Tuesday Tastings: Pretty Things Fringe Pale, Noble Big Whig IPA

Kicking off the first Tuesday of 2016 with a new Tuesday Tastings, featuring a couple of beers in the “pale” family.

Pretty Things Fringe Pale Ale

Pretty Things Fringe Pale AleTiming is everything? This is a beer I picked up in California late last summer, and since then Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project announced they were closing. This month is likely the last you’ll be able to find of their final beers. C’est la vie.

Of this beer, they wrote:

FRINGE AMERICAN PALE ALE is a dry, pale golden, 5.3%, hoppy pale ale using Ella hops. The dryness and soft body are driven home by an almost dank melon-like character. If you just read the last sentence and thought “my goodness that doesn’t sound like a Pretty Things beer”, then this one truly is our “fringe” beer. Fringe is the sort of beer you crack a bit cool on a hot day in the yard. Don’t save it for a rainy day though – drink it now.

Appearance: Hazy pale golden color, darker than “straw,” more light copper. Ample egg-white head.

Smell: Earthy, peppery, moist “garden” aromas. Pepper greens are predominant, but it’s not too pungent.

Taste: Lovely peppery note on the tongue, extending from the aromas on the nose, which really works well here. It is a bit muddled, the earthy notes seem a bit “dirty,” but not offensively so. This muddled character makes me think homebrew.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a thickly earthy feel (haze?) leading to a dry-ish finish.

Overall: Rustic, charming, reminding me of a homebrew in a positive way.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Noble Ale Works Big Whig IPA

Noble Ale Works Big Whig IPAThis was picked up in California at the same time as the Pretty Things, in part because of the backstory behind the “Noble” name with GoodLife Brewing up here in Bend—who was originally going to be called Noble Brewing, but changed their name after Noble Ale Works opened ahead of them. So I picked it up to see what this alternative Noble was up to.

This IPA is 6.8% abv with 77 IBUs, and they say:

Hop-forward throughout, this West Coast style ale hits the palate with layers of tangerine, honey, and rosemary that harmoniously unite into a big, resinous, lingering finish.

Appearance: Honey amber color, a bit hazy, off-white head is creamy and lacy.

Smell: Resiny, twiggy hops; tending towards woody. Medicinal-type bitterness; herbal.

Taste: Medicinal bitterness extends to the flavor as well here, which I find a bit off-putting. Improves as it warms, the woody and medicinal character retreats in favor of hop-forward bitterness, which is not bad if oily bitterness is what you’re looking for.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, finishes bitter and dry.

Overall: Eh, I’m flat on this one.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer