Time for another can and, as luck would have it, I am on the pale ale again. Which is fine, because sometimes it can help enlighten a pretty dark day. No, not that kind of dark, just long enough that I left before sunrise and got home long after sunset. It has been a very long day with many demands on my time, so obviously it is a good time to crack open a can of Fourpure's finest in the form of Session IPA which, I am reliably informed by the can, is inspired by New York.
Leaving aside the rather dubious assertion of similarity twixt a city and an ale (and I'm a fine one to talk) I shall endeavour to do my best to describe the ale in a review. Would you like to know more?
It's another canned effort and, like most of these cans, it opens without too much in the way of activity and yet it was a little more than I was expecting. Not quite fizzing and annoying like a soft-drink but certainly a little more active than would have been otherwise optimal when getting our small rodent out for an exercise, and he was rather keen on chewing the wallpaper, mind you, it made for a pretty head that built up quickly and calmed just as fast. One of the great advantages of the canned delivery is that it is less affected by the rather large differences in temperature in my pantry and thus was able to survive relatively well after being procured some time around September. Also, it poured with a nice copper aspect to it that did rather put me in mind of the Golden Pippin (click here) from a whole back. The aroma was very different, however, there was a definite clear smell, putting me in mind of citra, but mainly it was that fresh breeze that I associate with New World hops and not dissimilar to New World (click here) though a little more refined. Decent amount of bubbles and a steady stream to a diminishing head.
Fruity hops bomb on the tongue, detonating powerfully with tendrils scattered far and wide across the mouth so that there is a full feel to it despite the overall thin quality of the ale. A good warming sensation follows, welcome as the heating hasn't been on all day, and then it fizzes busily about the teeth and gums, running down the sides of the cheeks and jowls in much the same way as the chinchilla was running about on the floor. Jumping up to run along the wall occasionally with a loud squeak much like the sudden flashes of fruit and hops from the warm yeasty malt playing host to the floor of the brew. A quick move then down to the back of the mouth where the activity has one last pop before disappearing into the throat and moving into a dried fruit sensation for the aftertaste. There's a feeling like this is one of the better lagers, in terms of feeling that it quenches one's thirst, and it put me in mind of the sort of fayre one would have in summer.
This is another reminder of the fact that I eschewed Fourpure when I was up in Leeds last September and I feel that I rather missed out on that occasion. That said, I was able to get hold of this from my local supermarket at a rate that made me feel as though I wasn't paying the earth so I really cannot complain. Not seen it since. As a pale I think it does a decent job and plays the role for which it has been cast rather well. I cannot speak for how well it matches the idea of being inspired by New York but it is most unlike any of the cities I have visited. Not brash or loud or garish enough to really match them when people are milling about but nor is it so quiet and retiring that one would make it rural. Maybe a tourist destination just out of season - not dead by any means but with more than the merely local traffic. I'm thinking Windermere in February or the Norfolk Broads in October. There's activity and light and some decent oomph there and I quite like that understated air.
It's not going to convince me to move from the stouts I have lined up but nor would I say to avoid it as a winter ale. I think it would suit the summer and spring better, maybe with something grilled rather than a roast and it would even stand a decent salad. Mind you, this is, as the name suggests, an ale to drink rather than savour, a quaffer rather than a sipper and the sort that would stand multiple repeat tastings of an evening. At 4.2% ABV it is a tad on the stronger side but not so much so that you'd do yourself damage. Enjoyable pale ale brewed with enjoyment and had with some relief!