Spring is here, despite what the weather man might tell you. With Spring comes a slow psychological reshuffling of thoughts towards lighter colored beers. Taking this into account we elected to seek a local known for their so-called lighter beers (colors and alcohol), in with Foggy Noggin.
Named Diablo del Sol this English-style Pale Ale weighs in at over 5.20% ABV. With this thought in mind we started first by looking at the suggested guidelines laid out by the Brewers Association for an English-style Pale Ale.
Brewers Association Suggested Guidelines
Classic English pale ales are golden to copper colored and display earthy, herbal English-variety hop character. Note that ―earthy, herbal English-variety hop character‖ is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. Medium to high hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma should be evident. This medium-bodied pale ale has low to medium malt flavor and aroma. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to strong. Chill haze may be in evidence only at very cold temperatures. The absence of diacetyl is desirable, though, diacetyl (butterscotch character) is acceptable and characteristic when at very low level
Sparky would be proud of this incredible interpretation of an English Pale Ale. This beer has a bold hoppy aroma that will warn you to apply sunscreen and put on your sunglasses. A huge amount of hops are added to the end of the boil to make this beer pop. Nice balance with a rich malty sweetness and floral aggressive hoppy presence will have you thinking Spring is already here. ¡Salud!
Diablo del Sol as it emerges from our 64oz growler pours burnt orange and produces a definite haze, as it settles in the glass. Further settling reveals an almost non-existent foamy head but only because the brewery chooses to avoid over-carbonating their beers. This approach would seem to replicate the English pub experience. Unfortunately our memories of temperature and carbonation are a bit muddled since my trip to England was so long ago.
Taking the first sniff I detect earth tones of rich soil & minor hints of grass along with a mixture of sweet caramel.
Pausing for a moment and taking a sip brings notes of citrus upfront before an overwhelming sense of roasted caramel takes over. As I allow the beer to coarse further along my tongue and down my throat a finish of hop bitterness is recalled. Overall Diablo del Sol has a mild to medium texture (sensation) as it rests on the tongue and there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of diacetyl.
You Should Consider It. Diablo del Sol is one of those beers that given the sheer magnitude of Pale Ales populating the local ‘scene’, might get lost in the shuffle. However should you find yourself at one of the many places featuring this beer on draft (or even at Foggy Noggin’s tasting room) you might give it a shot. As to food options we think that this would hit the spot with a slab of albacore tuna, sharp cheese, or excite things with some Indian.
You can get this and other Foggy Noggin beers to go or in 4 ounce tastes at their brewery in Bothell, WA. For more information visit Foggy Noggin’s website at http://foggynogginbrewing.com/.
April 6th, 2011 – If you want to try this beer right now, we suggested you visit Fiddler’s Inn on 9219 35th Avenue Northeast in Seattle, WA, or call (206) 525-0752.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
Side note regarding the lack of photos for this beer. Due to a few technical issues with recovering the photos, we elected to make this our first beer review without any art. This won’t be the last but come hell or high water we will be avoiding the practice. Thanks for your understanding.