Tallgrass Key Lime Pie Ale

Tallgrass has my respect. They are a relatively small brewery that manages to put out many interesting beers (including the absolutely fantastic Buffalo Sweat series). They try new things, and they usually do pretty well, so I like to encourage the testing of the waters. This might be a little too much of a test, I fear.

There is no spoon. Additionally, there is no head. I mean, this has bupkis after the very rapid settling; there isn't even the usual ring around the top of the beer that even the skimpiest of heads can manage. If it weren't for the fact that this is continuing to effervesce, I'd be convinced that this was a cider. Speaking of cider, the color is a very cider-like gold that puts me in mind of apple juice. The aroma is slight lime, but there is more vanilla and grains (maybe a crust).

First sip is very... unique. I was told that this would taste just like key lime pie, and I can't say that I agree. It does manage to have both a tartness and a sweetness going on at the same time, and I get the constituent ingredients like lime, vanilla, and a crusty malt, but I'm not seeing the actual pie before me. Instead, I am definitely thinking about an ale, but it is a confused ale to say the least. Perhaps my patent-pending swig will suss this out.

Tip-in is sharp tartness and heavy lime with carbonation tingle all over the place (but not burning). The middle opens into a sweet kind of lime, crust, and grains mix that is certainly not unpleasant. The finish come along and brings a surge of vanilla creaminess with a top that is lightly toasted. The finish is EXACTLY what this beer needs to have.

Bottom Line: Inevitably a novelty beer, but it's an interesting novelty.

3.5/5

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