26 June 2008

Santa Fe Pale Ale/Nut Brown Ale (NM)

New Mexico! I don't know if I've ever seen beers from there. Santa Fe Brewing is the state's oldest microbrewery. I'm guessing they just started distributing to my side of the country. In fact, their website claims availability only in the Southwest. Anyone else see this in the Northeast? I paid $2.25 for singles, but I'm guessing about 50 cents of that is travel costs.

Pale Ale: Their flagship ale claims it is "anything but a typical American Pale" that is "as full bodied as its most robust English counterparts." It is English in its restrained use of hops. This isn't an IPA wannabe. I don't know if it's quite full-bodied though. Biscuity malts with a slight apricot undercurrent, but this isn't Magic Hat #9. Maybe four parts Sierra Nevada and one part Magic Hat. Anyway, it's a fine pale ale for non-hop heads.

Nut Brown Ale: This too is more England than America. Alas, it's disappointing. I like the nuttiness and don't mind the lack of hop bitterness, but this comes across as too light to me. The hops do pull it back from finishing too sweet, but I would have like to see some richness here, and more complexity. Maybe it's better freshly poured.

These are both basic brews from Santa Fe. More highly regarded appears to be their Chicken Killer Barley Wine, a year-round concoction that I saw in the store in bombers. I didn't buy it because I'm not in the mood for barley wine when it's warm. I suppose in New Mexico, you can't think like that. But this reminds me that The Session for June is drinking anti-seasonally.

No comments: