Short's Brewing Company
American India Pale Ale
I often say that everyone has a different palate and you should rightfully keep that in mind when reading this blog. What I deem a disappointment may very well emerge as your next favorite. The simple fact is that you have to try everything for yourself and let your own senses be the barometer for your future purchases. Cool? Cool!
Now that that's out of the way, let's check out ControversiALE from Michigan's own Short's Brewing Company! This Elk Rapids brew has a storied and controversial history, and while we won't discuss that here, you should definitely read up on it when you have the time, but I digress.
Coming in at 6.5% ABV, this American IPA pours a hazy shade of copper with a solid amount of carbonation that is blanketed by a thin white head that manages to leave behind really gorgeous lacing on a goblet. Good looking brew! Let's see what the nose brings.
Explosively juicy citrus aromas, specifically grapefruit, blast forward with full force on the nose. A second whiff showcases undertones of burnt caramel, lemon, banana, orange peel, bubble gum and earthy hops. This is a pretty fantastic smelling brew, to say the absolute and very least. I'm excited! Let's dive in and take a drink!
Have you ever been fooled -- say, like with a beer? Well, if I hadn't personally been before, I can now say that I have indeed been hoodwinked. Hops, hops and more hops, with a few sprinkles of biting bitterness for good measure. That's what ControversiALE is. That's the deal, take it or leave it. And while this solely hop-forward sort of profile wouldn't ordinarily annoy me, I'm finding that with each sip I'm becoming increasingly displeased that not one of the succulent and fruitfully fragrant notes that had my proboscis tingling with excitement came anywhere close to translating to the flavor of this brew. It's almost as if the brewmaster began crafting the perfect recipe and then simply gave up. Huge bummer, I know. Additionally, ControversiALE is a bit thin for my taste and there is a certain astringent and puckering finish that doesn't quite agree with my palate.
Overall, I'd say that this offering just fell way short -- no pun intended. And believe me, I tried very hard to like this brew. Unfortunately, it just didn't do anything for me. They can't all be home runs though, right? Onto the next!