Bench Creek Naked Woodsman Pale Ale

Reviewed by on April 18, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Bench Creek Brewing

  • Origin: Yellowhead County, AB, CA

  • Rated On: April 18, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Canadian Pale Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Bench Creek Brewing comes all the way, a few hours or so, to we who are East of Edson (for all you Captain Tractor fans)! And why does this offering’s name make me think of that line from the Simpsons: ‘the squid looks like it’s been hacked by a blind woodsman’?

This 473ml can pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two brash fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves a wall of pockmarked limestone lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of grainy and rather biscuity pale and caramel malt, bristling, if somewhat muddled citrus pith and pine needle astringencies, a genial wet stone path flintiness, and more leafy, weedy, and floral noble hops. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, a touch of a biscuity caramel sweetness that is becoming an increasingly ‘remember when?’ thing, some reduced chalky earthiness, still tame white grapefruit and orange rind fruity notes, and more heady leafy, wet hay-like, and floral hop bitters.  The carbonation is fairly plain, yet duly supportive in its quotidian frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and more or less smooth, just a wee airy pithiness arising as things warm faster than they should have any claim to around here right now. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity pale malt and lingering hops looking like they want to call it a day, but we know better than that, don’t we?

Overall, a decent and very pleasant rendering of the style, if maybe a bit too beholden to the old world ways (ESB), as opposed to the current influence of our southern neighbours (APA). The difference is really moot, of course, as that only makes this all the more Canadian, which is a misunderstanding that I’d like to put to bed once and for all, and new Alberta craft brewing scenesters like Bench Creek are making it oh so easy to do so.

Brady White

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