Dales Pale ALe

Oskar Blues: Dale’s Pale Ale (USA: American Pale Ale: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Slightly hazy orange gold. Large loose bubbled off white head.

Nose: Dry hoppy bitterness. Pineapple. Dried apricot and stewed fruits. Figs. Crushed malt biscuits.

Body: Big pineapple. Juicy peach. Good hop character. Custard cream biscuits. Grapefruit. Big hop character. Figs. Bitter. Vanilla.

Finish: Great hop bitterness. Dried apricot. Liquorice touch. Tropical fruit juice. Plums touch. Very drying. Slight peppermint.

Conclusion: Damn this is hard to sum up in words. When you write down the individual elements it looks textbook, hops , pineapple and peach with a biscuit back. It sounds like an American Pale Ale but it doesn’t come close to summing up how good this actually is.

It is all in how the elements stack up. The hops are bracing but still allow the fruit elements to show themselves. The finish is drying but not painful or gritty. Despite a not too thick texture the flavour does feel thick, like stewed fruit mashed together, however that lighter texture delivers it with crispness that just slides down, wonderfully easy drinking.

So as you can see it is all in the combination, not what the elements are per se, but in how they are linked together. Like the beer equivalent of how it’s the synapse connections in the brain rather than the size of the brain that counts.

The flavour is thick and juicy, rolling around with tropical fruit flavours that slowly subside into the growling bitter finish. Also despite that high bitterness the beer is distinctly not an IPA, the biscuit body and the fruit dominating over the hop character makes it a defining testimonial to the place of the pale ale in drinking. Now if I had to pick I would say Three Floyds: Alpha King is the better beer, but this feels the better American Pale Ale. It is just so easy to drink, and thirst quenching, it feels like they have stripped out all the extraneous bits to leave just the ideal of an APA.

Utterly hoppy, fruity and moreish. This really is the pale ale writ large. My words don’t do it justice, it defines the style to me.

Background: I’ve drunk this once before, but when I went back to get one to review they were sold out. However Brewdog’s guest beer section have come to my rescue as they got them in stock recently and I grabbed a few. Since I had drunk it before I knew that, barring a massive difference in batches, that this was going to be a positive review, but I wanted to share the joy.