Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bristol Brewing Laughing Lab review

Bristol Brewing Laughing LabI chose a Colorado brew to review tonight, a selection from the Bristol Brewing Company of Colorado Springs, CO. This was their Bristol Laughing Lab Scottish-style ale. I was shocked that I hadn't had a beer from Bristol's prior to this. Better late than never I suppose. This beer was freshly brewed just less than a month ago according to the notches on the label. It was nice to see a brewer date their beer so I could tell how long it had been sitting on the shelf.

This is a beer that for some might be called a session beer. It weighed in at 5.3% ABV and a low 19 on the IBU scale. A beer like that should be able to drink fairly easy.

Appearance: Scottish ales tend to be a bit darker than amber beers and can be a bit hoppier. Laughing Lab poured a lovely dark red / borderline brown out of the 12 oz bottle. There was a nice 1" off-white head that rose up in the glass, but that quickly dissipated into a thin lingering lace. I could see a light amount of carbonation in the glass as well.

Aroma: I detected only a light hop smell. Bristol used Willamette hops for the aroma and Chinook hops for the bittering of this beer. The maltiness didn't really come through until the initial tasting.

Taste: I expected a bit more bitterness for a Scottish ale, but didn't receive much bitterness, that's because a beer like this loves to showcase the malt side. The Chocolate and Caramel malts hit me a bit late in the tasting and then last a while. Laughing Lab had a creamy feel when it first hit my mouth. Going down, there was just a hint of bitterness but not much. My mouth immediately started salivating a lot after swallowing. It gave the sense that my mouth was covered in water. The beer certainly didn't taste watery going down, but for some reason my tongue decided to take a bath and wash itself after drinking it. Interesting. Whatever dryness the beer had initially all but disappeared.

The hops and the malts hit me a split second after I drank it. My mouth first felt a creaminess up front, then the malt and hops right after. I liked this beer and I would have no problem drinking a few of these at a sitting if given the chance. I drank this beer at cellar temperature and not cold from the fridge.

As with most session-like beers, the beer rating sites were pretty neutral on this ale. Ratebeer put this in the 57th percentile and a 3.15/5 rating. BeerAdvocate graded this between a "B" and a "B+". Just a few of the raters also detected the same mouth experience I did.

Bristol made a very good beer. I'd be happy to offer this to my friends. A beer like this isn't going to blow you away with powerful over the top taste, rather it will simply satisfy and go down fairly easily. I gave this beer a 3.3 out of 5 rating.

Related articles:
- Bristol Brewing to release Old 23 Barleywine.
- 2008 All Colorado Beer Festival highlights.
- Oskar Blues Old Chub review.
- Odell Brewing Tap Room report.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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