Thursday, April 5, 2012

Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale review

Deschutes Red Chair NWPATonight's review finishes up a series of out of state beer reviews that I've done over the last week. I'm finishing with a northwestern twist on a pale ale from Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon called Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale - or a Red Chair NWPA for short. This beer is a seasonal offering from Deschutes and is distributed between January and May each year.

Red Chair NWPA has won a couple of awards including World's Best Extra Strong Pale Ale at the 2011 World Beer Awards, and also for "Worlds Best Beer" at the 2010 World Beer Awards. That's pretty high praise for a beer I'd say.

This beer weighed in at a beefy 6.2% ABV and 60 IBUs and came in a 12oz bottle. For you calorie counters, a full bottle contains 192 Calories. Stamped on the label was a Best By date of 05/11/12, so this was getting near the end of it's freshness cycle. I've loved several other Deschutes beers in the past and I was eager to try this one out. Would this remind me of an IPA or more toned down version as their website suggests?

Appearance: Red Chair NWPA poured a deep copper color with a modest 1 to 2 finger off-white head. The beer appeared slightly cloudy with a bit of suspended bubbles and particle in it. Swirling the glass easily coated all of the sides with a semi-sticky lacing. A nice small head remained at the top of the glass many minutes after the pour and initial swirl.

Aroma: At first I got a nose full of a spicier hop, but as I swirled and let the beer warm I got more of the citrusy Cascade hops coming through. This wasn't the typical pine forest kind of Pale Ale, rather, it had more of a sweet malt and citrus fruit character. It wasn't the big hop bomb type of aroma, rather a blended hop with a bit more malt coming through. Nice change of pace from an IPA.

Taste: While Red Chair has a decent amount of hop bitterness, the aroma was much more hop than the taste was. Yes, I got a nice amount of citrus, but there was also a bit of crystal malt coming through that was semi-sweet. The brew had a nice creamy mouthfeel and it slid down rather easily for a hopped up beer. It tasted best a bit warmed up after an initial cold pouring. What I liked about this style of pale ale is that it wasn't as sharp and bitingly hoppy as the mainstream pale ale.

Overall: For those of you who aren't IPA lovers and want something a bit less bitter, yet with a nose that has a lot of citrus and earth spice, I'd suggest you try this beer. I think you'll find that this is a nice toned down ale that would appeal to a greater audience than an India Pale Ale. It has a full flavor, and is also refreshing. I couldn't get over the fact that a nice 1/4 inch head stayed on this beer for the full session. I like having a little froth with my brew. A definite Thumbs Up on this one. I'm glad that Deschutes ships so many different beers here to Colorado.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer as part of a build-your-own six pack of individual bottles from my local retail store.

Video showing the pour of the Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale:

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Related articles:
- Deschutes Jubelale review. (2011)
- Deschutes The Stoic review. (2011)
- Deschutes Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale review (2011)
- Deschutes The Abyss review. (2008)

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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