Friday, May 14th 2010
Pine Belt Pale Ale
(Southern Star Brewing Company)
Pine Belt Pale Ale is one of three beers that Southern Star is currently releasing in cans. The others being their Bombshell Blonde and Buried Hatchet Stout. Pine Belt Pale was first released in cans in March of 2008 and is the only one of the three that is available in 16 oz. pint cans.
From the Southern Star site:
"A deep copper colored ale with a substantial malt backbone accented with British crystal malts with aggressive hop bitterness and substantial American hop flavor and aroma. The yeast profile is neutral."
Here we go...
Pour - pretty dark golden to auburn in color. I guess you could call it copper or even rusty in color. A big bubbly off-white head tops this one quite nicely.
Aroma - what is it about hoppy beers in cans? The hop aroma is so much more intense. Pine Belt Pale Ale has a great fresh skunky, dank sort of piney/skunky hop smell that just sucks you in like you just stuck your head in a bucket of hops. Behind all that hop goodness is a bit of caramel or brown sugar sweetness that just makes you feel good about this beer.
Taste - one big sip and I've been seduced. There is a lot of hop potency up front followed by a very sweet syrupy back. I'd say things are pretty balanced and even though all of the super fresh hop aroma that was present earlier doesn't quite come through in the taste, this is still a winner. Pine Belt Pale leans more toward the malty side of the spectrum with some citrusy notes and a bit of an astringent quality on the tongue but its not enough to make any hophead worth their weight in hops turn a head. But hey, its a pale ale! This is very drinkable and the quality is very high. Seek it out and enjoy.
Overall - a maltier Pale Ale that is for sure, Pine Belt satisfies my thirst and delivers a lot of flavor and sticking my nose in that glass is pretty nice too! If you find some of this but it as you won't be disappointed.
Would I buy more of it? - Definitely, this is a very solid APA and you've got to love the pint cans!
Note - The name "Pine Belt" refers to "a vast forested area taking in 43 counties along the Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma borders. It remains the source of almost all the timber in Texas.
Posted by Russ
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