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Ale Asylum
Madison, WI

Style: American Pale Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
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I guess the gold standard for the American pale ale, or APA for those who just need to use acronyms, would be Sierra Nevada’s version, but I can’t say I get all tingly when it comes to APAs. When I saw an offering in the style by Madison’s highly promising Ale Asylum, I did get a little excited, though.

The Hopalicious comes out of the bottle a beautiful deep hazy gold topped with a silky off-white, extremely fine-bubbled head. You can smell the hops right out of the gate, and it’s obvious we’re smelling copious amounts of the Cascade variety—all citrusy goodness along the lines of orange peels and grapefruit. Sure enough, the bottle talks about, count ’em, 11 separate additions of Cascade hops during the brewing process.

But apparently they were all added at the end of the boil or during dry-hopping, because super-hoppy in taste this brew is not—I’d really gotten my hop hopes high after the nose. It comes in with a decidedly medium mouthfeel with a fairly light body. Some of the citrusy character from the aroma carries through to the palate, only a bit muted. The backwash has just the tiniest bit of harshness to it, at the tip of the tongue. Otherwise this a very clean-tasting brew.

Overall a nice APA, a solid offering from a brewery that I think is bound for big things down the road. Give this baby a little more body and another shot of bittering hops, and I’d award it a big four mug rating. But as it is, it’s a good beer that can’t really separate itself from a pretty crowded pack.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on April 30, 2007.
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