Friday, October 31, 2014

Feature Beer Friday! - Saint Arnold Amber Dry-Hopped

Time for our first ever Feature Beer Friday! trip to the Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston, TX. I'm sure almost all of you have heard of Saint Arnold and probably tried several of their offerings, but this is one I hadn't seen before. I've had their regular amber ale before, it was their first ever beer and has been around for about 20 years now, but I'd never seen a bomber of the dry-hopped version.

The regular amber is 5.5% abv and only 31 IBU... dry-hopping a beer doesn't actually increase the IBU (or bitterness) but it will impart a lot of the hop flavors, typically more in the aroma than on the taste. This particular batch was dry-hopped with liberty hops, a variety I'm not super familiar with, but I'm willing to learn! There should also be a cascade version of this out there somewhere, and there are plans to release one with mosaic as well. I'll be on the lookout.

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Jay Ducote (Bite And Booze), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Buddy Ethridge (Baton Rouge Adventures in Beer).

Serving: Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

Appearance: Deep golden, lighter than last week's Radical RyePA which was surprising for an amber ale. All of us felt it was a little light for the style... but that's just the appearance, which is the smallest component of the overall score.

A nice blend of malt and hops. Sweet, earthy, and a little funky were the notes from around the bar.

Taste: Earthy and funky come back on the taste big time, and it's not as hoppy as the aroma, which makes sense for a dry-hopped release.

This is one of the more drinkable beers I've tried in a while, very pleasant and light bodied.

Overall: We all enjoyed this one and it scored pretty similar to last week's offering from Gnarly Barley. The biggest knock was the light color and the biggest plus was the extreme "drinkability" of the brew. I don't really like that word, but it's true in this case.

I'll definitely be looking for the others in this series, I think this could be a pretty nice amber/pale hybrid, and they're pretty cheap as well.

Overall Rating: 68.2
My Rating: 72

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