Bearded Iris Again & Again Pale Ale

Bearded Iris - these guys try. Do they succeed? Yes and mostly yes. Even their worst beer is still not the worst thing ever. And their better beers are pretty damn good. They seem to like to make ales, and I'm certainly okay with that.

My prediction was that this, like every other Bearded Iris beer I've had so far, would be a murky kind of juice-like yellow-gold. Sure enough, this is lighter in color than the others, but it could totally pass for a juice of some dank citrus fruit. The aroma does not follow, though. It is fruity, but it has a solid thick-crust biscuit malt really nailing it down. The head leaves a ton of lacing - possibly the most of any Bearded beer I've seen.

First sip is sharp and bitter. It's like a slice of a dull bitter knife that hits and then runs away really fast. Flavors are there, but they kind of get hit with that bitterness, and it's hard to really pick them out well. I did taste citrus, mango, pear, and maybe some plum. I don't think I would sip this regularly; I might go straight to gulp.

Tip-in is muted with citrus, pine, and a solid carbonation burn. The middle rolls in with a bitter top that is right at the roof of the mouth like the Sword of Damocles hovering over biscuits, crust, citrus, mango, plum, and they all manage to cut through the bitter. The finish is a solid bitterness with a snap-crisp stab that virtually stops the bitterness and leaves the citrus meat as the trail-off.

Bottom Line: Challenging, but worth the try.

2.75/5

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