Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 ACBW Day #1: Notch Session - Session Pils

Notch Session – Boston/Ipswich, MA
Notch Session Pils – American Session Beer
4% ABV, 12oz bottle (also on draught)

Chris Lohring, the founder and owner of Notch Session, is a crafty fellow. He is the brain child behind bringing Session beer to America (or at least New England), which is a category of beer created in Britain to provide high flavored beers with low alcohol levels. Originally, the style was created so that labor workers in Britain could have a few pints, and head back to work without being drunk. Chris’s vision is to provide high flavored, full bodied beers that contain 4.5% ABV or less. With the Session Pils, he does just that.

I first tried Notch Session Hop Ale at the Haven in JP back in early February and then the Pils and Ale at the bottle release party at the Lower Depths a few weeks later. I met and spoke with Chris for a little while at the bottle release party, and I was happy to see that he opted to release his beer in bottles. Previously, his Session beers were only available on draught, which is the manner in which I had the beers previously, but I found a six pack of the Pils and picked one up.

To begin, the beer pours a golden pale liquid with a medium, fluffy white head. The foamy goodness hangs around for a little bit, inviting you to dive in for your first sip. The aroma has a nice blend of malt with a slight sweetness to it. Tones of citrus and hop come out as well.

The Session Pils features a smooth, crisp, and clean flavor that complements the scent. It also has a slightly sweet flavor, with a nice mellow (read: not overpowering) bitterness. The brew also has a nice balanced body. The hops are pronounced, but again are not overbearing.

The mouth feel is surprisingly full, considering this is a low-gravity, low-alcohol content beer! The Pils goes down smooth, leaving nice traces on the glass and a subtle, lingering aftertaste. It reminds you that you still have some beer left, and entices you back for more.

As you would expect, this beer has a high drinkability level. With its low alcohol content, and smooth, crisp flavor, you can drink several of these in a sitting without getting sloppy drunk. It is a very, very enjoyable beer in which I highly recommend you try.

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