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Notch Session Ale - Notch Brewing

Not Rated.
Notch Session AleNotch Session Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

97 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Notch Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: albern on 03-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JaredKent:
Photo of JaredKent
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber in color, just under a light brown ale. The head was strong and filled the glass. Lasts throughout the quaffing as well.

Scent: Upfront there’s an extremely pleasant American hop aroma. I get spice. I get citrus. I get a little pine. I love this combination, whatever they are using I just decided what I’m using for my next brew. There’s a hint of malt to balance it out, but not much.

Taste: The hops once again come through up front. Pine stands out the most. A hint of bitter on the finish. The hops are upfront but not powerful enough to be an IPA. The malt is disappointing. There isn’t much, go figure. Not quite enough to balance out the hops. It just kind of falls short.

Mouthfeel: Very light body. Short presence on the palate. Carbonation is medium level.

Overall: Easy to drink and the hop profile is awesome. Unfortunately the malt just isn’t there to balance it out. I guess this is to be expected from a low gravity session beer. I found myself wishing for more body, but you can only do so much when trying to keep the ABV low. Definitely a great tasting and flavorful session beer. I love the philosophy that Notch stands behind and it’s one I try to stick close to when homebrewing. An awesome beer that is easily drinkable throughout a long summers day.

JaredKent, Jun 02, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Brewed to help inspire the creation of a session beer culture in the US. Weathered brass color and good clarity. The head is quick to foam and stays for the duration. The nose is a mélange of American hops, citric and minty herbals, with a mild fruitiness from the yeast and hint of caramel from the malt. Hoppy to start, bitterness is there, and pretty forward at that. Citric and scraping herbal flavors. Kiss of caramel, nutty yeast and a vague mineral salt. Fruitiness beyond the hops, toasted grain flavors as well. Very dry finish. Good drinking, sort of a middle-of-the-pack ale—meaning it’s noth- ing earth shattering, though if you are worried about a percent or so of alcohol, then this might be for you.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, orange-brown in color, hazy, medium carbonation

Smell: light toasted malt, orange, and citrus hops

Taste: light toasted malt, caramel, orange, and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, sweet start with a slightly dry bitter middle and a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: It packs a lot of flavor into a 4.5% beer. An above average to good pale ale that I would consider over others due to the abv. I will pick up a couple more singles of this at some point.

tigg924, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of standardcherry
4/5  rDev +9.3%

standardcherry, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of juicebox
3/5  rDev -18%

juicebox, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bukowski’s in Cambridge.

Pours a clear light amber color with a white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of crisp caramel malts with hints of breadiness and leafy hops. Also present are slight amounts of indistinct medium fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by mild amounts of bready flavors. Midway through slight hints of medium fruits come into play before being pushed aside by leafy and slightly earthy hops that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with solid carbonation.

Overall I think this beer is closer to an ESB than an APA and is certainly a better ESB than it is an APA. An easy-drinking beer that’s worth a shot.

glid02, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of WyethBednar
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

WyethBednar, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of Trashcat
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Trashcat, Tuesday at 08:58 PM
Photo of heather625
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

heather625, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of Brewsephus
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Brewsephus, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of OldIronLungs
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Blanchard's where Chris, the founder, was having a tasting - nice guy. Notch is coming at an interesting angle by producing low-gravity sessionable craft beers as opposed to the wallops I usually drink.

Poured into the pint glass I got with the sixer a maple syrup amber with three fingers of light head that fades into a ring of medium sized bubbles.

Nose is grapefruit hops and sweet toasted malt.

Bitter front leading to sweeter bready notes. Medium to lighter body and medium carbonation. Light lingering hop finish but overall quite clean.

It's a session ale, so I'm rating it with that in mind. This is the type of beer you'd happily drink all day and will easily appeal to the non-craft crowd. There was enough thought put into the hop and malt profile that drinking it while mowing your lawn isn't déclassé.

OldIronLungs, May 05, 2011
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

JeffreyJDavis, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of trevorpost
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

trevorpost, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of puboflyons
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle into a shaker glass. sampled on April 26, 2014.

The pour looks correct with its copper-amber color, modest off-white head, and slightly unfiltered haziness.

Nice composite of aromas including roasted caramel, toffee, biscuit, and fragrant grassy, earthy hops.

The body is a bit better than medium.

The taste brings out a quick malty flavor at first and then a quick eruption of hop bitterness that balances it all off in a complex and enjoyable fashion. It lives up to its title of a session beer.

puboflyons, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of seanh99
4/5  rDev +9.3%

seanh99, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of liquorpig
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

liquorpig, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of danmcg62
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a dark amber color with a solid index finger width head that stays around for a while.

S-A dark toasty, hoppy smell at first whiff. Grainy and a bit fruity.

T-Mild hops, not too much, not too little. A bit tangy at the back of the mouth.

M-Feels a bit liquidy and tangy in the mouth.

O-Overall this is a decent APA. Would definitely get this again.

danmcg62, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of rondufresne
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

rondufresne, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of KeithThompson
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

KeithThompson, May 03, 2013
Photo of wedge
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-amber color with a quality, tight, creamy looking head. Mellow grassy and floral hop aromas mix with some toasted caramel malt and a trailing slight leafy, resinous note. Light, spicy citrus bitterness, malt, a little tea, and fruity yeast. A little watery, but tasty enough to be a decent session beer. Light bodied and dry with an earthy bitterness.

wedge, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of EnronCFO
5/5  rDev +36.6%

EnronCFO, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of mountdew1
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a darker amber, with a thick foamy white head. A bit of lacing from the head as it diminished. Tons of streams of carbonation rose from the bottom. Aroma was primarily floral, with a bit of hoppiness in the back end. Flavor was fairly subtle, a bit of white bread of front, with a slight bitter hoppy finish. Ok in the mouth, a bit overly tingly on the mouth, but a decent bit of coat. Overall not bad. Nothing outstanding, could definitely have a bit more flavor.

mountdew1, May 20, 2013
Photo of dizztracted
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

dizztracted, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of cbutova
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh on the shelves in Central MA, perfect mix-a-six candidate.

A- Pours a fairly dark amber into my pint glass. A two-finger off-white head builds up and retains decently. Spotty webs of lace on the glass.

S- A nice hop and malt element. Malt brings me some toasted nut and biscuit hints. Hops are floral, earthy and slightly fruity.

T- Once again, a noticeable malt and hop presence. The malt is darker than I would expect in an APA, it feels like a light nut brown, toasted nuts and such. The hops are very earthy as well as spicy, herbal and floral. A bit of fruit and apple as well.

MF- Lighter-end body with a nice creaminess to it. It feels very crisp and clean with high carbonation. A slightly bitter finish.

Hmm, hard to call this a classic pale but at the same time it is too light to really be anything else. I like the earthy hops and nutty malt interplay. Not what I expected but it is a nice ale.

cbutova, Sep 10, 2011
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Notch Session Ale from Notch Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.