This is a recurring monthly series in which I taste and share my thoughts on a different beer from Grasslands Brewing Co. as they progress on their journey to open their doors to thirsty craft beer lovers (2014). Grasslands is an up-and-coming brewery out of Tallahassee, Fl. that centers their philosophy on making quality "earth first ales." I will taste pilot batches and share my thoughts with the BeerApostle community. You can read past posts about Grasslands beer in the archive section of this blog.
Style: Imperial red/amber ale
Appearance: Dark amber, thick and cloudy. Tan head with long retention.
Aroma: Floral, pine, malt, sweet bread
Taste: Great flavors! Sweetened grapefruit, spicy bitterness from the hops which makes this surprisingly floral for a red amber. The finish has a well-balanced malt profile with notes of caramel and toasted grain. There's a slight dryness on the end with a spicy/sweet blanket that coats the lips.
Mouth: As I suspected from the appearance, this is a full bodied beer. It's perfectly carbonated which helps to open up some of the floral notes without compromising the malt backbone. This is a beer I could drink regularly (though in moderation--at 9%, this one will sneak up on you quickly!).
As the beer warmed, the bite seemed to grow in intensity. The alcohol content became more evident, as did the spices in the beer. Although it was still good, I think this one is better served and enjoyed at colder temperatures. It became less sessionable the longer it sat in my glass--apparently, I am slow typer...
Overall: This is the fifth variation of this recipe and I am crossing my fingers for #5 to be a close representation of the final product. I was fortunate enough to also sample LeeRoy #4 and I definitely prefer this recipe over its predecessor. The balance of citrus and sweet makes this one stand out in a pretty crowded genre of beers. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that Tocobaga has been my go-to red ale. LeeRoy certainly gives Tocobaga a run for the money.
Price: Because Grasslands is up-and-coming, they have asked me to share my thoughts on a recommended price-points for their brews. LeeRoy packs in a lot of flavor, alcohol, and is on the heavier side as far as body is concerned. I would expect to pay somewhere in the range of $5-$6 for a pint of this at a local pub. And I would pay it gladly.
Another great job by Gabe at Grasslands Brewing Co.!
Many, many thanks for your awesome review - and willingness to do this on a rolling basis. I've come to really enjoy #5 and I believe that with an increased dry-hop, this sucker will be here to stay as is. Just a few more tweaks!