Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lawson's Finest Permagrin Rye Pale Ale

As the name suggests, the Permagrin incorporates a portion of malted rye in the grain bill which lends a spicy grain aroma and flavor. This beer will typically be found around the 6% alcohol range; the sample I tried at the Farmhouse was said to be 7%. I was intrigued when I found out the wonderful combination of characterful hops used in this batch (see below).

Alcohol Content: 7.0%
IBU: ?
Malts: Rye, ?
Hops: Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade, & Centennial

Price: $4.00/ half (~6oz in an 8oz glass); $7.50/ full
Medium: 8oz small, stemmed goblet or snifter appearance

Aroma: Complex fruity and citrus aromas - definitely characteristic of generous amounts of American hops. Spicy grain character is not as heavy as I expected. I found this to be more pleasant and subtle as opposed to forward or overpowering. Darker crystal malts perhaps add depth to the sweet caramel undertones.
Appearance: Moderate degree of haze from dry-hopping. Lingering display of large bubbles on the surface combines with an off-white head. Retention looks great, lacing is wet. Carbonation looks moderately strong (I get a sense of carbonation from the aroma too). Color is of deep golden amber with a reddish glow. Persistent head when sipping from light agitation.
Flavor: As expected, sweet malts start out with hints of darker crystal malts, giving a deeper caramel profile. This is quickly overwhelmed by an assertive hop bitterness accompanied by characterful fruity citrus flavors. The spicy rye character starts to build momentum with the hop bitterness and shines more in the finish, lingering a bit into the aftertaste. Grassy hop notes also become increasingly present into the aftertaste with a small degree of astringency. Favored more towards hops.
Mouthfeel: A moderately-low level of astringency could be from the hops, rye, or a combination of both. The spicy character could also be enhanced by the slight warming sensation from alcohol. Medium-light to medium body. The hops wear out the palate a bit as I finish the 6oz sample. Light creaminess with an explosion of character within the moderately high carbonation.
Overall Impression: I love the bartenders and staff working at The Farmhouse! We discussed items on the menu as being good food pairings and came up with veggie burgers (the spicy bean kind), or other items containing spicy ingredients, regardless of the base. Carbonation seemed appropriate and helped in ridding off the complex hop characters, but I still felt worn out at the end.

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