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Snake Charmer IPA
- Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA)
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.
No notes at this time.
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Softly lit tawny capped by a pale lemonish ecru cap. The foam displayed a bit more character than the usual bar pour as it fell from an initial one finger to a skimpy film. Not bad in the lace department since thin, blurry rings appeared each time I placed the glass back on the coaster.
The nose could have been stronger, but it gave me an idea of what was in store on the palate. Lightly toasted malt coupled with earth-spicy hops that had some minor degree of citrusiness. That, in a nutshell, describes the flavor as well.
Snake Charmer tasted more like an Extra Special Bitter to me, but then I'm no expert and I'm sure that there's a great deal of overlap between that style and the stated one. Wonderful toasted malt base that more than held its own and provided some much needed sweetness in the bargain. Even though this was a 'hop first' beer, the malt was alongside every step of the way.
I don't believe that I've ever had Phoenix hops before, but they remind me of a much spicier version of Kent Goldings. English varieties, in my opinion, share some 'family traits' with regards to flavor and this relatively new member of the family appears to fit right in. The chalkboard just inside the front door at Rock Bottom described the flavor as 'peppery and grassy' and I'd have to concur; especially on the peppery part.
As noted in the nose, there was some degree of Amerihop grapefruit citrusiness, though citric was a distant third to spicy and earthy. I'm not sure that bitterness was rampant enough to earn the IPA distinction--which is why I called it more of an ESB--but the lupulin load was still up there. Snappy, drying finish.
The body was strictly medium (but for what style?) with no shortage of lightly sticky mouthcoating after the swallow. The mouthfeel wasn't exactly firm, nor was it creamy. I'm struggling to remember it, but I do recall that I liked it. My notes are silent on the issue. The pleasant, fine-gauged carbonation was remarkably consistent throughout the pint.
I couldn't make up my mind about Snake Charmer IPA until the final few ounces. There wasn't one point at which I thought 'boy this is terrific beer', but its solidity, its drinkability and its unswerving faithfulness to all things English ended up charming me in the end.
Serving type: on-tap
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 4508 University Ave, West Des Moines
04-28-2006 22:09:04 |
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