Green Man Toad the Wet Hop Ale

The last Green Man beer was pretty good. This one is a special brew honoring Toad the Wet Sprocket. It never occurred to me that a band would issue a commemorative beer, but that appears to be something along the lines of the case. Presumably they have high standards, and this beer must have passed the test with all the band members, roadies, managers, etc. So, let's hope they all liked good beer.

The color is a murky brown with the Photoshop/GIMP red hue turned slightly up. The fulsome head is thick with big, round carbonation bubbles, and it leaves gentle if somewhat spartan lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thicker than the head, with the smell of floral hops, lemon, and dinner rolls wafting from the top of the beer.

First sip isn't fantastic. The beer is trying too hard to be different, and every little component is getting in the way of a good beer. One of the tricks for making a good ale is to give it enough malt in the right way to keep the hops from turning too bitter. In a lager, the malts are featured, but they are supposed to be a controlling factor in an ale. In this case, the sweet malt overpowers the hops. The hops are struggling, but they only impart a bitterness without a good flavor. Maybe a swig will solve things.

Tip-in is carbonation burn with very slight floral hops and a tiny, tiny bit of lemon. Not much actually gets past that carbonation. The middle actually isn't that bad. It's definitely malty, with the sweet malt covering most of the carbonation burn. There may be some hops hidden in the background, but I wouldn't second guess someone telling me they aren't there. The finish drags the overall rating for this beer down. It hits with severe pine and tries with minimal effort to cover it with a bit of sweet toffee, but the damage is done, and it lingers too long.

Bottom Line: A rough beverage to like, this is not the best example of an ale. I suspect they can do better.



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