Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Monday, July 7, 2008

Beer Review: Cisco's Whale Tale Ale

My buddy Kenn was kind enough to bring me a bottle of Cisco's Whale Tale Ale back a while ago on a brew night. I selfishly devoured the entire bottle on my own a few days later and enjoyed every drop of it. The following is my review based on the chicken scratch notes I jotted down that night. Special thanks to Kenn for being a generous guy...

Beer: Cisco's Whale Tale Ale

Some words from Cisco:

Tasting notes: An amber English-style ale that has a nice balance between hops and malt. It's the most popular of our beers and the most versatile in terms of pairing with food or people.

Randy's comment: "Whale's Tale is brewed with a blend of British and domestic malts and dry-hopped with a kiss of Kent Golding Hops. I love really strong hops but I made this more balanced so [my charming and lovely wife*] Wendy would like it." *(Author's note)

Style: American Pale Ale

Style Description from our friends at BeerAdvocate.com: Of British origin, this style is now popular worldwide and the use of local ingredients, or imported, produces variances in character from region to region. Generally, expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent.

American versions tend to be cleaner and hoppier, while British tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

(In this case, 6.8% abv)

How was it served? From a bottle
Glass: Weizen glass (no clean pints!)
Location of tasting: My living room
Reviewer: Bryon

All the begging in the world wasn't going to get Christine a sip of this gem...
What Christine doesn't know is that beer is bad for dogs...
That's true kids, look it up! And that's one to grow on...

On to the Review

1. Appearance -
Copper in color, ever so slightly hazed yet still mostly transparent. Topped by a thick foamy head built from a mixture of tiny and medium sized bubbles. Great head retention, excellent carbonation, and over all a pretty beer to gaze upon.

2. Smell - Toasted caramel and coffee? The hops and yeast compete for attention as they present themselves intertwined in the subtle herbal and fruity undertones. (A note on smell - I have a very limited sense of smell, that comes and goes, so my opinions on beer smells should be taken with a grain of salt... That being said, my nose must have been working that day!)

3. Taste - A delicate balance between the toasted malt and ample hops. Hints of coffee, and citrus? Or perhaps hints of chocolate and orange? The hops add enough character to help this delicious beer stand out from it's English counterparts, but not so hoppy as to be mistaken for an IPA. Over all a well built beer!

4. Mouthfeel - Medium body, coarse texture, nicely carbonated.

5. Drinkability - I'm reminded of my college days when I stopped drinking Bud and discovered Bass Ale. That being said, this beer is what Bass should have been, textured, flavorful, tasty. I would love another crack at this beer with an awesome bar burger and some wings. I can see myself enjoying and savoring a few of these in a local pub with friends over some good conversation.

Drinkability Scale from 1- 10: A solid 9!

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