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Stoudts American Pale Ale from Adamstown, Pennsylvania
Serving style: Bottle, poured into glass
Location: My apartment
Cost: $13 six pack
ABV: 5.0 %
Appearance: Well, there’s a giant American flag on the bottle, so it has to be pretty obvious why I chose this brew for this particular week. Forgetting about the label, though, the actual beer looks quite lovely, pouring a bright orange, bubbly substance that gives off a nice golden hue just slightly darker than an average beer. The head is about 1 inch, and sticks around for about a minute before fizzing out.
Aroma: The pale ale’s scent is a pleasant blend of citrus hops, malt, and bread. However, it’s nothing too overpowering, so the subtlety comes across as inviting. That was an enjoyable surprise, because let’s be honest, in our day and age, I expected a beer with an American Flag on it to be a bit, uh, louder with its aroma.
Taste: The APA has a bready base initially, with a bit of sweetness trailing, but by mid drink, the hops really come alive. All the subtleties of the aroma jump out in the taste. I even caught a bit of caramel, which was unexpected since I didn’t notice that in the scent. However, where this beer truly soars (like a bald eagle! America!) is the aftertaste, which is just bitter enough to make you want another sip.
Mouthfeel: The American Pale Ale is a well-bodied brew, but nothing too extravagant. The light carbonation lets it go down smoothly, and it finishes crisply and cleanly, but, c’mon! This is a beer with an American flag on the bottle and that’s made in Pennsylvania. Shouldn’t drinking it feel like you’re chewing on a sheet of American steel while hanging out in the back of a Chevy truck?
Overall Experience: I liked this beer, obviously, but I don’t know, perhaps my expectations were too high, because I felt disappointed. (After all, I did drink this brew while wearing an American Flag T-shirt, on the 4th of July, and in my living room, where an American Flag hangs on the wall.) But this just seemed like your average pale ale. Not that there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re a brewing company and you slap an American Flag on the side of a beer bottle, that beer should at least taste like Ronald Reagan’s hair or something.