You don’t see a whole lot of English style beers being brewed in the state, but Black Mesa decided early on to make this one of its flagship year-round beers. They also make a double strength version, and at some point they aged it in cognac barrels. I didn’t get to sample that one, unfortunately. While this beer is brewed at O’Fallon in Missouri, they named it after a Woody Guthrie reference, so they get a pass.
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached.
Company: Black Mesa Brewing Co.
Location: Oklahoma City, OK (brewed at O’Fallon Brewery in Maryland Heights, MO)
Style/Description: Extra Special Bitter
Price: $8 (4-pack bottles)
Appearance: Clear amber copper pour, light head, moderate lacing.
Nose: Mild aroma of sweet caramel grains and lightly fruity British esters.
Taste: Biscuity caramel malts start off strong, then the grassy spicy hops kick in for the finish. Some raisin fruit flavors come in with interesting whiffs of tobacco and hay. Black pepper and mild resins in the hops, with moderate flowery esters. Medium carb, a little oily, thick strong mouthfeel.
Finish: Lingering bitter hops finish this, with some residual sweetness. Some coppery leftovers.
Overall: I generally enjoy a good bitter, something of medium-low strength, but still with some taste to it. This was a strange one, very hoppy for the style, but the sweet perfume British flavor profiles come through, though a little washed out by the hops. Nice beer, I’ll have it again!