Friday, August 31, 2012

Ska Pinstripe Red Ale review

Ska Brewing Pinstripe Red AleWorking my way through a Mixed Up variety 12-pack from Ska Brewing of Durango, Colorado. One of these was a bottle of their Ska Pinstripe Red Ale. Four different beers are included in their mix 12-pack. The Pinstripe Red Ale was one of the lighter colored brews in the mix. After sampling the 3rd one I finally remembered to write a review on this beer. It's nice to find a variety pack from a craft brewer, especially when I haven't had half of those beers before.

Ska's Pinstripe Red Ale is one of their flagship beers and is technically classified as an Amber Ale. Some red ales can be more like an IPA or an Irish Ale or an Amber, so I had to check online to see what this was classified as. The brew weighs in at 5.15% ABV and has roughly 42 IBUs, so it is a bit higher in IBU than the standard American Amber Ale. This brew was bittered with Liberty hops that give beer a bit of spicy character in the aroma.

Appearance: Ska Pinstripe Red poured a classic amber color. The beer had fairly good clarity with just a bit of haze. A small 1 to 2 finger off-white head rose in the glass that didn't stick around too long. Swirling the beer kicked up a bit more head, but left a very slick foam that didn't stick to the edges. The beer seemed adequately carbonated out of the bottle.

Aroma: The hops in Pinstripe Red Ale gave off a low to moderate spice in the aroma. On the side came I detected some sweet malts. I could also smell a bit of citrus or fruit in the nose, but the hop spiciness and malts were more dominant here. The malts were moderate and the hops were just underneath with a slight spice and resiny feel. The brew seemed to coat the inside of my mouth and left my mouth with a slightly dry feeling.

Taste: This amber ale started off with a balanced caramel malt and a moderate bitter hop taste that remained constant from start to finish. The brew had a moderate body and the bitterness lasted a bit after the taste was gone. I couldn't detect any off flavors in this beer.

Overall: Ska's Pinstripe Red was satisfying in that the malts and hops were well balanced. As a Summer brew it seemed a bit heavier than other selections for the season. I might suggest drinking this in the Spring or Fall for best enjoyment. This beer won't kick the pants off of you and you could probably drink 2 of these without any problem. While this beer met all my expectations, it was simply a standard kind of Amber ale and most people would enjoy. This beer wasn't designed to surprise or overwhelm, but rather simply to satisfy the need for a decent beer, and that's what it is. It won't get big high ratings or scores, but you can sure drink several of them and walk away happy.

Disclosure: I found this beer in a variety 12-pack at my local store. It was on sale for $13.99 for the entire 12-pack. I drank this beer a few days past it "Best By" date.

Video showing the pour of Ska Brewing's Pinstripe Red Ale:

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Related beer reviews from Ska Brewing:
- Ska Steel Toe Stout review.
- Ska Modus Hoperandi review.
- Ska Ten Pin Porter review.
- Left Hand Milk Stout review.

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