A little about autumn seasonal beers
Autumn is well and truly moving along and just like the Stark motto, winter is coming. With that, it's time for the autumn ales to appear and the first one I noticed was Curly Hole from Jack Cody's.
Curly Hole is a Samhain Ale which doesn't really say much about the style but I'll get to that in a moment. Samhain is the Irish word for November and also for Halloween but thankfully, there's not a pumpkin in sight here. Instead, they have taken was appears to be a standard Irish red ale and added some apricots and sour cherries in to the mix. The result is a slightly interesting affair with the fruit trying to get out from behind the malt with neither dominating. The beer is tasty and I suspect it would do very well on cask.
I haven't written about any American beers for a while but I picked up a can of Odell IPA for nostalgia reasons as much as because it's a great beer. I first wrote about it 6 years ago and since then I have been to the brewery and had it fresh along with pretty much every beer they had available in 2012. This time, it's in a can and that's a first for me. Cracking it open, I was reminded how much I used to love drinking this beer. A beautiful orange pithiness with super balance, really fresh hops thanks to the can and a respectable 7% make this a pretty good autumn or winter warmer if you want some hops and don't want to jump right in to the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot territory.
I also had a can from nearby Oscar Blues called Priscilla. It's a 5.2 witbier and a pretty standard one at that. Most American witbiers are pretty dull in my opinion and the most notable exception to that is Bell's Oberon.
Moving away from the US and to Spain. OK, these have nothing to do with the season but I forgot to mention them in my San Sebastian article so I'm tagging them in here.
Basqueland Brewing's Captain Norbert Kolsch is a 4.9% Kolsch style beer. It's clean with quite a malty hit. I found it pretty bitter for a Kolsch but with good balance. I'm not sure how authentic it is but it won gold at the Brussles Beer challenge last year so it must have impressed the judges. I really liked it myself but just thought it a little too bitter and malt forward for the style. They should have just called it a pils.
Brew and Roll Bengal IPA is 5.9% IPA with 70 IBU according to the bottle. The bottle itself is quite striking and is probably the only reason I asked the bar man to grab it from the fridge. There's lots of malty caramel and it's practically red in colour. There's a slight vinous quality. It's really well balanced, not too bitter not too sweet so pretty much Goldilocks territory. There are some fruity hops. but nothing stands out. It could work better if the description was a Red IPA. Mine was bottled on June 30th and consumed on September 20th so it was less than 2 months old which is relatively fresh for an IPA.