Sal Mortillaro II's picture

Mississippi Fireant

July, 2016
Judges Rating: 
90
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
36 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This Imperial Red Ale pours a beautiful deep amber and rust color with hazy clarity and a fluffy, khaki-colored head, which lasts for the duration of the pour. A lovely lacing lingers on the glass as the beer is consumed. There is a low malt aroma consisting of sweet base malt with toffee undertones and a touch of roast. However, this is quickly lost to a moderately low piney and spicy hop character. Ethyl alcohol notes become apparent as the beer warms. A prominent malt character of sweet caramel and toffee with a lightly grounding  roast quickly succeeds to a firm and present bitterness of grapefruit, pine needles, and a very subtle pink peppercorn-like spice. General fruity yeast esters interplay with the hops, which convey slight grassy and herbal notes as the beer warms. This medium-bodied beer is warming in the mouth; there is a nice alcohol presence, which is well hidden by the malt backbone (it's there, lingering after every sip, but it's very sneaky). This beer is creamy on the swallow and well-balanced, but the malt comes through a bit more clearly, and the alcohol content and perceived IBUs lead to a dry finish. This is a very interesting brew that blends the love of malt (my personal favorite) and the love of hops -- a satisfying and well-executed beer. Due to its malt profile, this would be a great beer to pair with any caramel-based dessert such as flan or crème brulee.

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