Nick Carr on June 22, 2015 1 Comment Quick Characteristics Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Co. Location: Fort Collins, CO Style: Summer Ale / Blonde Ale ABV: 4.2% IBU: 22 Hops: Nugget, Cascade, Willamette, US Golding Malts: Pale, Caramel, Extra Special Yeast: American Lager Yeast Special Ingredients: Peach Juice Appearance: Golden Orange With Tightly Packed White Foam; Superb Clarity Aroma: Clean, Inviting, Fruity; Peach & Citrus Are Strong; Notes of Grassy Hops; Malts Give Grainy Backbone Flavor: Assertive Fruity Sweetness; Tarty Notes; Maltiness Appears Midway; Finishes with Balanced Hoppy Bitterness; Peachy Aftertaste Lingers Availability: Summer Seasonal Pairs With: Steamed Mussels, Chicken Caesar Salad, Pepper Jack Cheese, Sugar Cookies New Belgium has been one of my favorite breweries for a long time. Some of their older, often retired brews made memorable impressions on me. That’s why I think their Folly Packs (mixed case) are so great. Usually along with three beers currently being brewed, they re-release, for a limited time and only available in the mixer, one of these old beers. For a while, Skinny Dip was one of these, limited release only in the mixer, beers. But, New Belgium, in all their wisdom, decided to give Skinny Dip a little wider field this year, offering this scantily clad, frolicking warm-weather waif a place as the summer seasonal. This gives me the singular opportunity to try this beer again. It’s been a few years since I’ve had it and I’m interested to see, both if it’s as I remember, and if I still like it. Our tastes change overtime. Actually I’ve found taste rather fickle when it comes to beer. Whether you are going to enjoy a particular beer depends on a whole plethora of sensory and emotional input. These can range from what you’re eating, your emotional state, and who is with you; to what you did right before popped that cap. This brings to mind the point that you should probably not write off any particular beer just because you happen to not care for it the first time. There have been plenty of times, particularly with lagers and some other lighter beers that I’ve found them lacking, but give me a hot day and some hard work and they become a cooling, lip smacking respite. Of course there are those beers that have something actually wrong with them. These aren’t the one’s I’m talking about. So, if you don’t like a beer because of style or taste, maybe try changing something; the season, your drinking companions, the food you’re eating. Or it may be as simple as waiting for a shift in mood. Of course you still may not like the beer, but at least you’ve given it its due. Ok, boy I really got off on a tangent there. Back to Skinny Dip. New Belgium is also using the re-release of Skinny Dip to support clean drinkable, fishable, swimmable waterways by donating $1 (up to $10,000) to the Waterkeeper Alliance for every fan photo posted to social media sites with the hashtag #WaterkeeperDip. Drink a beer, make it a photo op, and help protect our waters. Pour and Aroma Nice golden orange coloring, like wildflower honey; topped by one finger of tightly packed foam the color of bleached bone. Clarity is superb allowing a peek at the medium high carbonation rolling off the bottom. Aroma is very summer-like; clean, inviting, fruity. Pear, lime, grapefruit, and peach all have a place here. Some grassy/herbal notes of hops. Malt forms a background of graininess. Mouthfeel and Taste: Mouthfeel has a fullness that belays Skinny Dip’s light body. Pushed along by good carbonation, it has a “bigness” born of the juicy feel. Slightly drying though the finish. Taste is sweet with fruit at the front. Peach and pear and some limey assertiveness. Some tart notes come about as it crosses the palate and the malt shows midway as clean cereal, bread, and, graininess. The hops bite slightly on the backend, cleaning some of the sweet away and balancing things out. Finish and aftertaste have a grainy quality with a slight clean bitterness. Peach also lingers a bit. Finishing the Impression New Belgium made this beer to buck styles. It is not quite any one style. But, for me at least, I’d have to say it falls closest to the Blonde field. The color throws it a bit, but really it could fit equally well into about three different styles. It’s good, that’s what counts right? Good body and enough complexity really makes this beer stand out as a Blonde any brewery should be proud of. Unlike those made as an afterthought, this one was brewed with love. The mouthfeel is really what makes this one special I think. Nice and full, with a roundness that can really be appreciated. Cheers!