1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Notch Session Ale - Notch Brewing

Not Rated.
Notch Session AleNotch Session Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.17%
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:
Beer added by: albern on 03-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 34
Photo of WyethBednar
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of sweisel80
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of jbertsch
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of s1ckboy
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of juicebox
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of jongullotti
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of Apathetiq
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of halfshell
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of GregSVT
3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a super murky brown with a huge eggshell white head that fades to a layering and leaves some good lacing on the glass. The murky color isn't what I was expecting from a Pale Ale.

S: The nose is a bit of roasty malts with a bready aroma and a tiny bit of cocoa.

T: The taste is a bit of bready malt and a bit of hops with a cocoa flavor in the background.

M: The feel is actually on the lighter side of medium which I was not expecting.

O: I enjoyed the Pilsener a bit more. The flavors in this one were much more muted and you could tell this was a lighter ABV beer.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours medium orange with an off-white head. Some light lace, and the head reduces to a ring of foam.

Grapefruit and toasted malt aromas dominate. Hop forward.

Well, they hid the inadequate parts of the beer behind some hops. Thin toasted malt, bread and toast, some dried malt elements, grapefruit rind. Dries right out. Watery. Not a glassflull of hate, but this is barely average.

Medium-light bodied. Adequate carbonation.

Wow, glad I got a single instead of a six. There are some good elements to this, but the big picture is barely there. They tried so hard to be sessionable that they forgot to brew a good beer. I was eyeing up their pils, but i probably will wait (i.e. never try it). I can spend my money elsewhere.

Photo of gfreed
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For a low-ABV beer, this comes equipped with the sting of a DIPA, not to mention the puckering dryness of any beer brewed by Stone. In fact, it would be interesting to serve this Notch ale along with a Stone Levitation and see if anyone could detect a difference. Both are harshly over-hopped yet manage to be quite smooth. Not much in terms of malt, most of which is suffocated. A nice novelty which would gain favor by reducing the hops to, say, 5, down from the 11 where they are now. You made your point, guys. Now brew something that doesn't taste only like pine needles and grapefruit.

Photo of muttyd
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rather clear amber with a thin off-white head that persists throughout. Very good head retention. Big piney hop aroma with a slight toasted / biscuity malt backbone. Flavor is big on the hops; piney, grapefruity, and earthy. Toffee and biscuit malt sweetness help round out the flavor profile. Aromatic and earthy hops in the finish. Rather bitter brew that finishes dry. Well carbonated and prickly on the tongue. I prefer the session pils, but this is one solid APA "session" beer.

Photo of brentk56
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A slow gusher, with a huge head plopped above the hazy amber liquid; as one would expect, the head grows craggy and leaves a lot of lace behind

Smell: Bready, with a lemon edge

Taste: The bready malts form a base upon which the lemony and somewhat grassy hops linger; somewhat herbal, particularly after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; overcarbonated and aqueous

Overall: Although I love good session beers, I am afraid I am not a fan of the flavor profile or the mouthfeel here

Photo of ecar027
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Very light amber, unusually so. Whiskey coloured. Not super bright but clear enough.

Smell: Nice, clean grapefruit citrus notes on the hops, maybe some lightly roasted coffee on the malt side.

Taste: The grapefruit citrus hops comes through again in the taste. I don't get much of the malt at all but maybe some light toast. Balanced.

Mouthfeel: This is where the beer goes from average to bad. My first bottle was dead flat, no hiss on opening and the cap was loose. No carbonation at all, I had to dump it. I tried another couple bottles and found that they were carbonated, but not very and it felt to me like all the caps came off too easily. I can understand that this is a session beer so maybe that implies low carbonation but I wonder if I got a dud batch. I like my beers on the unfizzy end of the spectrum but I really felt that this could have been carried by some more carbonation. Very watery mouth-feel even in the most carbonated bottle. It ruined the beer.

UPDATE:
The next beer had much better carbonation. The first three I tried yesterday were on the same side of the 6-pack so perhaps on that side the bottles had been clipped during handling? Who knows but the carbonation was much better on tonight's beer and the mouthfeel was much better. I've bumped the score accordingly for this bottle and chalked the carbonation problem up to bad luck.

Photo of portia99
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A - Highly sedimented and a bit lumpy with yeast. Pours a medium amber color with a thick finger of foamy cream colored head with pretty good staying power.

S - Honestly, this smells like a Snapple lemon iced tea. Sweet, artificial-ish lemon, and powdered iced tea mix aromas. With a bit of a struggle, I get some grassiness and a touch more citrus...still saying iced tea though.

T - Tastes better than the aroma indicates at first. Actually has a good sharp bitterness and some fresh hop flavors. Citrus is still there with lemon taking the lead (and there is still a noticeable tea-like aspect to it as well). Grassy hops, a dry and slightly medicinal bitter finish and some graininess in the middle.

M - Good firm carbonation that tingles the mouth over the lighter side of medium body. Lingering medicinal bitterness and a very dry finish. Crisp and somewhat refreshing overall.

O - Once past the initial dominant impression of iced tea, this beer is actually pretty good for a lighter session type ale. Hops are in the front of the flavor profile which is a plus in my book. I can't totally escape the iced tea-ness of this beer (but I do like iced tea...so it kinda works anyway)...not gonna run out and buy a case, but I would easily have another of these if offered.

Photo of danmcg62
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of mountdew1
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of silentjay
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hazy, murky amber copper color with a huge khaki head that raises well above the rim of the glass, sticks around forever, and laces very well.

kind of faint aroma of crackery and caramelly malts, herbal and a touch of citric hops, as well as some fruity sweetness.

grains and bitter hops come first followed by the caramel and cracker flavored malts.

medium bodied with a nice, subtle carbonation that gives a slight prickle on the tongue and leaves a slight bitterness on the palate.

its good, but not as easy drinking as I would want in a session ale. the graininess and lack of hop flavor in exchange for hop bitterness make this an unremarkable pale ale.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of trevorpost
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of rondufresne
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of KeithThompson
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of dizztracted
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BostonHops
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of ms11781
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Notch Session Ale from Notch Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.