Thursday, October 2, 2014

Alesmith's Iconoclastic Evil Dead Red

For fall beers you have your Oktoberfest, your pumpkin, and your wet hop IPA.  Then you have Alesmith's unique fall beer, Evil Dead Red.  It has the big malt of an Oktoberfest beer, but comparisons to the other fall beers stop there.  It has a healthy hop bitterness, but not enough bitterness to be confused with an IPA, and surely not a wet hop IPA.  Best of all it has no pumpkin flavors.  Evil Dead Red stands alone, like Michael Myers in the middle of a dark, country road.

Evil Dead Red's most prominent feature, to me, was its upfront dryness, which made the initial, constricting swallow seem like the beer was stuck in the back my throat.  I can't think of a dryer, non-Belgian beer than this red ale.  The mahogany-colored beer had a sweetness from the malts, and its piney bitterness was sharp and shared attention with the grain, which together overwhelmed the chalk and unclenched my throat.  The malts commanded the finish with a variety of flavors, lead by a smokey base, and complementary tastes of mineral and tobacco.  The abv is 6.66% - what else could it be for Halloween? - and its presence was noticed, adding some heat to a wild flavor mix.   I liked Evil Dead Read, it is one of the more interesting fall beers, and I liked that AleSmith decided to make a good beer, and not worry about conforming to a particular seasonal style. 

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