Grand Lake Rocky Mountain Red Ale

Remember what I said about lack of variety?

Yup.

I’m up in the mountains.

Some of my favorite beers are reds and ambers. They are right in the middle of my beer spectrum; not light, but not dark. Right in the middle. Goldilocks and the Three Beers, if you will. I find these types of ales drinkable, flavorful, and interesting without bogging me down. 

Of course, not all reds and ambers are created equal. Some are great. Some aren’t. Some bend the idea of the type of beer a brewery chooses to represent. Tonight, I tried the Grand Lake Rocky Mountain Red Ale. The Red has a deep amber color and strong, yet pleasant, aroma. However, with one sip, I realized that this is a different sort of red ale. Not only is it thick like a porter or stout, but mimics some of the dark coffee flavors that the darker lagers often have. Over the top of the coffee is a strange combination of dried and overripe fruit, like raisins and pears that have been sitting on the counter for a little bit too long.

Frankly, it’s not that pleasant, but still pulls you back, begging you to finish the glass. While I would never want raisins in my coffee, this combination works, for some odd reason. I don’t think I would want to get more than one or two, much less a six pack, but it was an interesting interpretation on a red ale.

The texture and mouthfeel of the beer was rather interesting as well, leaving a meaty feeling coating the mouth, like one would find after taking a bite of a medium-rare steak. This was a little off-putting as well, but didn’t deter me enough to not want to keep drinking.

The beer was unexpected. It is a very strange red ale, being meaty, ripe, and like ground coffee. It is also one I may pass on in the future, unless my only option was one much less handcrafted.

After this week, I will move from Colorado beer (unless I find a quality establishment), to beer that is more widespread, but is not huge like Miller or Budweiser. If there is enough support, I’ll give Coors a go, since it’s “cold filtered” in the “Rockies.” Finding new breweries at this altitude is hard to find, as shipping costs are pretty outrageous.

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