Nick Carr on November 2, 2015 0 Comments ALE TALE: Quick Characteristics Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company Location: San Diego, CA Style: American Amber ABV: 6.66% IBU: 24 Appearance: A beautiful bright red with a thick head of off-white foam. Aroma: Citrus & piney hops hit the nose, followed with caramel and bready notes; Hints of toffee and slight green apple. Flavor: Well-balanced with sweetness and bitterness; Malty notes of caramel and toffee mingle with citrusy hops; Crisp finish with some lingering hop flavors. Suggested Glass: Tulip Serving Temp: 45-55°F Approximate Shelf-Life: 6 months Availability: September – October Pairs With: Barbecue short ribs, roast duck, medium cheddar, caramel apple, toffee Fred opened the cabinet and looked at the rows of bottles. There were no labels on any of them but each was meticulously dated; October 31-15, October 31-16, October 31-18, on and on they went, up to the one he’d just purchased the other night, now dated for October 31-25. He ran his fingers along the bottle necks like a kid moving a hand along a picket fence. His hand stopped on the one marked October 31-15. Ten years the bottle had waited for this night. Ten years it took to mature, waiting to give Fred its power. Now it was time. He grabbed a glass and headed for the porch swing. Not a bad perch for a king. A few jack-o-lanterns still grinned out into the dark. A long strand of TP drifted in the light breeze playing along the street, no doubt, escaped from a Trick somewhere on 13th street. He smiled, remembering his own childhood and tricks played on uncooperative adults. That had had something of the same power, though he’d not felt it again as an adult until he’d found the elixir. He looked at the bottle in his hand. Now he truly controlled something again and it was a grand unstoppable feeling. A small goblin carrying a large white bag rounded the corner and disappeared from sight; a last straggler, returning home from the nights celebrations. Fred glanced in the other direction. The streets were empty now. His watch read just a little after midnight. He waited for another ten minutes, just to be sure. No one appeared. Good all were home, the street was his. He cracked the bottle. A bit of smoke exited and he took one last look at the street. It was still empty. Wouldn’t do to have someone appear during this part of the evening. He poured into the small tumbler. Remembering he had three pours. The liquid fill into the glass, turning blood red in the light from the living room window. Aromas of candy sweet resin lifted to his nose. He lifted glass to his lips. Here we go. A smooth splash of liquid coated his palate. Sweet caramel, some apply qualities, notes of citrus and pine. He swished it around and looked expectantly out into the shadowed night. A low groan came from the line of houses across the street and he thought he saw the grass shift in one of the yards. He watched and the grass suddenly split as if along a seam and issued forth a decomposing hand. He smiled. My subjects come. The thing planted the hand and a cadaverous face of sunken eyes and torn flesh rose up. With some effort the thing came clear of the earth. It stood and immediately began to hobble toward Fred’s house. Fred watched, noting that other yards had come alive with movement as well. He took a slow sip and thought about the closest Zombie turning left. It slowly shifted its stride, walking perpendicular to Fred’s house. He considered the direction the Zombie was moving, than shifted his gaze to the others, now fully out of the ground, each fixating on him. He sipped again and tried a mob turn, concentrating on the thought of all of them going right. It happened slower then concentrating on an individual, but finally all had made the turn. He had learned that control was lost after approximately two minutes and always they would turn, refocusing their movements toward him. So, he watched, tinkered, coaxed, amended, and remade marching orders in thought form. Like a conductor guiding an orchestra he sipped and commanded movement form the dead forms below him in the street. Directional adjustments flowed from sipping-thought to reality. They marched like an army going to war. He filled and sipped and laughed. They came together performed a slow, ungainly, and very ugly line dance. One lost a foot on a kick and fell over, crawling in small circles. He sipped again and had several engage in fist fights. They swung at one another as if in slow motion. It was hilarious. They played a deranged game of leap frog, then red rover. They parodied a piece of Shakespeare, and smashed the few pumpkins left to the street. I command and they obey. I am King of the undead. Nay, god, I am their god and they bow to me alone. Bow? Yes, bow. He filled and sipped and made half his company bow. A second smooth draught and they were all facing him, kneeling in supplication. He stood, hands outstretched, basking in the feeling of control. One raised its head before the others and looked at Fred with angry sunken eyes. What was this obstinacy? It struggled to rise, eyes never leaving Fred. “You!” Bellowed Fred pointing a finger. “Come here.” He sipped and thought and the thing rose fully and limped toward Fred. Was that triumph in the things eyes? It walked up the path into his yard. Was that his imagination or was the thing moving faster. And those eyes! Fred took a quick sip and pointed at the ground. “Crawl, to me.” The thing struggled, fighting, but finally clumsily got to its hands and knees. It made a sound, low and sighing. “You, bow when I tell you to, understand? I am your god, I control you completely!” “Bow!” It stopped at the bottom of the porch steps and pushed back, and almost lost its balance before coming erect on its knees.” “You’re nothing. A feast for worms. I’m a living breathing man, understand.” The Zombie nodded, but it’s eyes still had a cloud of decent. Fred felt a burning rage rising in him. “In fact maybe it’s time I send you back to the worms!” Fred raised the glass to his lips. It was empty. He moved to refill it, but the bottle was on its side, empty. Sudden panic lanced through him as he straightened and look down at the Zombie. He saw understanding light in the thing’s eyes and a slow gash of a smile spread across its face. Fred stood frozen. The other Zombies had already refocused and were approaching in a slow wave. A moment passed in which the last Zombie still knelt, than it too rose to its feet. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Alesmith’s Evil Dead Red. If you tasted this beer, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: This one pours what looks to be amber until it’s held to some light and than its true color is reveled to be, not too surprisingly… red. A beautiful bright red. A nice thick two finger head forms, off-white, shot through with darker brown patches, a bit like latte foam. The head shows good retention, dropping substantially but never disappearing. Med-low carbonation sends lazy bubbles traveling up the mahogany depths of the darker interior. The first thing I notice in the smell is the hops; thick citrus, and resiny pine combine and overlay the caramel and bready notes from the malt to create a candied-like sweet aroma. Hints of toffee and even slight green apple. Mouthfeel and Taste: The high note of this beer may be its mouthfeel. Medium full and very smooth it glides across the palate like puffy-pillowed softness (yeah, I don’t know what exactly this is either, but it’s appropriate, believe me). Low carbonation just helps create the feeling of creaminess. Taste is well balanced with neither the sweetness or bitterness overstepping. The front of the palate brings malt sweetness in the form of caramel, toffee, mixing with hints of roast. Mid-palate brings some hop flavor into the mix; citrus and floral elements, with the tang of resin. Then the bitterness kicks up. Nothing huge, just enough to even the boat out a bit. At the swallow some of the caramel reemerges before dropping away to leave a crisp semblance of undead hop flavor. FINISHING THOUGHTS This is an awesome Amber/Red everyone. Completely balanced, easy drinking, and very smooth, this ale makes for a great Halloween (or after Halloween) delight. Don’t know if there’s any left out their but if you happen to come across a bottle on your local shelves grab it up and savor on some dark evening. Cheers!