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Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

A toasty, malt-accented interpretation of the style brewed with a very light hand on the hops. Pours lighter than expected, with a deep golden, almost iced-tea color and sparkling clarity. The cream-colored, velvety head lasts all the way to the end of the glass, evidence of the substantial maltiness in store. All of the judges were impressed by the overall finesse of the aroma, with exceptionally clean notes of caramel, freshly toasted bread, raisins and blueberries, and they all commented on the almost complete absence of hop aroma. Rick, however, did pick up some earthy hop notes in the background. In contrast to the aroma, hops made their presence felt throughout the flavor, though the beer is still decidedly malty. Pete commented on the interesting blend of toasty malt and earthy hops, as well as the beer’s impressive balance, but Tom noted an almost candy-like sweetness barely balanced by woody hop flavors. Throughout, the beer tended toward maltiness but carried enough bitterness and hop flavor to keep it from being one-dimensional. A finely wrought brew that the judges concurred would be an ideal session beer on a long evening down at the pub.