SweetWater Motor Boat Ale

A "catch and Release Seasonal" which is still well within its ascribed season, as the bottle says it is best enjoyed before the end of November. As I write this in mid October, there is plenty of time to drink up. The last two SweetWater beers I've had ranged only from the bad to the moderate.

The color is a somewhat murky light brown. the head is a sticky heap of tiny bubbles mixed with a few big baddies. And when I say sticky, you bet it clings to the sides, leaving a nice layer as the beverage goes down. the aroma is very light, and it is only with great effort that I can smell the hops, and it is only at the extremes of my olfactory senses that I can sense the hops.

A sip reveals the bitterness of the hops and little else. I have had hoppy beers before, and I generally like them. This one is all bite and no taste. My brother once told me that he always thought that the difference between Frank's Red Hot and Tabasco Sauce was that Frank's was hot with taste, and Tabasco was all heat. This beer hits with all the bitterness with very little taste. One might be fooled into thinking that an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) would be more bitter than a regular ale, but - in practice - they usually aren't. this is. Of course, it might be better suited to a big swig, and that's what is coming next.

Drinking quickly is better. The tip-in is a little bitter, but you can taste the flowery hops. As the drink progresses, the middle stretches out into a clam but flavorful grain stew. As the finish approaches, the harsh bite of bitterness takes hold, and it holds on relentlessly until the end. Even the taste remaining on the lips lets you know you have sampled one of the most bitter beers out there.

The overall effect of the beer is a strong one. I imagine this would stand up well to some spicy food or something similarly heavy. As a beer to drink while watching the game or TV, I would definitely pick something else.



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