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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

94 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 94
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: albern on 03-12-2011)
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 05:00:46 | More by cbutova
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 20:59:02 | More by glid02
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 14:32:51 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of DrinkingDrake
DrinkingDrake

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light golden brown with a lot of carbonation leaving a big bubbly head that dissipated to a slight small blanket across the top. Toasty malts balanced with lighter caramel malts. Earth and fruity citrus hop nose. Crisp and light body with a large toasted caramel flavor. Citrus hops are up front but get fruitier and then finish with an earth and malt tang. Goes down smooth with a lot of flavor packed into such a light body. The sixer was a bit pricey for 4.5% abv which is the only thing preventing me from buying this often.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 16:26:17 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The name did not disappoint. This is a full flavored beer regardless of the alcohol content.

Starts with a three-finger head, which settles very slowly. The beer has a muddy, amber appearance. The lace coats the glass.

Excellent and unexpected floral hop nose. There's also pale malt notes.

This starts mild but soon there's a peppery hop takes over. There's a long peppery aftertaste. There's also a hint of sweetness that creates good balance. My only complaint comes with the body, which is thin and spritzy.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 01:14:28 | More by smcolw
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 00:02:43 | More by portia99
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in a recent trade with mkabull. Thanks a lot Alec!

Pours a dark amber color with golden orange edges and a two finger frothy off-white head that slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Streaks and splotches of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with faint floral hops. Slightly toasted with hints of caramel and toffee. There's also a slight buttery diaceytl presence in the nose.

Full bodied with a nice bitter, earthy hop presence up front that lingers over the sweet malt backbone into a nice spicy, dry finish. Floral with resinous pine notes followed by hints of caramel, rye and toffee. Much more hop forward than the aroma suggests but still well balanced with a nice malt backbone that doesn't take away from the hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 07:11:21 | More by corby112
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 6/17/2011 at Yard House in Dedham, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains earthy hops, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a decent hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is heart but not too heavy and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, solid beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2011 16:23:14 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2011 12:55:29 | More by tigg924
Photo of danmcg62
danmcg62

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 23:15:14 | More by danmcg62
Photo of OldIronLungs
OldIronLungs

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 22:41:54 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 00:09:00 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of betsona
betsona

Idaho

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BWX for this 12oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint. No freshness info.

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a finger and half of off-white head. Good retention throughout the drink with plenty of lacing on the glass.

S- Nice piney aroma with some citrus hops. Ever so slight hint of grapefruit. Some toasted malt that adds a bready smell, but very neutral.

T- Mainly bitter. Didn't get any of the citrus flavors that are present in the nose. Slight malt at the end that helps balance slightly. Slight lingering bitterness, but nothing that lasts for more than a minutes.

M- Light body that is almost watery. Just not much substance to this one. Has good amount of carbonation that creates a nice bite. Still too watery to wow the palate.

O- I enjoyed this one even with its faults. It is easy to drink and with a low abv I could see that as being a good and a bad thing. If this was available to me, I could see myself picking a sixer of it to bring to a friends house to watch a game.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 20:33:01 | More by betsona
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 23:03:21 | More by muttyd
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notch Session Ale pours a slightly hazy copper color with a small, off white head on top.

The aroma is light with notes of pine and lemon citrus hops along with a touch of toasted malt.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is watery on the palate with moderate carbonation. The flavor is malty with amber and pale notes. Slightly metallic. Towards the end pine hop notes and some grassy bitterness help balance out the malt. Once gone the amber malt and metallic flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a pretty descent, well balanced amber ale. The flavor and aroma really come out as the beer warms. A nice session ale is hard to find and this one would be great with dinner, at a ball game, or if you just want to relax and have a beer or two.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 22:57:24 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of gfreed
gfreed

Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 23:19:09 | More by gfreed
Photo of thehopsguy
thehopsguy

New York

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- the pour is a nice dark golden amber color not much head( but then again i didn't pour it like a doouch)

s- light smell..maybe some cascade hops with a little more malt characteristics coming through

t- mmm..a nice crisp hoppy bite with a great balance of malts..amber..2-row for sure.. the finish kind of reminds me of a DFH 60 minute..tasty

m- alot going on here..rich malt flavors and alot of citrus/pine flavors from the hops at the finish.

D- Overall a very good session..Ill take have a few of these after a long day in the glass studio..cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 00:56:26 | More by thehopsguy
Photo of gdrydenc
gdrydenc

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - Pours a murky dark brown/amber with an inch of thick light tan, almost peach head. Lacing lasts well throughout.

S - Piney hops, a hint of citrus. A hint of malts comes through the nose.

T - Bitterness is the foremost taste I have. The fruitiness doesn't come out as much as it did in the smell. I may just not like the style, but this isn't a great beer in my opinion. I know it's for sessioning, but the flavor lacks a balance from malts and ends up being a slightly watery bitter beer.

M - Feels pretty good on the mouth, slightly watery, but once again, the bitterness detracts. The carbonation is spot on, though.

D - Very drinkable. For a session, this is top notch (ha!). Frankly, for me, drinkability is whether or not I can finish this beer and feel good about it, even trying another one. Considering I'm writing this review on my second (of several) I can't imagine a much better drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 01:31:38 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was available at Berman's in Lexington, MA. The beer is brewed in Ipswich and has some historical antecedents to Tremont Ale that is not defunct. The beer has a slightly orange amber hue, some head, no lace, not much retention. The nose is pure piney hops, some tart grapefruit notes emerge as things settle.

The beer is medium bodied, a bit more over hopped than is probably warranted, but this is a good beer even if it is a bit imbalanced. The malts used are Pale, Crystal and Munich and the hops are Amarillo, Columbus, and Mt. Hood. The Notch Brewing Co. web page, not to be confused with the Franconia Notch Brewing Co (no relation) is a must to track this beer down. It isn't common and it doesn't look like it's in ramp up mode for production. Although it isn't listed, I believe that the beer is brewed at the Ipswich Brewery. The beer is smooth, with a slightly piney aftertaste, a touch of orange burst from the nice combination of hops. The finish is mild enough and the aftertaste doesn't linger despite some of the acerbity in the hops. This beer is worth tracking down. I don't know of its availability so I'm putting it down as year round until I know differently.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 22:32:17 | More by albern
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Notch Session Ale from Notch Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.