Hood River, OR - Hard to believe, given the temperature around these parts, but it's actually Summer. Given the prospect of sunny weather this week, we elected to visit a nearby grocer for some India Pale Ales. Featured on the shelves were the usual Northwest suspects (and some exceptional ones from California, too). It wasn't until we came across a simple label scheme from Full Sail Brewing, that we reminded of Spotless India Pale Ale.
Regular readers of this website would have a hard time not recognizing the name of this India Pale Ale from the employee-owned brewery. Home to some of the greatest Wind Surfing in the world, we decided to try this low ABV beer out.
As we previously posted we often review the origins of a beer before we enjoy. Knowing where the beer came from often helps one appreciate a beer more, much as someone might appreciate a fine wine.
Not centric to the Northwest or the West Coast, the India Pale Ale get’s its influences from the United Kingdom and far off India, during a time when beer was as valued as water itself. Known for their English Pale Ales, the British Troops would expect ships carrying this ale to the shores of the Indian Colonies. Unfortunately beer was hard to transport and often did not last the trip, until the discovery of hops as a preservative. Today what you have in front of you is decades of American modification which results in an IPA style which is unique to the region.
With this thought in mind, we poured the contents of the Full Sail Spotless India Pale Ale into our glass. Pouring orange and clear Spotless creates an initial strong but off-white, foamy head, that recedes little lacing inside the glass.
The waft coming from this India Pale Ale is dominated by an initial earthy (grass-like), hop aroma, that is followed by a bread-like maltiness, before giving way to a fruity finish.
Swirling the glass around, we detect grapefruit & tangerine citrus, bits of pine, that finishes dry and with a moderate alcohol burn. Overall the beer finishes with a medium weight on the tongue.
Given that we are cooking up brats (with sea salt) this beer does the trick on what is classified as a sunny day.
“This release continues Full Sail’s summer “sun” series. Named to honor our sun that has been spotless for over a year, Spotless is a true Northwest style IPA – richly hopped with Willamette and Zeus hops. A deep golden color, bright bitterness and a definite fruity finish meld into a beer that is all set to toast the summer months. It will be available in specialty beer stores and pubs throughout the Pacific Northwest from June to August in 22oz bottles and draft. ABV: 6.5% IBU: 70” –source, Full Sail Brewing Company
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.