Friday, June 27, 2014

Heathen Brewing - Vantucky Pale Ale

Tasty brew from the South (S. WA, that is)
Vancouver, WA is directly across the river from Portland, OR. It takes me about 18 minutes to drive over a bridge to get there. I have a daughter and two grandkids living in Vancouver, so I take the trip quite often. It's a beautiful drive. Lots of trees, and the Columbia River is spectacular.

As close in proximity as Vancouver is to Portland, the two towns are like different worlds. To begin with, the towns are in completely different states. Politically, Portland is definitely more "blue" than Vancouver. There's no sales tax in Oregon. Marijuana is legal in Washington. You can buy hard liquor in grocery stores in Washington. Lots of hipsters in Portland. Lots of strip malls in Vancouver.

Truthfully, some denizens of Portland display a surprisingly overt animosity towards Vancouver. Some folks in Stumptown think they are way too cool and refer to the sleepy, suburban community of Vancouver as "Vantucky". That's just mean. I would never use that term...around anyone from Vancouver. I prefer to use the moniker "The 'Couv". No offense intended. I personally love our neighbors to the North. We are all Cascadians!

One thing we Portlanders absolutely have in common with folks from Vancouver is our love of fine craft beer. Heathen Brewing is located in Vancouver and I was happy to find bombers of their tasty brews here in Portland. (Grocery Outlet-cheap!) My first sampling was a bomber of their Vantucky Pale Ale. First, the self-deprecating name of the beer is intriguing. It comes with an ABV of 5.8%. 43 IBU's. The label proclaims it was brewed with Mosaic and Cascade hops. Also very intriguing.

The beer poured into my glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color. The off-white head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. Lots of foamy, webby lacing was left behind throughout the entire drink.

Aroma was citrus hops up front. Stone fruit and floral notes. Sweet caramel malt in the background.

Taste followed the nose. Citrus hops with some pine. Grapefruit and tropical fruit. Nice bitterness. Almost an IPA profile. Grassy, earthy, robust malt flavor. Good hops/malt balance.

Medium mouthfeel with excellent carbonation. Juicy finish. Lots of fruit and malt flavor left rolling around on the palate at the end. Nice.

Overall, this a really nice pale ale. It's an easy drinker with enough going on to please most hopheads. Good stuff! I'm giving Vantucky a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4. It also earned a Droolie from Merry the Wonder Beagle. I'm looking forward to many more tasty brews from Heathen, and next time I'm in Vancouver, I'm going to hit their tasting room.

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