Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crazy Mountain Boohai Red Ale review

Crazy Mountain Boohai Red AleCrazy Mountain Brewery is a mountain town brewery to watch. They've got first crack opportunity to buy the Breckenridge Brewery building in Denver after Breck builds their new spot in 2015. In the meantime, they're expanding rapidly up in Edwards and are putting a lot of beer into cans. One such beer is their Crazy Mountain Boohai Red Ale, a beer made with New Zealand hops. A beer a Hobbit could appreciate.

The word Boohai, originated from a native New Zealand tribe, means "thoroughly lost far from civilization". This doesn't necessarily mean that by drinking this beer you'll become thoroughly lost yourself, but it might not be so bad if you had enough of this beer around to keep you company. The unnamed New Zealand hops reportedly give off an aroma of blackbeeries, Sauvignon Blanc grapes and pine. That's something fairly unique in the hop world and hence the draw to produce a beer with that unique scent.

Boohai Red Ale weighed in around 6% ABV, but intended itself to be an easy drinking beer with a lot of flavor. This brew came as part of a 6-pack of cans. Fermentedly Challenged wanted to see just how sessionable this beer could be and give this beer a full review.

Appearance: Crazy Mountain Boohai Red Ale poured a rusty reddish copper color with a decent two to three finger tall light tan head. The beer itself had great clarity and appeared adequately carbonated right out of the 12oz can. The head dissolved fairly slowly and left a clingy lacing along the top of the glass. This beer was very visually appealing.

Aroma: There was definitely something uniquely wonderful about this aroma. I could definitely pick out the smell of white grapes in this beer, although I knew there wasn't any fruit in it. A hint of pine was also present as well as a semi-sweet Belgian malt aroma. Granted, the overall beer aroma wasn't strong, but rather subtle. So I didn't spend too much time trying to find something in the air, what really counted was how it tastes. Still, for a red ale, this seemed very inviting so far.

Taste: If I had a preference, I would suggest to drink this beer on the colder side and enjoy it slowly as it warms up. This beer malt base took the forefront during the tasting. The hop aroma brought out the unique NZ bitterness and flavor mixed among the malts. The bitterness had a spice component that seemed balanced with the malt. Booahi Red Ale was an easy drinking type of beer. It went down easy and was quenching, not dry. The extra little bitterness gave notice to enjoy this beer a bit slower than other beers. Granted, the flavor of this beer isn't very powerful, nor was it meant to be. It's on the lighter side of a medium body and might just make your mouth water after you drink it. This beer worked more as a sessionable beer with some exotic traces than a big bold hop-powered beer. The malt sweetness was toned down with Boohai and that seemed to work just fine.

Overall: The first beer from this six pack left me initially with questions on what it was trying to be, but with the second and later samplings I grew an appreciation for this beer. In all honesty, I liked this beer more on the colder side than I did when it warmed up. The flavor is already there on the cold side, so don't bother waiting for this beer to warm up - go right at it immediately. Crazy Mountain didn't intend for this beer to be just another common craft beer, enjoy it for the difference the hops give this beer and don't be afraid to have another. It's one of those beers that could easily become a go to session brew.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer in a 6-pack at my local liquor store.

Related articles:
- Crazy Mountain Lava Lake Wit review.
- Crazy Mt. Mountain Livin' Pale Ale review.
- Crazy Mountain Brewery now distributing beer in 9 states.

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