Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Upslope Brown Ale review

Upslope Brewing Brown AleFour basic ingredients are all it takes to make a decent brown ale. Here in Colorado, Upslope Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado makes theirs with five: Snowmelt, Malts, English Hops, American Yeast, and Brown Sugar. Oh yes, they put it all in a can for good measure and call it Upslope Brown Ale.

Upslope Brown Ale was the 3rd beer that they ended up putting into cans and their canned beer is becoming more well known. This particular ale weighs in at 6.7% ABV and around 45 IBUs. Being in a can, this brew is very portable and absolutely no sunlight gets into it before it's opened. This is one of 4 year-round canned beers produced by Upslope Brewing.

In some cases, Brown Ales tend to be a bit boring and bland, especially if you're used to bigger, bolder and hoppier beers. Going from an IPA back to a brown ale would seem a bit underwhelming. Being a craft beer, how would this beer stack up to other commercial brown ales on the market?

Appearance: Upslope Brown Ale poured a nice dark, dark brown. It wasn't dark enough to block out all light however, and the part that was see through looked clear with no haze or sediment. The beer poured a modest, yet lasting creamy looking tan head. Even after 15 minutes, this beer still had a layer of creamy foam on it. A nice quality to have. Swirling the glass quickly built up another nice little head and left a semi-sticky lacing along the edges of the glass.

Aroma: Here is something I didn't expect in this canned beer - a big sweet, brown sugar, chocolate and nutty aroma. This beer almost reminded me of a big porter or stout, yet it had a huge, rich aroma that was hard to stop wanting to inhale. Most brown ales have a nutty, roasty and slight sweet nose, but Upslope's Brown seemed to go a bit further and smelled heavenly.

Taste: This beer had a solid malt taste with a nice touch of brown sugar, yet bitter enough to be balanced by the Patagonian and American Hops. It was a bit fuller in body than most browns I've had. Some browns tend to be weak and watery, but Upslope brewed one that seemed to add a lot more than normal. Perhaps it was the fact that this beer was higher in ABV than other browns and more fermentable sugars were in the batch. Either way, I loved the roasty, chocolatey and dark sugar taste of this brew. I was pleasantly surprised by the body and wished all browns were a big as this.

Overall: Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this brown ale. I had been saving this one for last in my build-my-own 6-pack because I feared it would be the weakest of the bunch. It wasn't. It stood up just fine and made me glad I waited for this. I never thought a brown ale would be able to surprise me. Luckily this one did. Nice job Upslope. I'll look forward to having more of this at the Burning Can Festival this weekend.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer as part of a build-your-own 6-pack at my local store.

Video showing the pour of Upslope Brewing Brown Ale:

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Related articles:
- Upslope cans a limited release Belgian ale. (2012)
- Upslope cans and releases Foreign Style Stout.
- Upslope Pale Ale review.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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