B.C. Beer Reviews is back to take a look at the first entry from Off The Rail Brewing of Vancouver, British Columbia. Off The Rail is known for their bright and vibrant labels. They are also known for their interesting takes on American Pale Ales and IPAs.
B.C. Beer Reviews with Nic Hendrickson: Off The Rail Brewing – SMaSH APA
While Off The Rail Brewing tries all sorts of styles, they are best known for Pale Ales and IPAs. This is showcased by their two most popular beers: Raj Mahal India Ale and their Crazy Train IPA.
To stay in line with their interesting takes, they made this SMaSH (single malt and single hop) with an experimental hop. This hop is labeled 6X1-331-001, and it is reported to impart characteristics of passion fruit and guava. This goes along with light bitterness.
Let’s take a look at this interesting take on what is a very popular style right now.
There is a light golden hue, both in the pour and in the glass. This is spot on with the American Pale Ale style. There is also a very slight haziness, but only just a bit.
The SMaSH beer consists of an ESB malt and the experimental hop 6X1-331-001. As stated above, this hop is supposed to impart strong notes of both passion fruit and guava. This is reported to be in both the nose/aroma and the tasting notes.
The guava comes through fantastically in this beer. It has a strong smack of tropical fruit notes in the nose/aroma.
As for the passion fruit, this doesn’t come through nearly as much. You get hints of it, but the guava is certainly much more predominant.
As for the malty sweetness you would expect from an ESB malt, you only get a bit of it. It certainly is a background note to what is a very powerful smelling hop. It’s a nice compliment to the tropical and fruit notes.
The tropical notes truly do shine through in this beer. Much like in the nose/aroma of the beer the guava comes through stronger than anything else.
The passion fruit, much like in the nose/aroma, is a bit more in the background. It is not powerful whatsoever, but it adds another note of fruity tropical notes to this one.
There is a very light sweetness from the malts, but it is certainly in the background. You only get the malty notes on the back end of your palate, and it is certainly overpowered by the potency of this experimental hop.
This truly is an interesting, and very tasty, addition to the popular single malt, single hop beer style.
The can has branding/labeling that is common to Off The Rail Brewing. It is bright, vibrant and somewhat chaotic. It definitely catches your eye.
The beer poured a very thick head. The head retention was almost as impressive as the head that was produced. It did not go away until the beer was drunk. Impressive, to say the least.
There was a decent bit of lacing, but nothing overly significant. Patches of lacing on the glass, but no thick rings coating the glasses.
This beer was fairly carbonated, giving it a crisp bite on the back end of your palate. It goes well with the super tropical and citrus notes that dominate the nose/aroma and the tasting notes.
A very smooth finish from the malt is complimented nicely by the crisp carbonation level.
The nose/aroma is delicious. It is a super inviting version of tropical and fruity notes. As stated above, the guava is the predominant scent with the passion fruit playing sidekick and only a slight bit of the malty sweetness.
The tasting notes follow suit with the nose/aroma, and there is only a rather light bitterness with this hop. It would be interesting to see this one used with a simple Pilsner malt or maybe even a Maris Otter to showcase the hops more.
The branding/labeling is, as always, eye-catching. The mouthfeel is nice, and so is the carbonation level.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved