Fuggles India Pale Ale, 5.8% ABV
Shipyard Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Fuggles. The name just makes me smile, so we're already off to a promising start!
Poured into a pint nonic glass, the beer is clear, medium-to-light-amber or a light copper hue capped with a finger's width of dense, off-white foam. The head settles to about a quarter inch.
Aroma definitely says this is more in the English style; I get rich, caramelized malt with earthy, slightly grassy hop notes. There's a hint of butterscotch floating through as well.
Medium body with a fine, light carbonation and very smooth texture. Malty with toffee and biscuity character up front and a faint hint of butterscotch playing on my palate. Earthy, slightly grassy hops join in through the middle and hang around to the finish. Bitterness slides in smoothly as well and gradually builds into the finish. Crisp, with a subtle hint of tart apple. Quite nice.
Very nicely balanced beer. Without a label and source, I'd guess this came from across the pond - the English character is spot-on (can you say Maris Otter malt?). Leaves behind some heavy foam rings and a smile of contentment on my face. Recommended, especially if you want a hoppy brew outside of the typical American west coast IPA.