Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beer Review: Frog Level Salamander Slam IPA

I was recently given a half growler of this beer by a colleague.  One of our local distributors has added this small brewery from Waynesville, NC to their portfolio, and we have subsequently picked it up for our cold case. 

Waynesville is in the far Western corner of North Carolina, very close to the Tennessee border, at the edge of the Smoky Mountains.  This is one of my favorite parts of our adopted state.  If you haven't been up the Blue Ridge in the autumn when the leaves are turning, or rafted one of the numerous rivers in this part of the  country, I highly recommend that you get to it.  Nearby Asheville is also a beer lover's playground, and a charming little city.  It can be a bit crunchy, but it's lots of fun.

This beer only comes packaged in half- growlers (about two pints), and carries remarkably little information on the bottle.   From what I can glean from their website, this comes in at 7% ABV.   It pours with good clarity, and has a lovely amber gold color.  It had only a very gentle carbonation, and left an almost nonexistent head, but I figure that's on account of this being packaged in a baby growler.  I reckon it displays a bit better straight from the tap, or from a bottle, if and when they start packaging it differently.

One of the things I really liked about this beer is that it was not an uber-hoppy, punch-you in-the-mouth type IPA.   There's a good dose of malt in addition to the citrusy-piney bitter note.  The Salamander Slam has a faintly nutty flavor as well.  It has very nice balance, and is eminently drinkable.  A mellow and pleasant beer.

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