08 October 2018

O it's you

I haven't had an Odell beer on this blog in well over a year, and that won't do. A bunch of new ones arrived recently and I took advantage of the 4-for-€10 at Stephen Street News to explore them.

We begin with Sunny Rain, described on the can as a "golden tart". Oookay. It's golden all right, pouring headless with just a faint misting. It's more sweet than sour, showing hard lemon candy as the main feature. There's a chalky, salty, mineral buzz in the background but it never really develops into anything I would describe as fully sour. It's refreshing, though: light and zingy. I hoped it was somewhere under 4% ABV as there's no excuse for a beer like this not to be, but it's a humongous 6%, which is frankly unreasonable. Great for sunny outside drinking, but approach with caution.

Pale ale next: Rupture, named after some sort of machinery the brewery uses to give hops an extra squeeze. I got a flashback to Odell's classic IPA from this: it has the same mix of sweet orange cordial and clove/cinnamon spicing. The texture is lovely and thick, and this time 6% ABV seems pretty reasonable. The balance is superb, with just enough bitter pinch to balance the weighty malt. It's quite a nostalgic beer, reminding me of a time before garlic and caraway were common IPA flavours. While I've obviously no interest in turning the clock back on American beer, it's very nice to be able to revisit the old days and get a new tick now and then.

We finish, perhaps appropriately, on Settle Down Brown. It's a handsome deep red colour and smells wonderfully floral. The flavour is more muted. While it opens on a burst of heavy caramel, chocolate and herbal mint, that all tails off very quickly, leaving it dry and acrid in the finish. I had a feeling it would be strong, and it is at 6.5 % ABV. It doesn't do enough to justify that, I think. It's very thin, for one thing, and the flavour becomes harsh after a few mouthfuls. There's none of the richness which marks good brown ale.

So where do we stand? Odell still makes very decent beer, but pale and hoppy is where it's at. Colorado, ladies and gentlemen.

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