Nick Carr on September 15, 2014 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Co. Location: Fort Collins, CO Style: Pale Ale ABV: 6.0% IBU: 38 Hops: Cascade & Target (Dry hopped: Amarillo & Cascade) Yeast: House Ale Yeast Malts: Pale, Chocolate Rye & Caramel 80 Appearance: Dark Amber/Autumn Brown with Off-White Foam Aroma: Clean Aroma; Piney & Earthy with Hints of Citrus Flavor: Light Carbonation, Sweet Malts & Caramel, Notes of Apricot Availability: Fall Seasonal Pairs With: Fontina Cheese, Cajun Dishes, Pot Roast, Spicy Seafood Fall is coming. I feel it like a whisper on the back of my neck. Some leaves have started to phase into their fall colors and drop from their parent trees. The air nips in the evenings, small hints at the cooler weather just around the corner. Change is on its way. There’s something about Fall that scrapes and glides along my very being. Sometimes exciting, in the anticipation of possibility; other times a maddening feeling of expectant something’s, always just out of reach, never wholly realized. A ghost on the brain. I love it. No other season digs into me quite as deep. Without fail this season brings on deep refection for me, wakes a gnawing need to write more, and brings on the anticipation for Fallesque beer selections. I always look forward to the fall seasonals; Odell’s Red Ale (now Runoff Red), Sierra Nevada’s Flipside, and sadly one of the one’s I anticipate the most (Hoptober) has gone into the archives, replaced by my current reviewee and its close seasonal neighbor Pumpkick. Not sure I like these changes, but then again Fall is change, why should I hold New Belgium exempt? Besides I like new beer… no reason to pout about having to try new beer. “Fall fell in liquid stream, and built a taste of autumn dreamed.” The Pour and Aroma Tour De Fall pours dark amber, but seems to be working more brown tones then red. The color is that autumn brown, like walnuts and drying leaves. It is crystal clear with no sediment to distract from the beautiful color. An off-white, two-finger pillar of tightly compact foam forms. Good lacing as it begins to slowly fall over several minutes. It stabilizes at a much more humble layer just above the surface and retains itself there throughout the remainder. Aroma is extremely clean, very hop domineering, with pine and earth, and only fliting hints of citrus. This is a little puzzling. The Amarillo and Cascade they dry hopped with should show much more of a presence in the nose then they do (both of these are known for citrus character). It almost seems the Target hop, used for bittering, took over the show a bit. The English Target hop can be quiet intense and would give the beer these pine and earth notes. I’m not complaining. To my mind these aromas fit well with fall and change. Besides, I rather like the earth, must, spice, and pine resin known in the English hops. The citrus, fruity, floral is over used and overdone sometimes. Some sweet notes dance around the edges reminding me that there’s more then hop oils interred within, but they remain elusive, only an afterthought behind earth and pine. Mouthfeel and Taste Bittering at the front, shows depth I didn’t get in the aroma. Big pine resin sings loudest, but is backed by slight grass, notes of citrus, and light floral. Through mid-palate malt sweetness hollows the bitterness and rounds it out. The swallow shines bitter, shadows of sweetness remain, but the hops take the last curtain call, remaining after to rub shoulders and sign autographs for the audience. Fullness is medium-round. A clean, crisp mouthfeel flirts with astringency on the swallow. Finishing The Impression This is a Pale ale that has taken the road less traveled. It isn’t quiet the color you’d expect and it isn’t quiet the taste you’d expect. But then Fall is about change right? This beer changes things a little. Without falling out of the pale ale style guidelines it leans toward the English hop character instead of showcasing the American hops often found in the style. These changes render it a Pale for the season, from the light walnut color to the earthy and piney hop character, it knowingly speaks of Fall in Pale Ale language. So, take one out on the porch, you can reminisce, watch the slow change in the trees, air, and earth; maybe even compare beer color to leaf color, use it as a barometer to the season’s advancing step. More Beer Reviews: Omission Pale Ale New DogTown Pale from Lagunitas Brewing Rebel IPA from Samuel Adams Brewing Company Lips Of Faith Wild2 Dubbel from New Belgium Brewing Co.