BEER #4: SIDE CAR
A malty and flavorful beer with slightly more hops than the Draught Pale Ale but balanced with a nice addition of more malts.
I was shocked (sarcasm) to see that Side Car pours a deep amber color. The malty white head starts at an inch, but quickly fades to nothing. Lacing is noticeable, but not insane.
Lemon was the first thing that I detected in this beer. Actually, it was more like lemon-scented cleaning solution to be exact. Hints of caramel malts and Saaz hops were also present. As the beer warmed up I swear that it started to smell like pizza dough.
Even though the nose was lemony, the taste took sweet in a different direction. Sweet malts come through first with hints of caramel before giving way to the German hops. It finishes with a flavor that is not unlike peanut brittle. As it warms it definitely becomes hoppier with a more West Coast vibe coming through. In all honesty this beer kinda turns into something I’ve never really had before. I dubbed this new beer style the “California Amber”. The flavor literally feels like “Oh, sweet caramel malts–BOOM hops”. By the very end this beer had totally forgotten what it was supposed to be and had reverted into a West Coast Pale Ale. Very intriguing.
Side Car has the traditional medium-to-light body that you’d expect from an Amber Ale, but it definitely leans toward the dry side. A faint stickiness is left behind, but nothing that would be too overwhelming (even for a novice).
I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t too impressed with this beer, but as it warmed it turned into a whole ‘nother beast. Side Car hits you with a sweetness before reminding you that you’re drinking on the West Coast. This is a unique take on the style to say the least.
Overall: 7 out of 10
As an AMBER: 8 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Tröegs HOPBACK AMBER ALE, Hoppy Brewing HOPPY FACE AMBER ALE, Rogue AMERICAN AMBER ALE