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Monday, August 18, 2008

Beer pick of the week: Hugh Malone Ale

allagash-hugh-malone.jpg

Hugh Malone Ale

Allagash Brewing Company

Portland, ME

8.5% ABV

This Belgian-style IPA from Allagash is named for the Irish immigrant who pioneered hopping techniques in the early twentieth century in Portland. Allagash contributes $1 from the sales of its tribute series to charitable causes, in this case the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the country’s oldest and largest state organic farmer coalition. The Hugh Malone pours a glowing, deep orange with a dense, persistent head. Allagash adds Simcoe hops at three points in the brewing process, including the “first wort hopping” developed by the beer’s namesake. The result is a solid citrus oil bitterness from beginning to end, with some piney and herbal notes as well. But this is no hop bomb. Crystal malts contribute to a medium body and subtle caramel sweetness, and Belgian yeast adds a tanginess mid palate. Drying alcohol and a lingering hop bite characterize the dry finish. Heed the recommended serving temperature of 45-50o F, as the character really shines as the beer warms. Allagash’s Rob Tod has balanced beautifully the bready goodness of a Belgian strong pale ale with the crispness of an American IPA. Nicely done!

(photo by Jeff Holland)

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