Friday, January 14, 2011

Lucky # 13 - Hook & Ladder Backdraft Brown

This past Tuesday night I went with Jay and a few other friends to Slinky's for their monthly beer tasting.  I'm pretty sure it's monthly at least... 9 PM on the second Tuesday of every month I believe... I'd know for sure but their website could really use an update or three.  It's always a pretty good deal, about $12 for samples of 6 beers and you get to keep the glass.  I'm always a fan of interesting glassware and prefer not to steal them from bars, so a give-away with a tasting is a good draw for me!

Before this most recent tasting we stopped in and had a warm-up beer... I went with something new of course, and they had a couple of beers from Hook & Ladder brewery that I'd never seen before or even heard of.  Apparently it's located in Silver Spring, Maryland, which I'm pretty sure is in the Washington DC area.  The really cool thing about Hook & Ladder is that they donate a penny from every pint and a quarter from every case sold to burn treatment centers across the country.  According to their site they've donated over $60,000 so far in their existence.  Can't argue with a beer that helps a good cause!

As for this specific beer... it's an "English Brown Ale" in style, which includes popular beers such as Newcastle, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Abita Turbodog, and Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan.  A lot of beer geeks deride the style as being boring, and while you're not going to see high-gravity beers with crazy flavors there are some damn fine interesting brown ales out there.  

This one poured a beautiful dark brown color, but not much head, probably as a result of the cold pint glass.  I was a little surprised Slinky's would use frosted pints, but oh well... I did my best to let it defrost before pouring.  The aroma was an appetizing blend of molasses and nuts, just like a good brown ale should have.  The taste was dominated by nut flavors and raw sugar flavors like the molasses that was on the nose.  Not much hop presence but that's typical for the style.  This was a well-crafted easy to drink brown ale, and at $3.50 one I'd definitely recommend to anyone looking to try something new.  

My Rating: B+
BeerAdvocate: B

And that brought my up to 13 new beers in 2011... with three more to come during the tasting that followed, that post will be up next!