Archive for the ‘Pale Ale’ Tag

Full Sail Pale Ale Review

Full Sail Pale Ale

Full Sail Pale Ale

Brewery: Full Sail Brewing Company (Hood River, Oregon)

ABV: 5.4%

IBU: 37

Hops: Two “top secret” Northwest hop varieties, according to the company’s website

Malts: Pale and Crystal

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

I read Patrick O’Brian’s novel, Master and Commander, last week. It is the first installment of a twenty volume series that chronicles life in British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. As you might imagine, the book is chock full of nautical terms like larboard, flying jib and mizzen topgallant staysail. I have to admit that when I visited my local beer victualler I had sails and sailing on the brain so Full Sail’s nautical motif and the word “Independent,” which was emblazoned on the packaging, persuaded me to pick up a six-pack of their pale ale to review.

Given the company’s name, we were surprised to discover that Full Sail Brewing wasn’t nestled in some rugged and rocky Oregon coast town. Hood River, the company’s home, is inland about forty-five miles east of Portland. And the sails in the their name don’t refer to O’Brian’s menagerie of brigs, frigates and “ships of the line” but instead refer to the sails of windsurfing fanatics that crowd Hood River because of the winds that blaze down the Columbia River Gorge.

Full Sail is yet another fine example of the American Craft Beer Revolution. It started as a micro-brew pub in 1987. They started bottling their concoctions the next year and the rest, as they say, is history. Today Full Sail offers three “Core Brews”: an Amber Ale, an India Pale Ale, and a Pale Ale.  They augment these core ales with four season specialties and an aged reserve beer. The Pale Ale is the first Full Sail brew we’ve had.

So how was it?

Appearance: It poured clear amber with lots of small bubbles. There was a small (one finger) white head that disappeared quickly and left minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet, malty, yeasty, honey and citrus with a hint of pine or lemon.

Taste: The attack is sweet, bready and malts with some honey, floral and candy notes, but it yields quickly to citrusy hops. And the hoppy finish lingers.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, medium-bodied with slight carbonation. Smooth and balanced.

Drinkability: Full Sail Pale Ale has quickly become a Spring time favorite in our house. The juxtaposition between the malty attack and the hoppy finish is fascinating. Full Sail Pale Ale is a tasty and balanced daily drinker.

Food pairings: Pizza Margherita, roasted beet salad with a light vinaigrette dressing or chicken with South Carolina mustard-based barbeque sauce.