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Tag Archives: North Carolina
Sadly, my little treat of North Carolina beers is coming to an end with Foothills Hoppyum IPA. Pours a deep gold with a sticky white head. Just from the aroma, I know this is going to pack quite the hops punch. Loads of Simcoe hops and their distinctive grapefruit aroma comes through most noticeably.
This is one for you hopheads. Along with the Simcoe, plenty of Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade balance the hops flavors among each other. Slightly toasted malt is evident in the finish, but the hops are the whole story here. Long, dry, puckeringly bitter finish. Clocks in at 78 IBUs, but I expected it to be closer to 100. As it warms, everything mellows out and becomes much easier to drink.
One for hopheads, for sure, but let it go for a bit and it becomes very tasty, indeed. Packs a lot of punch, but good harmony among the hops varieties.
Upon seeing this beer, I wondered what Gaelic Ale would mean rather than a Scottish Ale. Basically, it’s made to honor the Irish and Scottish people who settled the area around Asheville, where Highland Brewing is. I’m also told to expect more hops than I would with a typical Scottish Ale, which is good to know before starting.
Pours a deep amber and is relatively clear. Sticky white head floats atop. Smells of toasted malt and smoked peat. I’m glad I knew to expect some hops, because they are definitely noticed. Thankfully, not overpowering (wouldn’t fit the style). Caramel, smoked peat and other complex malts are upfront with the piney hops balancing nicely. The malt lingers longer than the hops.Flavor of iced tea as it warms, as well. Clocks in at 5.8% ABV.
I’d say this is more of an Amber Ale than it is a Scotch Ale. Interesting how your own bias about a how a style should taste will shift your views, no? It’s tasty, has good balance, and is on the hoppier side of the spectrum.
Another native North Carolina beer, and the first ESB I have reviewed, here is French Broad 13 Rebels.
Pours a hazy burnt orange with a sticky beige head. Smells of butterscotch and toasted bread. Toasted malt dominates the palate with hints of orange and butterscotch. Citrusy hops are noticeable, but not overpowering, in the finish, which is long, dry, and a tad bitter, but pleasantly so. It’s a little oily and slick in the mouth, but that dry finish is a nice contrast.
Overall, it’s a very solid beer. Plenty of flavor, good balance, nothing overpowering. Fun lacing, too.
The string of North Carolinian beers continues with Foothills People’s Porter. Pours more dark brown rather than full on black with a creamy beige head. Smells of toffee, chocolate, and hard English water. Smooth and velvety texture. The flavor is loaded with charred oak, bitter chocolate, maybe even some roasted marshmallow. Hops really only show up in the aftertaste. More of an English take on the style and very tasty. The mineral/hard water flavor comes through a bit more as it warms. The finish becomes more bitter, as well.
I like this quite a bit.
An angry Viking with a beard of flames doesn’t necessarily make me think “Pilsner”, but the color of Foothills Torch is quite a bit darker than your average macro pilsner. Still clear and see through, though. Grassy hops in the aroma really showcase the difference, too.
The flavor is full of Saaz hops with a crisp, tart, dry finish. Slightly toasted malt comes through along with with hints of grapefruit. Hops get more aggressive as it warms.
Perhaps the most aggressive and hoppiest pilsners I’ve had. Still, very tasty and quite a bit of flavor compared to other pilsners. Only 5.3% so it’s a pretty good session beer.
If you want a pilsner with a kick, find it!
I’m very pleased that my fee for helping some friends move was a 6 pack of North Carolina beers that I can’t get here in Ohio. My first is French Broad Wee-Heavy-er Scotch Ale.
Pours nicely with a bigger head than most Scotch Ales, and that familiar deep amber color. Toasted malt and toffee are coming through in the aroma. Rather inviting. Surprising amount of chocolate in the flavor. Toffee and smoked malt are rather noticeable, as well. Hops provide just a bit of a bitter and dry finish, but don’t overpower anything, just as it should be with Scotch Ales.The 7% ABV give a bit of heat in the flavor and warmth in the finish.
I like this Wee-Heavy-er Scotch Ale. Perhaps not quite in the top tier of the style, but the chocolate gives it a nice twist.