Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Belgium Dig Pale Ale review

New Belgium Dig Pale AleLeave it to New Belgium to release a new Spring seasonal in the early part of Winter. No longer is it in style to wait until Spring to put out your seasonals during the actual season. But what ever the time of year, New Belgium usually puts out a quality brew. This year, New Belgium introduced this new beer - New Belgium Dig Pale Ale. You can expect to see this on shelves for a couple years at least, that is until they decide to rotate out this Spring seasonal for another one.

One of the highlights of this new beer was the inclusion of a rarely used hop called Sorachi Ace. This hop has a distinctive lemon aroma. Also added into the mix was Nelson Sauvin, Nugget, Target, Cascade and Centennial hops to give this brew a nice hop mix and moderate bitterness (36 IBU). While this may be a Spring seasonal, it's not exactly a Session beer as it weighs in at 5.6% ABV.

I decided to wait until Winter was truly over to sample this brew and on a sunny day in April around the upper 50's. Some fans of New Belgium are lamenting the passing of their previous Spring seasonal (Mighty Arrow), but hop lovers ought to enjoy this brew and it's distinctive flavors. How would this brew stack up to other pale ales? Let's find out.

Appearance: Dig Pale Ale poured out a dark copperish orange and built up a modest 2 finger near-white head. This beer was adequately carbonated and had really good clarity in the glass (no sediment or haze). Swirling this beer really brought out a lot of silky lacing along the glass. A fine layer of foam remained on the top of this beer well after it was poured.

Aroma: I got a few different aromas on this beer. The lemon from the Sorachi Ace was definitely prominent. There was also a hint of tropical fruit and sweetness in the nose as well. I could pick up a bit of caramel malt in the background. Overall, a very Spring-like aroma, very pleasant and inviting.

Taste: Up front, this brew was mostly sweet malt with a modest hop bitterness on the finish. It was medium bodied and felt creamy going down. This beer highlighted more of the hops when it was cold and as it warmed the Pale and C-80 malts shone through. The Sorachi lemon in the nose added a bit of fruitiness to the palate as well, but it wasn't as much as some wheat beers I've tasted. I liked the taste of this beer. It was a bit different than I've had before from New Belgium, a brew that wasn't afraid of the hops, yet backed them off slightly and let the aromas control the experience.

Overall: This was a good example of a Spring seasonal from New Belgium. It's not too heavy and seemed balanced enough in both the aroma and the taste. If you like Sorachi Ace in your brew then you'll love this one. Granted, it wasn't as refreshing as other Spring seasonals I've had, but in the colder early Spring days, this beer will still satisfy.

Dig is well made, yet not overly outstanding, but in the end, it was a beer I could easily finish and would have no problem recommending it to others. It's hard to say whether I liked this one more or less than their previous Spring seasonal Mighty Arrow. Both had some pretty good characteristics. But fear not, this brew will probably be rotated in and out every 2 or 3 years or so.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this single 12oz beer as part of a build-your-own six-pack.

Video showing the pour of New Belgium's Dig Pale Ale:

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Related articles:
- Finally, New Belgium selects Asheville, NC.
- New Belgium keeping up with demand for cans.
- New Belgium starts Dig'ing.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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