Alright, so, I’m going to try to pack two Pale Ale Head-to-Heads in this week, which means you’ll need to keep your eye out for another Head-to-Head later this week. That of course is if you want to read about some sweet Pale Ale action, and you and me both know that you do. This Head-to-Head pairs Beer Valley’s Pigskin Pale Ale versus Snoqualmie Falls Brewing’s Copperhead American Pale Ale - let the battle begin!
The Pigskin Pale Ale pours a strong creamy white head that lingers for a bit. The color is light and golden with a nice cloudy clarity. The majority of the time I prefer not to be able to see through my beer, and there are only a few exceptions. Luckily, there isn’t a problem here. The Pigskin also has some nice noticeable carbonation, mmmm bubbles. The overall smell was rather light, but had noticeable butterscotch/caramel notes with a subtle citrusness coming in behind everything. The malt really makes itself present in the aroma, which was kind of a turn off even though it was a rather pleasant smell. But, that’s my hop bias. Look - 23, Smell - 20.
Initially, the flavor was strongly oily/nutty with a good presence of caramel, but after a few drinks it gets earthier with a stronger hop presence. The aftertaste is dry and bitter, but at the same time the overall drink of this beer is rather clean and crisp. So, the dry bitter aftertaste isn’t very strong, but it’s there. The overall balance of this Pale Ale is toward the hoppy side, but mostly due to the aftertaste. The taste upfront that really made an impact initially was the somewhat dominating malt flavors, but they really mellowed out with continued drinking. This Pale was a pleasant surprise and a great full flavor beer. Flavor - 46.
First off, I want to say that it wasn’t until the full pour of this beer with the sediment and all entering into my glass that I really started loving this beer (the picture is before the sediment louche). The Copperhead pours a nice moderate white head that’s creamy and lingers for a good while. The color isn’t quite copper, but more of a yellowish orange color that has a very cloudy clarity. The carbonation that’s visible looks noticeable, about as much as the Pigskin. The smell hit strong at first, but then mellowed out. The aroma comes off rather skunky with some grain coming in from behind, but mostly a very earthy floral citrus hop smell. It reminded me of a lighter smelling Saison Dupont. Look - 23, Smell -20.
The taste was nothing like I expected based on the smell, which I think is a good thing. The malt and yeast create a nice full texture upfront that expands nicely in the mouth. Malt is the primary flavor at first, but the floral citrus flavors of the hops begin to make their presence known quickly. I tasted a good amount of grapefruit, slightly sour, which I found very pleasant with a light dry bitterness at the finish. The floral citrus taste of the hops make their way into the flavor more so then the bitterness, because, overall, this isn’t a very bitter ale at all, in fact the Pigskin had more of a bitter hop bite. Copperhead is rather balanced with a slight lean to the hop side in flavor not in bitterness, which I really enjoyed. Flavor - 47.
I did this Head-to-Head a bit differently. Normally, myself and another person (G, Will, other) sit down with two bottles and we review the Head-to-Head, but this time I reviewed each beer on a separate day. I honestly didn’t know that the scores were that similar until I looked to see who had won. So, to my surprise we had a winner by one point. Either way, both these beers are great! I highly recommend them both if you are looking for a solid Pale Ale… After the sky had parted revealing golden tablets with the winners name that only I could read with a sacred talisman, the Beer Fusion declares Snoqualmie Falls Brewing’s Copperhead American Pale Ale the winner of the Pale Ale Head-to-Head with a Rating of 90/100!