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Pelican India Pelican Ale

December 28th, 2010 beckel

Today I have a brew from Pelican Pub & Brewery out of Pacific City, OR. I know almost nothing of Pelican other than the massive notoriety received for their Mother of all Storms, a barrel aged Barleywine. Their website doesn’t say much about their history but it appears they have been winning countless awards since 1996. I was lucky enough to get this brew sent to me by an acquaintance from the area, but it appears you can also order their brews directly from their website, though the shipping is rather steep and they don’t ship to Minnesota…

Pours an attractive copper hue that is very translucent. Over three fingers of tight off white head blossomed as I poured, slowly but steadily building and creating an enjoyable presentation. A vast amount of lacing and residual head are left behind, but what is more impressive is the aroma. Fantastic notes of grapefruit, orange & lemon support an assertive bitterness and enough malt to create just the aroma I am looking for in an IPA. Hops are not as forward in the flavor with malty sweetness hitting my palate first, evolving into solid bitter esters and then the citrus hop notes found in the aroma finally shine. Intense grapefruit is the primary player in the hop profile making the use of Cascade abundantly obvious. The malt backbone is spot on to support the serious hops used in this brew but currently I am getting a notable astringency that could possibly come from the quantity of hops and overall bitterness of the brew, but more likely has to do with the hops deteriorating over time. This bottle has been sitting in my fridge for about two months and while the bottle isn’t dated I fear I have left this brew to stew for too long. Even with the imperfection that I fear I am at fault for this is one damn good beer with pretty much everything I am looking for in a quality India Pale Ale.  Body is medium and the mouthfeel is reasonably light for the style. At 7.5% ABV this ale is far too drinkable for those who love hops. The intense bitterness is more than enough to completely distract your palate from the alcohol content and encourage you to drink this 22oz bottle with out  a second thought. As the beer warms, or perhaps as I get used to it, the astringency lessens but I would still love to try this brew fresh from the tap for comparison. If you enjoy bitter, citrus laden, hop forward IPAs you will certainly enjoy this brew. A very solid ale that I wish I could get in my market. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Pelican India Pelican Ale