The first Cream Ale I picked up to review this week is an award-winning beer from (big surprise) Oregon: Pelican Pub & Brewery‘s Kiwanda Cream Ale. Pelican is one of the top brewers in Oregon right now, and it’s not much of a stretch to say Kiwanda Cream Ale is one of the best around for the style; it has won a number of medals at the Great American Beer Festival and Draft Magazine even named it one of their 25 best beers of 2008.
What’s amazing is how simple the recipe is (from Pelican’s site):
- Two-row malt
- Carapils malt
- Flaked barley
- Mt. Hood hops
Plus yeast and water and that’s it. But once you have a pint in front of you it’s obvious why it’s a top-rated Cream Ale.
It’s 5.1% alcohol by volume, just a tad over session strength (for certain values of “session”), and very easy drinking.
Appearance: Clear and golden yellow with thick fluffy white head. Effervescent beading of tiny bubbles off the bottom.
Smell: Mellow floral hop aromas, a touch citrus and fruity. Clean malty notes follow and a touch of raw wheat.
Taste: Flavorful and toasty—more than meets the eye! It’s got a luscious malt-forward blend of biscuit and granola and toasted wheat, and there’s a light but noticeable spicy hop presence backing it.
Mouthfeel: Clean with—yes—a creamy feel to it in the mouth, more medium-bodied than the eye would suggest.
Overall: Excellent and satisfying. Eminently drinkable and flavorful enough that you just want to keep drinking. A standard?