Guest blog post by Matt Anderson. You can follow him @supermatt28.
Deschutes Brewery has created some of my favorite dark ales, including their Black Butte Porter and Obsidian Stout . Actually, as I looked over their list of beers, I kept thinking: like it, like it, like it, love it, . . .would marry it! Yea I know it is awkward to want to marry a beer, but well, I love beer? (not as much as my wife though) Today, I am going to be drinking (again) and reviewing the Red Chair NW Pale Ale. This is a seasonal beer (which means stop reading now and get it, then come back and finish reading as you drink your first one) and is only available from January to May.
As I poured the beer into the glass, I noticed a beautiful amber color to the beer (not to be confused with an amber beer, which if I am not mistaken is a lager not an ale like this is). I love when beers are this color; it just makes me happy to see. The head is a light color, almost white. My first smell of Red Chair revealed a complex aroma. Initially, a citrus cent assails the nostrils followed by a light floral aroma. There is an aroma, reminiscent of red wine (my wife picked up on that one). At this point, I was very excited to begin drinking Red Chair.
Most Pale Ales in my experience are characterized by hops. The NWPA does not share this characterization. It instead is very smooth. According to the description on the bottle, Deschutes used ‘seven select European and domestic malts’ and two different hops in this recipe. The hops show up in the after taste, but this ale is primarily very smooth with citrus notes. In almost any beer that features malts over hops the top of my palate is filled with the flavor of the malts, that reminded me of scotch, while the sides of my palate picked up the citrus flavor and the back of my palate picked up the slight hop flavor, which is tinted with a floral undertone, in the aftertaste.
I would recommend this ale with a chicken that is marinated in a citrus-based marinade, perhaps one using lemon pepper as the primary flavor. The Deschutes website suggests: hot-n-sour soup, Enchiladas with Mole Sauce or Thin Crust Margarita Pizza (which I am assuming you could get at their brew pub). The glass I used was a traditional pub glass (pictured above). This glass will serve just fine, though I am becoming a bigger fan in using a glass that tapers in at the top to trap the head and bouquet of the beer better. If you did not go pick this up when I instructed you too, go out and get this one, it is a great great beer. Bottoms up and enjoy!
Over All-Rating: 9.5
Approachability (for new comers): 10