#270: Winter Session Ale – Peak Organic Brewing Company, Portland, Maine
This beer was given to me by a co-worker of mine. Thanks, Jon. This review would not have happened without you. Peak Organic Brewing Company finds its home in Portland, Maine. They seem like a very nice, open-minded brewing company committed to (obviously) using organic ingredients, doing outdoorsy things and being nice people and stuff. Their beers look quite interesting, too. This, their Winter Session Ale, is brewed with the Citra hop, which I don’t usually play nice with, but I’ve been warming up to. So we’ll see how this goes. Checks in at 5%.
You probably can’t tell too much by the photo, but this is a nice, sparkling looking beer when you take a lengthy gaze at it. Though, the “sparkling” bit is a concern. I’m no perfect eye judge by any means, but I’m guessing this one will be generously carbonated. Nice to look at, though. Dark amber body, fizzy head on top. A quick whiff and… whoa. Far, far more hoppy than I was expecting it would be. That came out of nowhere. I suppose it has to do with the title, “Winter Session Ale.” I think I’ve become conditioned to expect spices and malt and such, not these bright, citrusy hops I’m getting. Citra strikes again. Onto the taste, then.
Citra’s used cleverly here. Don’t get me wrong, though, because the mouth is greeted fiercely by the fruity flavors the hop is known for; lemon, perhaps a little tropical fruit in the form of pineapple. It’s all pretty concentrated, but somehow I think it’s working pretty well. It’s a little more tempered, a little more restrained and neatly packaged into something your palate can make sense of. Each time I taste it I go “Oh! Well, oh!” and keep going back for more, so that’s a good sign. And there’s a nice wave of bitterness to wash things down, resulting in some very hoppy burps. So the flavors are there, but unfortunately I don’t think the body is. It’s a little thinner than I’d prefer, and, consequently, a little overcarbonated as I was suspecting it would be. That certainly doesn’t make this beer bad, and I would gladly have it again. Would I buy it again, though? Not sure.
The Verdict: A hoppy, citrusy beer, filled with good flavor, but lacking the body needed to hold the flavor up.