Thursday, January 20, 2011

From the Vault - Gritty McDuff's: Halloween Ale

From time to time I do some Tuesday Night Tastings or other beer reviews that I either forget to post, lose, or just kind of put them on the back burner. These will eventually be posted, such as my first installment - Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale (ESB), under the title "From the Vault".

I hope you enjoy!

Gritty McDuff's - Portland, ME
Halloween Ale - Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
6% ABV 12 oz.

This beer has a medium light feathery brown head, which likes to hang around for a while. In fact, it took 3-4 minutes or so for it to fade away. The beer pours a rich medium brown hue with tones of amber throughout. The first thing you notice is its rich, malty scent with a hint of hops! It also has a subtle nutty smell as well. It certainly invites you to take a sip!

After my initial sip I thought it was a very good beer! After taking a few more sips, I began to pick up more layers of flavor. It's definitely malty, but not too bitter. It seems to have a nice slight hoppy finishing flavor. It's very good - in my opinion. The beer is full of body! I actually had to go to the Gritty's website to find out that this was actually an Extra Special Bitter (ESB) versus an Oktoberfest style beer. I'm somewhat new to the ESB style, so it wasn't as distinguishable to me.

The Halloween Ale has a full mouth feel and coats the entire palate. It's malty without being too heavy, which is great. Essentially, Gritty's has created a beer which will allow you to knock back 2-3 without thinking twice. I only had one bottle though, so I would prefer additional bottles to conduct further "research" to give a more complex evaluation.

Aside from having a great aroma and flavor, Gritty's does a great job on the labeling of this beer.

Gritty McDuff'ss Halloween Ale is available September through November and is available in 12 oz and 22 oz bottles, mini-kegs, and of course on draft in any of the three Gritty's brewpubs in the great state of Maine.

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