Leapbeer Reviews #290-291 Salt Spring Flight – Part 2
This is my second half of coverage for all the Salt Spring Island Ales (aka Gulf Island Brewery) beers. I’m covering two of their latest additions, the Whale Tale Amber Ale (altbier) and the Snug IPA – Pub Style India Pale Ale.
First to bat is the Whale Tale Amber Ale. The first thing that stands out for a beer geek like myself is the ‘estate hopped’ banner below this beers name. For those of you who follow them on facebook, Salt Spring Island Ales teased their fresh hop beer quite a while ago (3 months ago in fact). This beer smels great. Deep amber beer with a tight head shows off nice malt notes with a hint of fruit like orange peel or melon. It is a super smooth beer. It has a very crisp finish to it, making the next sip all that more enticing. In case you didn’t guess, I really loved this beer.
Leapbeer #290 is Whale Tale Amber Ale
Next up is their Snug IPA. A little history behind the name, along with information about the it’s namesake are included in their release notes.
In days past, many British pubs contained a small, private room called a ‘Snug’, reserved for special clientele. Brewed in honor of the historic Snug Pub at Victoria’s Oak Bay Beach Hotel, this British-style IPA features a flavourful balance of crisp bitterness, delicate hop aroma and malty caramel sweetness. Bold, yet easy to drink, this ‘session’ IPA pays homage to the proud tradition of the public house. An excellent accompaniment to traditional pub fare, cured meats, spicy foods and sharp cheeses such as cheddar or gruyere. (via Canadian Beer News)
This one I expected to not like. There were a couple of sticky wickets for me right off the bat. #1, this is as advertised an English Style IPA. I read into that, low hops, no big citrus PNW punch, medium bitterness. #2, they call it a ‘session’ beer yet it boasts a 6.0% ABV. I’m guessing if you drank a couple of pints of this you’re cheeks would be getting rosy. Usually the term session or sessionable refers to lower ABV beers, in the 3.5-4.5% range (and yes there are some delightful beers in that ABV range).
I’m glad to report that my trepidations about this beer proved to be mostly unfounded. I think the second point still stands, but this beer is an extremely flavourful old world IPA. It poured to a lovely deep golden amber with a nice tall head on top. The first thing you smell is a nice waft of malty sweetness. Despite that the malts and bitterness are balanced perfectly. Another great beer from a great craft brewery.
Leapbeer #291 is Snug IPA – Pub Style India Pale Ale
Brewery: Salt Spring Island Ales (Gulf Islands Brewery) on Salt Spring Island BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.0%(Whale Tale) 6.0% (Snug IPA)
Availability: Some Private Liquor Stores
Purchased @: Various Private Liquor Stores
Thanks for reading