Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale Ale review

Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale AleWelcome to Part Two in a series sampling the Trail Mix sampler pack from the Tommyknocker Brewery of Idaho Springs, CO. Tonight's pick of the pack is Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale Ale. It's described as an English Style Pale Ale that is crafted with an abundance of three different kinds of hops, including Czech Saaz, British Columbia Bramling and some British East Kent Goldings. Each of these hops are a medium to low alpha acid variety which imparts a mixture of tastes and aromas. Tommyknocker states that this beer wass also dry hopped.

As for it's appearance, the beer pours out a dark copper color or rather a burnt orange color. The beer was aggressively poured yet could only muster a slight finger sized off-white head. The beer that poured down the edge of the glass left a clinging lace which remained for the entire sampling. The head quickly trickled down to just a few bubbles in height.

The beer itself was bottled in mid-March according to the label date so it wasn't that old yet. That's always a good sign when drinking a beer that's not a high alcohol brew. This one came in at 6.2% ABV. While the beer poured clear, it soon after got a noticeable chill haze. This is something that I've noticed in the last several beers I've kept in my fridge. Perhaps I've let it get too cold before opening. Either that or the haze is due to high-mass proteins in the brew. Despite that, it still looked like an inviting brew.

The initial hop aroma was just what I was expecting. It was a nice mix of floral, slightly citrus and herb aroma. It reminded me of an ESB or IPA at first. There were a few light streams of carbonation on this beer so I knew it wasn't flat.

The first few sips were very light and refreshing with a distinct bitterness from start to finish. The last thing you sense is a dryness to the beer. This beer has a very mild palate. It could have used a bit more body however. As this pale ale warmed, the aroma shifted ever so slightly. It became more herbal and earthy with a hint of butter. It started sticking to the tongue a bit more. In my opinion, this beer tastes better a bit cold rather than warm. It's a decent representation of an English Pale Ale but seemingly on the average side.

Check out the ratings if you will on BeerAdvocate and Ratebeer for more reactions. This beer didn't turn on any light bulbs for me but rather put on a medium dimmer switch. I enjoyed their wheat beer a bit more. I wouldn't turn down this beer if offered but I wouldn't work too hard to seek it out again. I'll give this beer a 3.0 out of 5 rating.

Next up: Tommyknocker Butt Head Dopplebock Lager

Related articles:
- Tommyknocker Jack Whacker Wheat Ale review.
- Tommyknocker Alpine Glacier Lager review.
- Tommyknocker Ornery Amber Lager review.
- Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale review.
- After 15 years Tommyknocker offers up a Legend.

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