Hell’s Basement Polly’s Pale Ale

Reviewed by on September 28, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Hell's Basement

  • Origin: Medicine Hat, AB, CA

  • Rated On: September 28, 2016

  • Best Before: the end of the week

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Pale Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Hell’s Basement is Medicine Hat, Alberta’s newest (and only?) craft brewery, having been open just a month or so now.  Their pale ale is named after a local stagecoach driver, of all things.

This 946ml crowler pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three fat-ass fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some decent layered sudsy lace around the glass as it evenly sinks away.

It smells of grainy and bready caramel malt, a none too subtle buttered biscuit character, a touch of untethered yeast, subtle spicy mixed peppercorn notes, and barely off-setting leafy, citrusy, and verdant hop bitters.  The taste is more semi-sweet, grainy and caramel-focused maltiness, indistinct bruised orchard fruit, an ephemeral peppery essence, a faint sense of roasty ashiness, and some still kind of muddled citrusy, herbal, and piney hoppiness.  The carbonation is adequate for the required supportive job via its quotidian frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a subtle creaminess milling about once things warm up a tad.  It finishes on the sweet side, with the lingering biscuity caramel character holding a shotgun that would deter any sort of misguided suitor.

Overall, this nascent brewing operation’s pale ale tends toward the sweet, which I can by no means fault them for, given the stereotypical drivel propagated by those who seem to know better.  However, in this case, it might very well be that they do – Polly want a cracker to go with all that sugary goodness?

Brady White

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