2014 Prince Tuesday (Allagash Brewing, Maine Beer Company, Rising Tide Brewing)

Style: Belgian Rye Pale Ale

7.7% ABV

From: Portland, ME

Brewery’s Note: “Prince Tuesday is a collaboration with Rising Tide Brewing and Maine Beer Company. The beer was originally brewed (on a small scale) for the first Maine Brewers’ Guild Festival in Boothbay, ME in 2011. It is a Belgian Rye Pale Ale. Brewed with Rye from Rising Tide, hopped by Maine Beer Company and fermented with the Allagash house yeast strain, we feel this beer was a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. A portion of the proceeds from this beer went to Portland Trails.”

The beer pours a lovely, rustic, dirty yellow with copper tints. The head is massive, eggshell white, and frothing, with excellent retention. When the head does settles down, it leaves fat, puffy clouds of lacing on the glass, with drooling tendrils running down to the receding head. In body, the beer is clean yet cloudy with an opacity to it that is proper to the style, and expected given the fact that I blended the yeast shot in (that’s the way I like it…). On the nose, the beer smells of spicy citrus. The rye malt gives lovely, bready spice characters while the yeast and hops tango on the nose with lemon citrus, grass, lemon grass, subtle pineapple, slight mango, and good old fashion phenols. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and bitter up front, though the sweet moves into a more dominant stance in the middle and finish of the sip, before giving way to a lingering bitter and dry aftertaste that makes the beer a balanced tango of bitter and sweet, which I love. Acidity is also present as a subtle citric pop at the beginning and finish of the beer, as well as some nice earthy notes that round out the taste. In flavor, the beer begins as spicy herbal hops and lemongrass citrus. This transitions into a sweeter bready funk with definite rye spice and herbal hops lingering over the top of the flavors. In the finish, the beer is funky fruity, with touches of pineapple and peach, which slowly transitions into the aftertaste of herbal bitters. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a crisp but decidedly sharper mouthfeel, which is my only quibble with this beer. The carbonation comes off nearly creamy on the tongue, but something is giving quite a touch too much astringency and a stabbing feeling to the tongue, which is unfortunate given how fantastic the beer is to drink. The sharpness helps the beer stay supremely drinkable, and cuts through flavors that could be a little heavier, but it leaves the tongue tingling with slight ‘burn’ feeling, and feels a little aggressive as it passes over the taste buds. Outside of the fierce bite, the mouthfeel is still quite sublime though. Overall, I like this beer. I could six-pack it, or at least four-pack it. It will pair supremely with a wide variety of lighter and medium bodied foods, for sure, and is a great candidate for casual drinking settings. Its flavors are crisp, and its only drawback is the slightly stabbing mouthfeel. This is a superb collaboration beer for three local superstars to roll out once a year. It takes a nice balance between all three companies ‘house-styles.’ I like this beer, and will be having it again.

 

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