Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bad Elf Winter's Ale

I was lucky enough to get a gift certificate to my local bevy as a gift recently so I put it to good use by purchasing a few holiday beers.  The first one I’m breaking open is an English Ale called Bad Elf brewed by Ridgeway Brewers.  I must admit I didn’t buy it based on any previous knowledge; I just liked the mischievous looking elf on the label.
It pours an effervescent gold with a healthy head.  The hops in this ale are the first thing my nose picks up. It smells like a fresh IPA: hoppy and sweet.  I think I’m going to like this one.  First taste: Wonderfully complex.  I taste cloves and hops and spices.  There is a fine bitterness lingering in the back of my mouth.  It’s hard to nail down which spice I’m tasting.  I’m gonna need to take another swig.  Between the scents entering my nostrils and the flavors running around my tongue it is very hard to nail any one ingredient down.  The only thing I’m sure of is that I like this beer.  I have to resort to the distributer's web site to discover what I’m enjoying so much.  It says that “English malt is masterfully balanced with an astounding 45 ounces of fresh hops – including English Cascade – per barrel.” That explains the hoppiness but not the spiciness.  Unfortunately, they do not divulge the recipe for this holiday ale.  I’ll have to just use my imagination and conjure up a mix of holiday spices fine enough for Santa’s badest elf.

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