Friday, October 29, 2010

008. I Believe in Magic!

I don't love IPAs, but since its still hot out (we've been setting heat records, even in late October), I decided to try a pale ale. You know, keep it on the light side. This time I picked up an entire six-pack of Magic Hat #9 Not Quite Pale Ale at Spec's Liquor Store on Veteran's Memorial in NW Houston (don't recall the price, but I don't remember sticker shock so it can't be too bad).

Now, for those of you (like me) who are not well versed in the finer points between an India Pale Ale and a plain ole Pale Ale, read on for this well phrased bit of knowledge from John Linn at his Beer of the Week Blog:

"Let's clarify something about pale ales really quickly. Pale ales are traditionally light- to medium-bodied beers that strike a balance between sweet maltiness and bitter hopiness. They're usually, but not always, lighter in color, and definitely not as strong as their freewheeling siblings, India pale ales. But as hop heads continue to push the envelope of bitter, floral hops in their beer, it's becoming harder and harder to tell some pale ales from and IPA. The malts are getting shot through the roof, and big hops are added to compensate."

With more than a single bottle to sample, I was able to really take this one for a test drive on my taste buds, so to speak. And I must say that I was a very pleasantly surprised with this one.  It was surprisingly smooth and still had a nice robust flavor. No, not as robust as a dark beer, but very robust when compared with with most other IPAs and pale ales. And, although the hops were present, they weren't bitter or overpowering, which (as you'll read in a few of my future blogs, has been a problem for me of late).

This beer is a perfect bridge between summer and fall. It had a nice aggressive head on it. It also has a very nice lace that lingers for a while. After a few minutes the thing that stays with me is just how smooth it is when it's served cold. It's delicious and I really like it.

Magic Hat #9 Pale Ale
Brewed in Vermont, this ale is, "A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it."

From their Website.
Alcohol content: 5.1%

I give this a 7.5 out of 10.

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