Drunken Speculation

#14 Kosciuszko Pale Ale

kosciuszko pale aleApparently, it’s the highest brewery in Australia, although not surprisingly if you consider the relative flatness if our vast continent. Also, if you didn’t know (and haven’t managed to read the beer’s label), the mountain was named by explorer Edmund Strzelecki in honor of the Polish freedom fighter, Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

Another interesting fact: after emigrating to the United States, and upon his death bed, ol’ Kosciuszko purportedly left a great sum of money to his good friend Thomas Jefferson for the purposes of ‘freeing and educating black slaves‘. What a swell guy!

The Kosciuszko Brewing Company espouses to be “exploring the natural brewing limits by producing awesome ales that reflect the purity and spirit of the Australian Alps,” and their Pale Ale promises to refresh the palate “with pleasant rich maltiness and a fruity hoppy finish.”

On the pour it’s a rich golden hue and slightly cloudy. There’s plenty of head but it disappears quickly, way too quickly. The carbonation seems decent, with plenty of bubbles rising to the surface from the bottom of the glass, but unfortunately they’re vanishing just as quickly as they appear. The smell is surprisingly and deliciously fruity and laden with hops. I’m also getting hints of honey; perhaps that’s the maltiness coming out.

Time for a taste. It’s relatively sweet on the front end with fruity notes and a smooth mouthfeel but it’s all too suddenly overpowered. Bam! Get that into ya! It certainly is a hoppy finish and unfortunately all traces of fruitiness are lost in an instant, and the promise from the alluringly fruity smell doesn’t deliver.

On the plus side, there is a smooth maltiness to that bitter hoppy finish that helps to round out the flavor. Maltiness isn’t something I readily associate with pale ales but when it does manifest itself, I tend to sit up and take notice; it is an ale after all.

At 4.5%, it’s pretty sessionable which is always a plus in my books. A final downer, however, is that the carbonation is quickly on its last legs and even though I’m only halfway down the glass, it feels almost like I’m drinking a flat one.

Overall, there are a number of pluses but unfortunately a couple of big minuses which bring a promising brew down; namely the carbonation factor and the failure to make that fruitiness linger on the palate, which, based on the smell, is for all intents and purposes, present.

Summary

  • Can you believe Lion haven’t splashed out on a website yet?
  • Genre: Pale ale
  • Regionality: Jindabyne, NSW
  • Strength: 4.5%
  • Rating: 1.5 / 3 taste + 1.5 / 2 ancillaries = 3 / 5
  • Plus: Smooth maltiness is enticing and begs for another sip.
  • Minus: Where’d the fruit go?!
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