Alley Kat Full Moon Pale Ale

Reviewed by on November 8, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB

  • Rated On: July 3, 2013

  • Best Before: September 21, 2013

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American-style Pale Ale

  • Rating: WORLD-CLASS !!!

The Review

This Alley Kat product is broadly available around the province, and in some various spots elsewhere in the country. It is a classic west-coast American pale ale, aided in large part by the use of 2 of the big ‘C’ hops – Centennial and Cascade – in both the brewing and dry-hop stages. It is a personal favourite of mine, as I will drink this beer on tap no matter where I find it, which has until lately, been a small number of places here in Edmonton, its birthplace. Why this isn’t available at Folk Fest or more watering holes on Whyte Ave, is fuel for further discussion, but beyond the current scope.

This 341ml bottle pours a clear, medium pale brassy amber hue, with two healthy fingers of foamy, moderately puffy eggshell-white head, which melts away in a New York minute, leaving a solid low-lying band of roiling seascape lace around the glass.

It smells of bready, lightly toasted cereal malt, grapefruit/orange citrus, with a hint of sweet lemon tea, and floral, faintly grassy hops. The taste starts with a decent dose of bitter citrusy hops (still with the orange and grapefruit, why mess with success?), followed by a grassy, leafy essence, and is quickly rounded out by the slightly semi-sweet, pastry-tinged caramel malt backbone. The carbonation is on the low-fi side, but moderate enough to provide the support this needs, the body on the leeward side of medium weight, and adequately smooth. It finishes mostly dry and lingeringly hoppy.

The key here with this (if not, then soon to be) Canadian classic is balance, eh, producing an apparently dry, fragrant, and ultimately satisfying pale ale. It definitely is pushing the pale ale/IPA boundary, which to me makes it eminently drinkable. NB: a few of my friends think Full Moon tastes like soap. I suppose it does have that perceivable characteristic of certain aromatic, floral hops, but that doesn’t take anything away from it whatsoever, IMHO.

Brady White

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