Today I have infront of me my first brew from Eel River Brewing Company out of Scotia, California. Apparently they were the first brewery to become USDA Certified Organic and I am very curious to see what their brews have to offer, particularly as their tag line is a very agreeable “Be Natural, Drink Naked”. I have had a few organic beers now but upon seeing this beer on the shelves of The Four Firkins I was inclined to pick it up because of its high ABV. Though there is no reason organic breweries can’t make big beers this is the first one I have noticed and am ever so excited to try it. This is an Old Ale with an insane IBU of close to 100 that has won over a dozen medals in the past 5 years so lets see what it has to offer. This beer pours a rather dark raisin color that brightens in light but is still very opaque. Head is off white and a solid three fingers that fade after a number of minutes leaving a little bit of lacing around the glass. The aroma of this beer is delightfully rich. Strong scents of dark pitted fruits such as date and raisin accent the sweet malt profile which is complimented by a bit of bitterness and some noticeable alcohol. The flavor of this beer is quite interesting. Sweet smooth malt hits the tongue first but quickly transitions into a roasted malt flavors that are equally smooth. The dark pitted fruit flavor accents are present throughout and the bittering hops create a nice compliment for the somewhat roasted finish. Though alcohol is noticeable in the flavor of this brew I feel it is reasonably subtle for a 9.7% ABV beverage. The mouthfeel of this beer is a bit sticky but at the same time it is incredibly smooth and goes down very easy, additionally the body isn’t particularly heavy. This is a solid American inspired Old Ale and will likely be enjoyed particularly by those who appreciate a flavorful smooth malty beer that still has enough hop to contrast but not burn your palate with bitterness. Give it a shot and ride your bike.