07 January 2010

BEER REVIEW: Clipper City - Yule Tide

The latest addition to Baltimore's own Clipper City Brewing Company - Mutiny Fleet is their holiday brew Yule Tide, a Belgian style triple ale, which like the rest of the Mutiny Fleet is distributed in 22 ounce bombers.  I realize I'm a little behind on this one being January now and all, but I have been busy and besides, its still cold out (below freezing where I live) which makes a strong holiday ale just right.  As I said, Yule Tide is a belgian style triple which is 10% ABV / 10 IBU.  It is brewed with two kinds of hops and four kinds of malts which they didn't specify.  Additionally it includes trappist yeast and Belgian candi sugar.

It poured with an attractive, slightly hazy, amber / orange color which I place at about a 13 on the Standard Reference Method (SRM) scale.  It didn't produce any real head or lace but what was there was thin and white to slightly off-white in color.  It also appeared to be mildly carbonated with some slow rising bubbles persisting throughout.  The initial aroma was a treat; very sweet and molasses-like with perhaps subtle notes of apricot.  The first sip was crisp and slightly sweet at first, giving way immediately to a mild spiciness, subtle citrus notes, and not much bitterness.  There was no strong alcohol taste or associated heat; however, some taste was mildly present.  The mouthfeel was at first tingly on the tongue, then soft and nondescript on the cheeks, followed by a little creaminess mostly on the tongue.  The final pour had plenty of floaties, mostly yeast of course which laid on the bottom of the glass, but there were some which were suspended in the liquid column up to two inches from the bottom and were darker in color, perhaps undissolved spices.

Overall, Clipper City's Yule Tide was OK but I didn't desire another one when I was finished.  To be fair though, I am not often a fan of some of the Belgian styles so as to not unfairly bias my review, I evaluated it against the standards of the Beer Judge Certification Program.  Yule Tide seemed to generally fall within the accepted parameters of Belgian triples and I thought it was medium in body (+/-), but on the down side in my opinion it was perhaps a little syrupy and I didn't care for the "coated" feeling it left in my mouth for some time after finishing.  As always, try it for yourself and you be the judge, the best beer is the one you like.

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