempted to venture out of the mass-produced lagers. Overall, I thought the Cascade Hop was the better one of the two, but it is still not as good as the craft ones you can get.

Scores:
Cost - $2.55 per can (both)
Taste - Cascade - 6.8/10, Hallertauer - 5.8/10
ABV - Cascade - 5.5%, Hallertauer - 5.4%

Overall - nice attempt, like the Cascade one, I will not miss the Hallertauer one if it disappears

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