Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jondeelee:
4.1/5 rDev +4.6%
Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale opens to a lightly hoppy nose, with good amounts of grains and breads. The hops bring lemon, pink grapefruit, and touches of pine in light, but nicely detectable quantities, lending the beer a pleasant bitter citrus overtone. The grains, present in almost equal strength to the hops, bring toast crust, biscuit, Grape Nuts cereal, and touches of wet hay and grass. Add to this a handful of brown sugar and thick caramel, and a selection of berry, orange, and apricot fruit esters, and the result is an appealing pale ale that, while light in aromas, features a wide variety of aromas that have been nicely balanced, the brown sugars and caramel playing especially nicely off of the light grains and citrusy hops to lend the beer a sweet overall base, with lovely bits of citrus and bread adding texture.
On the tongue, the hops prove far more bitter than the nose implied, the immediate notes being bitter grapefruit rind and dandelion stem, with lesser notes of pine resin, lemon oil, anise, pepper, and menthol, the hops being especially noticeable in the burning sensation they cause on the tongue and soft palate. Beneath these is a good counter of breads and sugars, the former adding toast crust and biscuit that, mixing with the peppery hops, comes across like rye bread; and the latter bringing brown sugar and caramel (though it lesser quantities than implied by the aromas), as well as berry, orange, and apricot fruit esters. Overall, however, this is very much a hop-forward beer, the stinging sensation on the mouth’s soft tissues alone evidence of a few shovelfuls of hops per barrel. Unlike many IPAs, however, the hops here are very peppery, bitter, and astringent in their presence, coming across not necessarily as flavorful, but medicinal, the menthol, lemon oil, and dandelion stem especially adding punch. This is not to say that the experience isn’t enjoyable, but it certainly packs a wallop, lasting well into the aftertaste, which lingers on the tongue for a very long time. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing on the tongue and adding to the burning sensation.
Overall, this is good IPA, and while it is fairly interesting because of its historicity, it’s also worthy in its own right, featuring a surprisingly large flavor profile for a beer that only clocks in at 5.9% ABV. It is perhaps too hop-strong for its own good, the medicinal quality of the hops being exceedingly potent, but still offers a good selection of sugars and breads, and is delicious.
03-23-2013 16:34:36 | More by jondeelee
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev +4.6%
last one in my ancient recipe series from them, for now, which makes me kinda sad as I love trying these experimental stuff.
Pours a nice fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly as it's reinforced by nice stream of bubbles from the etch at the bottom, with nice soapy lacing, quite clear straw honey colored beer.
Nose brings plenty of hops, but doesn't seem overly bitter at least from the nose, grassy hops mostly, earthy and slightly spicy hop as well, with some light grainy malt base, a mild sweetness, with a touch of an herbal and slightly fruity citrus hops on the back end.
Taste starts with grainy sweet malts, a little biscuity and chewy malt like but mostly clean, and quickly the hops come up. Fairly bitter right out and increases as it goes. The hops bring lots of herbal earthy flavors, grassy and a little spicy even. The hops get chewy and really spicy the more it goes, but quite bitter and borderline astringent and slightly salty like. Finish is long bitter, but not astringent or over bitter, but lingering grassy earthy spicy hops, and not much else, and fairly dry.
Mouth is med bodied, nice fluffy carbonation.
Overall fairly interesting, not a whole lot of complexity, as I'm sure most recipes from the 1800s were fairly straight forward with very few other ingredients to make it with, but it does have a nice flavor. However, it packs nice flavor and aroma into the little ingredients they have, and I can see how this led to most English IPAs as well as eventual rise of the American IPA, it's almost like a bridge between them.
01-25-2013 23:15:44 | More by jlindros
3.6/5 rDev -8.2%
Hazy, dirty gold color. Modest head, but it has some lasting power that leaves a solid ring of lace.
Good blend where the strongest smell is slightly sour. Light floral hop.
Far more bitter than the smell suggests. Very brief malt flavor. Completely peppery in the finish and aftertaste. Moderate body and carbonation.
I like the historical perspective; one can envision the need for the high-hopped brew to travel through the warm climates on the way to India. This is a pleasant beer that comes across with the basic elements of malt and hop and little complexity.
01-07-2013 00:08:00 | More by smcolw
3.76/5 rDev -4.1%
Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, golden-copper coloring with a frothy, filmy, bright white head that eventually settles into a filmy coating. Nose of biscuits in the backbone, with a toffee sweetness, a touch of grapefruit tart, and a hint of hops bitter. The nose is very sweet, but very blended. Flavors are balanced, too, but lend more to the bitter side. Initially toasty, with a lemon and grapefruit citrus blend that overcomes the palate rapidly, with a bitter and peppery hops following shortly behind. The bitterness is bold, and helps to clean the palate. The aftertaste is a bit on the bitter side, with the citrus tart still present, but slightly overpowered. The original biscuit backbone is a little lost, leading to a slightly astringent finish. Mid-bodied, which works to support the flavors, but the bitterness may "do in" some drinkers who are not fans of the hops, or accustomed to more bold flavorings. Interesting brew, nonetheless. I really like this series so far, it's been fun getting to know these brews.
04-16-2013 21:04:14 | More by GarthDanielson
4.24/5 rDev +8.2%
From a bottle poured into a pint glass.
A- It's a pale golden-orange color with a 1-plus finger fluffy white head, curtains of lacing.
It looks like a pale ale to me.
S- Biscuity pale malts and some spicy and floral hop aromas. A slight note of citrus hop, no sweetness.
T- Pale malts, bready, floral and citrus hops. Spicy, not overly hoppy.
M- Good carbonation, and fuller body for the style, perhaps from the bready pale malts. Some hop tang without too much bitterness. Balanced.
O- Spot on for the style, a true English IPA. It delivers lots of taste @ 5.9% abv and that makes for drinkable beer. I enjoyed it.
02-23-2013 22:03:40 | More by NiceTaps
3.06/5 rDev -21.9%
Appearance: Very minor chill haze on a deep gold color. Head is bright-white, creamy, and thick. Drops to a small, creamy cap that sticks around for the duration. Nice sheets of lacing. Moderate carbonation pulls from the bottom.
Smell: Mellow malt body. Some pale malt paired with a mild backing breadiness. Vague toasted notes. Hops are just as mellow, pushing a bit of a floral edge laced with some herbal notes. Very minor sweetness. Incredibly clean. Some mealy fruit, like pear underripe banana, or even apricot. Touches of citrus.
Taste: Slight medicinal overtone. Backing fruitiness is pronounced and builds as the beer warms. Barely ripe pear. Banana candy. Pale biscuity malts with an almost aspirin edge to it. Hops are decidedly floral with a solid herbal component. Oddly sweet. Seems a little off balance. A bit grassy and nutty on the finish. Warming smooths out some of the rougher edges, but it finishes a bit leafy overall.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and soft. Moderate carbonation on a medium body. Almost creamy, but manages not to cross that line.
Overall: History is full of lies!
Decent. That's really all there is to it.
03-05-2013 02:21:35 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
87 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.