Alley Kat New Moon Cascadian Dark Ale

Reviewed by on January 24, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB

  • Rated On: January 23, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Cascadian Dark Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Alley Kat released their first Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) as part of the brewery’s 15th anniversary series in 2010.  It was well received back then, so they’ve released it again, in the Big Bottle Series, dubbed it ‘New Moon’, and this time made it with Simcoe and Citra hops.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, very dark reddish cola hue, with a handful of puffy, almost fizzy, and certainly foamy rising ecru head, which leaves some patchy dried soap scum lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of somewhat clammy tropical fruit – kiwi and passionfruit, mainly – with a particular uric acid acridity, lightly roasted bready caramel malt, faint dry chocolate, wet fir needles, and further earthy, overripe melon hop notes. The taste is more south seas tropical fruit hoppiness up front – breadfruit, mango, and a well-toned down cat pee essence – a nicely toasted and rounded caramel malt, ethereal cocoa powder, and some forest floor greenery hops. No sign at all of the near eight points of alcohol. The carbonation is quite lively, as noted right out of the gate, but it quickly settles to a keen frothiness, the body a decently innocuous medium weight, and actually fairly smooth, just a wee hard water flintiness mucking about. It finishes off-dry, the underlying sweetness of the malt not ready to fully let go, and the fruitiness of the hops still rather evident.

Once again, my biases towards a given style are duly curb-stomped. Alley Kat’s latest CDA is full of sturdy dark malt and tantalizing worldly hops, sure, but we all knew that going in. The big deal here for me is the lack of char, the dearth of blackened acerbity, which leaves this as one easy-drinking example of a style that I can now envision anew. They’ve been a bit quiet about New Moon, so I would suggest you best seek it out on your own.

Brady White

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