Soft Parade (Shorts Brewing Company)

Style: Fruit Beer

Base Beer: Rye Ale

9% ABV

14 IBU’s

20º Plato

Fermented with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries

Soft Parade 1

Brewer’s Note: “This gourmet specialty is engineered of toasted rye flakes and two row malted barley. Loaded with pureed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, we refer to this fermented potion as a fruit infused rye ale. The result is a refreshing fruit delicacy that’s easy to drink, appealing to look at, and finishes dry.”

Soft Parade 2

The beer’s label is interesting.  I kind of like the sketchy (as in it looks sketched) nature of the artwork, though the redheaded girl lying in the beach chair and questionably diddling herself is a little odd.  I almost wish they did an actual parade scene in the labels drawing style, instead.  The colors are fruity and summer-like, and do a great job of setting the mood for the beer.  The fonts for the beer are a bit boring, but still eye catching enough to keep me interested, I just wish they chose a uniform color for them, or perhaps just a brighter and more vibrant color for the brewery’s name.  Clutter is kept to a minimum on the bottle, which is appreciated.  Overall, I would say the label is worthy of scrapbooking, but not of putting on the shelf, unless you are very taken with the image of the ginger girl lounging, and then by all means go ahead and shelve it.

Soft Parade 3

The beer pours a murky berry red with accents of brown syrup, and touches of salmon orange.  The head is eggshell white with light pink highlights, and the lacing is thin but sticky and dry.  The beer’s body is surprisingly clear of particles and quite translucent, featuring a steady stream of small carbonation bubbles.  On the nose, the beer is big and jammy, with lovely thick berry scents and an excellent barley malt and rye spice background.  The smell is reminiscent of “assorted berry” scents, in that no individual berries can really be picked out without really shoving your nose in the glass.  The malt smells of light biscuity caramel bread and has me thinking rye toast and jam.  On the tongue, the beer tastes terrifically sweet with berries while the more spicy bread malts balance the sweet, and a touch of hops adds slight earthy bitters.  The flavor begins with a big rush of fruit berries, moving from strawberry, to blueberry, to black berry, and to raspberry nearly so fast that the tongue has trouble differentiating between them.  The berry flavor powers through the mouth throughout the taste, building to a crescendo that tastes a little syrupy and then fading into the aftertaste, but beside the berries there is a strong underlying flavor of spicy rye bread and caramel malt which eventually brings the light earthy bitters onto the back of the palate.  The aftertaste rings lightly with strawberry jam, faint earthy bitters, and a touch of aspirin.   On the mouth, this beer feels on the heavier side of medium in body with some nice syrupy qualities on the tongue.  The mouth is left clean with the slightest dry feeling on the tongue.  The beer’s carbonation is light with effervescence, providing a slight prickle across the tongue as it moves down the throat.  The beer feels clean and drinkable.  Overall, this is one of my favorite non-wild fruit beers.  It’s big in fruit flavors, but still lets you know there is beer beneath it, and it blends those two things very nicely, which is something most fruit beers don’t do.  It has nice the rye flavors underlying the heavy jam, and definitely has some semblance to a fruit wine, which is nicely refreshing.  This beer also hides its 9% beautifully, which is both a blessing and a potential danger.  This beer would be great for summer nights, and is really a nice beer.  Try it.

Soft Parade 4

4.11/5

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