Stoudts Scarlet Lady Ale
Stoudts Scarlet Lady Ale – Extra Special Bitter
Stoudt’s Brewing Co., Inc. – Adamstown, PA
Information: Site - “This English-style Ale is brewed with Marris Otter and caramel malts for a rich, reddish-copper color and a smooth, malty palate. The use of bittering & aroma addition hops balances the regal, sweet maltiness and imparts a softly perfumed aroma.
Once again we have a beer here that needs a definition we’ve yet to discover, you and I… fair reader. Whoa, that sounded epically and somehow ridiculously poetic. Anyway, what’s an E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) anyway? (Wiki): “Pale ale was a term used for beers made from malt dried with coke. Coke had been first used for roasting malt in 1642, but it wasn’t until around 1703 that the term pale ale was first used. The term pale ale is used in Scotland though ESB (for “Extra Special Bitter”) is more commonly used in the United States. Where bitter is used it indicates a pale ale of lower alcohol content brewed in a less hop-focused style than typical American pale ales. American bitters often use English varieties of hops.” According to the site, the IBU’s (International Bitterness Units) are 41 out of 100. So, not too high, but not too shabby either.
The color is a medium amber that pours a strong, white head with big, rich foaming. As the pour opens up the ale the scents of grassy hops and mildly pungent corn flower wafts free. Underneath one can discover a slight sweetness reminiscent of caramel or toffee that is very nice playing against the mild bitterness.
The flavor begins pleasantly floral; almost rose-like with a little something like clover. It then rolls smoothly into a nice nutty ale with hints of malts and a juicy, nearly fruity pear-like flavor. Towards the end the bitterness really kicks in and leaves its piney, medicinal mouthfeel as you swallow. It is a complex beer to say the least and it is very tasty. Meandering effortlessly from sweet to nutty to bitter is certainly this beers strong suit and it plays it very well. I could see this definitely paired with a ham or other salty, maybe cured fair.
Rating: * * * *
A wonderful sample in the Extra Special Bitter family of Ales.