Style: Harvest Ale/ American Pale Ale
Color: Deep Amber
Malts: Crystal, Pilsner, Vienna
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, El Dorado
Dry Hops: Centennial, Citra, Columbus
Brewery’s Note: “Hop Knife Harvest Ale recognizes the meticulous, time-honored tradition of hand-harvesting hops at the peak of maturity. Our HopCyclone process creates an inward spiral of hop dispersal during fermentation, releasing a bounty of citrus, resin and tropical aromas.”
The beer pours a bright, clear copper color with faint pink highlights. It forms an eggshell-white head of miniscule bubbles that has mediocre retention, but does leave a nice sheet of splotchy lacing on the glass as it leaves. In body, the beer is crystal clear and clean with some really nice vibrant coloring. On the nose, the beer smells of big piney citrus. Mangoes and pine resin tango across the nostrils, chasing faint touches of dankness and oh-so-slight hints of garlic and onions that give the nose a nice herbal touch. As I put my nose further into the glass I get more tropical fruit expressions, suggesting papayas, blueberries, and pineapple. The beer is nicely expressive with its hops, leaving the malt to be a faint ghost of caramel and bread on the end of the sniff. On the tongue, the beer tastes initially bitter, with a surprising bready sweetness towards the middle and finish that keeps the beer as a nice mellow sipper. I wasn’t really sure how to consider this beer in terms of style, and with the nose I was leaning towards an IPA, but in flavor I find it far more balanced and more in line with the APA family (granted the two are pretty much the same). Slight acidity also seems to play throughout, giving a light tartness to the sip. In flavor, the beer begins bitter pine and mangoes, quickly folding into rich bready malts with streaks of caramel, and even a hint of figs. This character is added to by the fruitier hop components to suggest fruit cake… The flavors blend strawberry, dried mango, blueberry, peach, and even brief clementine notes over the tongue. The finish brings bitterness back into the play with slight medicinal touches, and definite pine and grapefruit undertones. The breadiness stays on however, and reasserts itself in the aftertaste with a rich caramel malt character that is really quite pleasant. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied with a middling carbonation that gives a nice fluff to the tongue, but still provides a light bite. In mouthfeel, the beer feels crisp yet sticky, with a definite resiny touch coming from the rich hop oils. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly dryer with a nice sticky sheen and some saliva pooling in the cheeks. Overall, the beer is a lovely balanced beer. Gorgeous hop aroma gives way to a wonderful blend of hops and malt in taste, making it an easy and interesting drink. Troegs has created a very nice little harvest ale that is ideal for six-packing.