Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bristol Brewing Mass Transit Ale review

Bristol Brewing Mass Transit AleWhen looking for variety look to a mixed 12-pack and Bristol Brewing has 6 different beers in their winter variety pack. Continuing the series on Bristol Brewing beers, today's review is about their amber ale called Bristol Brewing Mass Transit Ale.

Amber ales are a nice style of beer to try when you want something different, yet not too dark and not overly hoppy. Bristol Brewing has a series of flagship beers and Mass Transit Ale has been one of them for years. Seeing how I had yet to try one this seemed the perfect opportunity.

Mass Transit Ale was brewed with a mix of 2-Row, Crystal and Vienna malts and bittered with Amarillo, Victory and Tettnang hops. The result is an amber ale that weighed in at 5.1% ABV and a modest 21 IBUs. Amber ales are a great beer style for session drinking and they won't kill your palate like other beers can. A warning to those who love big over the top beers - this brew won't knock your socks off, but rather aims to please the palate and blend well with many varieties of food.

Appearance: Mass Transit poured a medium copper / amber color with a small 1 finger off-white head. The beer had good clarity - mostly transparent, but again, there were lots of tiny micro-fine particulates suspended in the beer so pour carefully when near the bottom of the bottle. There was also a slick lacing that didn't stick to the glass very long.

Aroma: Here is where an amber can have some distinction. This beer was clean smelling, meaning it smelled fresh with no off odors. I could pick up on a caramel malt aroma with just a little hop in the nose. Be sure to allow this beer to warm just a bit to help bring out the floral, spice and citrus that the hops add. Ambers won't overpower the senses, but rather wil add a little bit of itself to the surroundings.

Taste: Upon the first few sips I found a creamy, semi-sweet, and mellow brew that had a very mild yet noticeable hop bitterness. The brew was dry, bitter up front, and changed over to smooth, caramelly, somewhat fruit-like soon after. There was a good mix of malt and hops with neither domineering. Bristol toned down the malt sweetness, and gave it a bready feel. The beer was moderately carbonated, and that didn't distract at all from the experience.

Overall: For an amber, Bristol Brewing's Mass Transit Ale was highly drinkable and sessionable. I loved the hop mix and malt flavor here. Sure, it's not bold and daring, but Ambers are supposed to be that way. Comparing this to another beer in the mix pack, I enjoyed this one better than Red Rocket Pale Ale.

Disclosure: I bought this bottle as part of a mixed 12-pack that was on sale at my local store. The beer was being sold to the public at a great sale price - an entire mixed 12-pack for $11.99, I knew the beer was fairly fresh as the 12-pack also included a winter seasonal.

Related articles:
- Bristol Brewing Company IPA review.
- Bristol Brewing Red Rocket Pale Ale review.
- Bristol Brewing Laughing Lab review.
- Bristol Brewing XXX Warlock review.

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