18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale
Amsterdam Brewing Company

18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Pale Ale
3.76 | pDev: 5.59%
Amsterdam Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
Retired (no longer brewed)
18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale
Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 15 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of eberesford
eberesford from Ontario (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours old gold with a thinnish off white head. Aroma: too cold no aroma until hand warmed then phenolics - Flavour phenolic, funk, slight astringency - is there rye here?

May 09, 2018
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
TheBierdimpfe from Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small batch 2016: Clear, slightly veiled golden color, with low activity. Thick foamy, and slightly frothy, white 3-4 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with good legs and lace, and a bit of swirl effect. Flavors of caramel, sweet grains, rye, lemon, peach, green grapes, wild yeast, noble spices. Straw and roasted bread feel, a bit of zest, with sugary and bitter soft piney hops. Slick and oily medium to full body with prickly and crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength finish, hay and barnyard feel from brett yeast, fruity esters and wheathy, long dry floral noble hops tongue coat, and faint wet corn. Lacking Belgian characters, not as grainy nor fresh. More like an dry hopped IPA. Still highly refreshing and quite tasty. The hops are really nice and of high quality, slightly dry while enough sweet to salivate. Overall excellent quality craft.

Feb 11, 2017
Photo of taxandbeerguy
taxandbeerguy from Ontario (Canada)

3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from the LCBO for around $6 CDN. This rendition is advertised at 6.0% ABV.

Appearance - A rich deep golden color with modest clarity. A fine finger of loose soapy head is poured and above average staying power. Quite of of lacing left at the edges of the glass and good carbonation throughout.

Smell - Lots of earthy and grainy notes, dank hops and just a hint of Belgian funk. Grain plus sweaty gym socks upon repeated sniffs. Sort of an Orval type barnyard funk just not executed as well.

Taste - More assertive bitterness than expected with some wet straw, light grassy flavors and just a hint of candi sugar and sweetness. Balanced and quite good.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with plenty of carbonation, medium body and plenty of tongue numbing dryness.

Overall - A pretty solid Belgian pale ale, but just misses the upper echelons that make me really want to repurchase this. Certainly worth a try and solid representation of the style.

Jan 10, 2017
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck from Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; now listed at 6.0% as part of their Farmhouse Series of bottle conditioned beers. Bottled Nov 23 2016 and served well-chilled.

Pours a lightly hazed golden-yellow colour, absolutely brimming with tiny bubbles of effervescence which constantly zip towards the surface. The full inch of puffy, billowing, sparkling white foam suspended atop demonstrates exceptional resilience; it's as full and persistent as the head of any quality imported Belgian pale ale. Ten minutes later, it has finally receded to a more manageable cap about a finger high, complete with a generous collar and full coat of lacing. Flat out gorgeous. Wet straw, grassy hay and floral, herbal hops come through on the nose, along with some subtle spiciness from the yeast. Hints of pale malt, grain husks and lemon zest. Quite appealing; the "rustic" farmhouse label seems applicable.

Interesting flavours. The pilsener malts provide clean notes of crackery sweetness and whole grains, with orchard fruit flavours of apple, white grape and lemon zest noticeable by mid-sip. The noble hops and yeast character make their mark on the back end, supplying notes of grassy hay and floral herbs, mingling together with a subtly peppery spiciness. Finishes with some bitterness, followed by a pointedly dry aftertaste. Medium in body, with prickly, assertive carbonation levels that give this beer a nice, crisp bite - the best way to finish off a dry brew like this one, IMO.

Final Grade: 4.08, an A-. I've enjoyed all of Amsterdam's Farmhouse Series beers, but 18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale might actually be my favourite so far (save for the Maverick & Gose, which was seriously outstanding). You won't find any wet horse blankets or barnyard funk here - no, it's more like a rustic, well-kept country homestead not too far off the beaten path... familiar in some ways, yet proud of its heritage and stubbornly clinging to tradition, which ironically makes it inherently distinct. More along the lines of a pilsener crossed with a saison than anything, and as a noble hop lover, that's fine by me.

Jan 09, 2017
18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale from Amsterdam Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 15 ratings