DEAN Pacific NW Mahogany Ale (6% ABV, 73 IBU, 22oz bottle from tap)
For my first beer of the three given me to when I visited Singlecut Beersmiths in December I chose the most hop forward beer aka Dean Pacific NW Mahogany Ale. As its name states this beer was definitely mahogany in color. Since this beer was bottled from the tap it didn’t pour with much head, but thankfully there was a nice amount of carbonation around the edges of the beer and ithad great clarity. In addition, I was able to generate a small off white head when I refilled my glass.
This red IPA’s aroma reminded me of Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale with big citrusy and floral hop notes sweetened by some caramel malts. Those characteristics followed into the taste with citrusy hops upfront giving way to caramel malt sweetness and some grainy notes (fresh pale malt) in the finish. As the beer warmed up bit some floral hop bitterness was left on my palate and more citrusy (sweet orange) hop flavor lingered in the finish. The grainy flavor faded as I drank more and transitioned into a typical hoppy dry bready malt flavor. I also picked up a hint of lemon and pine at mid palate that intensified as I drank more. In terms of the caramel malt (touch of toffee) backbone; it added just the right amount of flavor ie it didn’t get sweet enough to effect the juicy hops in a negative way.
With it’s smooth light to medium body, dry but not too bitter finish, and complex hop profile (floral hops linger more than the citrusy hops -flavorwise); I can see myself ordering this pretty often at my local NYC beer bars. Rating: 8.5/10
Before getting into my tasting notes / review of this beer I should note that in order to accurately portray the flavor profile of this beer; I’ve decided to combine my notes from when I tried it at the brewery and when I drank a few weeks later from the bottle. This white lager poured pale gold to straw in color with a 1 finger white head that dissipates quickly, but left some lacing left on my glass. While the bottled version had great clarity, on tap it had a nice cloudiness to it, one that is common in beers brewed with wheat.
In the aroma the base malts shined with a sweet breadiness that was quickly followed by an invited lemony twang and the spices (e.g. the peppercorns) that added a nice earthy quality. The taste followed the aroma quite well with the complexity of the spices really showing the talent of the singlecut brewers. The added matzo meal adds a bit of sweetness and dry biscuit flavor to the malt flavor profile, but only a hint i.e. not distinctly recognize as matzo meal. As I drank more a nice lingering spice built up on my palate; surprisingly it didn’t detract from the beer’s refreshing qualities. Those refreshing qualities were the crisp spicy finish, malt sweetness, a nice lemon flavor at mid-palate, and a light to medium body. Rating: 8/10
As with the JAN Olympic White Lager I will be combining my notes from when I tried it at the brewery and when I drank a few weeks later from the bottle (bottled from the tap at the brewery). This pilsner was described to me as a cross between a German and Czech pilsner and that really came through in many ways as I drank this flagship beer from Singlecut. It poured a transparent straw color with a white head that left great lacing on my glass.
More than the taste the aroma was very Czech in character with great Saaz hop lemon and lemon grass notes and a crisp malt backbone. Moving along to the taste…I should note that the flavor did not match the aroma in complexity on both occasions that I drank this beer. After my first few sips the great hop character that was present in the aroma faded significantly. It faded into a generic grassy note that was not as crisp as the aroma caused me to expect. The malt character was crisp at first, but became sweeter and more German in character as the beer warmed up. In addition, there was also a slight astringency in the finish. As a new brewery I think the rough edges of this beer are due to the need for the Singlecut brewers to successfully dial in the recipe for this beer into the brewery’s 30bbl brewhouse. Also, I enjoyed the 2 other Singlecut lagers that I’ve tried alot and I’m confident that Rich and his team will dial in the 19-33 Lagrrr more successfully in the near future. Rating: 6.5/10