Friday, October 14, 2011

Ska Euphoria Pale Ale review

Ska Euphoria Pale AleIt's all about the ride - or so the label said. Ska Brewing has put out some outstanding seasonals and special brews in 22oz bottles and when I spotted Ska Euphoria Pale Ale in the bomber section, I just had to pick this up. Ska Euphoria is billed as a Winter seasonal pale ale so I knew this wouldn't be just a typical Pale Ale.

Ska Brewing of Durango now cans many of it's beers and Euphoria is one of them. Imagine my surprise to still find it in a bomber bottle. That's fine, as I wanted just a serving or two to make a review. The label on the bottle looks nothing like the can labeling. This one looked like a snowflake made out of barley or wheat stalks. Very winter-like.

I couldn't find anything about this beer on the Ska web site surprisingly, but from reading other sites I knew this brew was billed at 6.1% ABV and had been bittered with a generous amount of Golding hops to provide a spicy finish. This beer was recommended to be served in a lager glass or shaker.

Appearance: Ska Euphoria poured a hazy darkish orange color with just a 1-finger off-white head. The brew was fairly cold and had just a modest carbonation in the 22oz bomber bottle. There was no visible sediment in the pour. There was only a slight lacing when the glass was swirled that quickly melted away. This brew is darker than most pale ales, but this being a special winter seasonal, I suppose anything goes.

Ska Euphoria canAroma: This particular Pale Ale had a nice spicy and sweet hoppy aroma. There was just as much malt in the nose as hop which surprised me, I was expecting more hop to be dominant, then again this beer was rather cold so perhaps it would change as it warmed up.

Taste: Here again was another surprise. I was expecting this to be a rather bitter spicy beer, but instead I got something that was semi-sweet, slightly roasty with a medium hop finish. This beer was rather smooth and easy drinking. Yes, I'd say it would be a perfect après-ski kind of beer. Don't let the Pale Ale label mislead you. This beer tasted a bit darker than it looked. There were hints of dark roast yet with a caramel malty base. This had a light to medium body to it, sometimes watery and at other times more hefty.

Overall: I enjoyed this brew as it reminded me of a good craft session beer. Slightly dark roast yet lighter and easy on the hops. It's quite the nice change from a hop-bomb. This is the kind of winter ale I believe most anyone could enjoy. Perhaps I bought an old bottle as the hops seemed to be toned down farther than I expected. Still, it was very tasty and I'd definitely drink this one again. I'm going to seek this one out in a canned version to compare the taste.

Update: Thanks to David Thibodeau, co-founder at Ska Brewing, I was informed just hours after sampling this that this bottle was indeed at least 3 years old as Ska hasn't bottled this beer in over 3 years. I thought something was a bit off and age was the main reason. So word of warning, if you find this still in a bomber bottle it's several years old. While it may still taste good, it will not taste much like the brewer intended. I'll definitely buy this in a can and re-review it later.

Video: Pouring a Ska Euphoria Pale Ale
video
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Related articles:
- Bootlegger's Society launches Durango Beer Week.
- Ska Modus Hoperandi review.
- Ska Decadent Imperial IPA review.
- Ska Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter review.

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