Hops. Farmers, gardeners, home brewers, and craft beer lovers, all love hops. Common thought has been been that if a brewery didn’t have an India Pale Ale on draft or in the fermenter, one might presume them mad. Furthermore if that brewery didn’t have at least a Pale Ale to sedate our lust for hops, it would seem almost an insult. However, where we live there isn't a shortage of India Pale Ales or Pale Ales. In fact there is a veritable glut if you get right down to it.
But given the current obsession with a certain India Pale Ale, we thought we might turn our focus to the Pale Ale. With that thought in mind we went to to the fridge and grabbed a Mactarnahan’s Sling Shot.
Here is what the brewery had to say about Sling Shot Extra Pale Ale
You always know better, but sometimes you just don’t care. Mischief is just creativity stretching its legs. Sling Shot is a seasonal Extra Pale Ale for the spring with rich golden color. Its lively hopped flavor makes for a mischievously good and refreshing ale that “hits the spot!”
Here is what the Brewers Association has to say about the American-style Pale Ale
American pale ales range from deep golden to copper in color. The style is characterized by fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character producing medium to medium-high hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Note that the ―traditional‖ style of this beer has its origins with certain floral, fruity and citrus-like American hop varietals. One or more of these hop characters is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. American pale ales have medium body and low to medium maltiness. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should be moderate to strong. Diacetyl should be absent or present at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures
Sling Shot, when poured from the bottle, is a Pale Ale that appears slightly golden while maintaining clarity throughout its settling process. As the beer rests in the glass a noticeable, strong, off-white, foamy head; forms on top. Soon the only evidence of a familiar head of foam is what could be compared to a bog resting on top.
Taking my first whiff I detect herbal (almost tea-like) and pine hop bitterness, along with bread-like character.
With the first sip I sort through the initial flavor of bread (almost lightly toasted) and biscuits before midway the taste of citrus bitterness is recalled. The bitterness is short-lived as hints of barley creep in before the final bit of this Pale Ale is swallowed. Overall this beer does have the lingering hops that people are looking for, but it does feel like something is missing.
Consider It. By far the category “Pale Ale” is one of probably the most narrow categories when it comes to comparisons of an exceptional beer. For this writer, we thought that this beer could have used a bit more hops. With that said we also believe that for those who have never had a Pale Ale this would be a great starter beer. While you're at it grab a black forest ham sandwich with some yellow mustard along with classic potato chips.
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.