Name: 5 Barrel Pale Ale
Brewery: Odell Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Fort Collins, Colorado
Style: English Pale Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.2%
First Brewed: 1994
Odell’s 5 Barrel is bright amber in color with a dense white head. It has a rich nose of spicy, citrus hops and warm bready malt aromas. With a creamy mouthfeel and zesty hop character, this beer really shines because of its biscuity malt backbone and sweet, dry finish.
I was just chatting with Steve Thompson today on Facebook. I wasn’t really chatting, but he posted a picture of the Odell wheat beer. I commented that Odell doesn’t make a bad beer. I’m right. Try to find a beer they brew that isn’t at least good… most are great. I am not usually a fan of pale ales, but I am excited to see what this tastes like. Hopefully there are some hops in there. Cool story about where the name came from, so if nothing else we have that!
In the Glass: I wish you could see the head on this beer. I don’t need a glass, I need a spoon! It is thick, white, and looks like a pillow sitting on top of this beer. I didn’t pour it right, but still. Most beers don’t produce such an impressive head. I am going to let that settle before I stick my nose in there.
UPDATE: After letting the head settle, the beer was practically “frozen” to the side of the glass. As I am swirling this around in the glass, the foam picks back up.
Nose: There are some hops there, but not a lot. I wasn’t expecting a lot of hoppiness in the aroma, but had my fingers crossed for more than I am smelling. I am getting some herbal notes and maybe a little bit of spice. If you are new to pale ales, this is a good beer to just sit and smell. You can smell enough hops not to overwhelm your nostrils and you can get an idea of what a pale (bitter) beer will taste like.
Flavor: Considering what the beer smells like, I didn’t expect it to have that much flavor. Your palate is just hit with fluffy hoppy goodness. The beer is also easy to drink, which means I could sit here and chug a few of these. This is a style that is popular in warmer climates because it’s not too hoppy to destroy your palate, but is easy to drink and refreshing on a hot summer day. (Or a hot summer night here in Arizona.)
Mouthfeel: At first, you are hit with a lot of bubbles. I almost wonder if that is because of how I poured this. The head is gone, but it reminds me of a sip of Sprite. As the beer moves across the palate, it thins out and leaves a nice layer of flavor on your tongue leading to a nice, somewhat hoppy aftertaste.
Aftertaste: I like drinking India pale ales for the aftertaste. I am a hop head, for lack of a better term. Pale ales are a great way for someone to be introduced to hops, as a lot of pales will use similar hop profiles. Brewers really get crazy when playing with an IPA recipe. But most pale ales will have a similar flavor. This is a typical example of this style, and while the aftertaste leaves some subtle hops behind, it isn’t my favorite part of this beer. Too dry for a true hop experience.
Odell doesn’t make a bad beer. Find me an Odell beer that isn’t great, and I will drink it! Hopefully, when we start writing our book, we will be able to visit Odell and see things from inside the facility. If nothing else, we will go, tour the brewery, and just drink their beer!
5 Barrel Pale Ale – The bottle says: “5 Barrel Pale Ale is a nod to our hard working pilot brewing system, where our brewers have crafted and perfected new recipes five barrels at a time. The distinctive hop character of our 5 Barrel Pale Ale is derived from essential oils of select hops. Four hop additions during the kettle boil, an infusion of the choice whole flower hops in the Hop Back, and finally, dry hopping gives the beer a fresh, lively flavor and floral aromas.”
I really know nothing about today’s beer. Ricky’s trying to tell me about it, but I’m not listening. When he first poured it out, my thought was that it was another one of those beers that looks kind of like orange juice in the glass. It is bright orange and very thick. Like, most of the time with orange beers, you can somewhat see through the glass. Not this one. Trust me, looks like orange juice. I’m sure Ricky will disagree.
The beer also had a lot of head when poured. It took a while to dissipate. In fact, mine has been sitting there for a few minutes, and it still has some head left floating there on top. It’s that thick, marshmallowy kind of head. It smells like… hops. Uh-oh, another IPA? Well, it’s at least not a strong smell. The beer mostly smells spicy to me. Time to find out how it tastes!
Surprisingly, this beer really doesn’t taste hoppy to me. It’s very thick, as evidenced by its appearance in the glass. Even the taste reminds me somewhat of orange juice! It’s got a very orangey, spicy, thick taste to it. Imagine a Blue Moon only thicker and hopper, that’s this beer. This is the kind of beer I can imagine sitting outside drinking. Not a really warm day, but a comfortable one. Kind of like today here in Arizona. Probably not at the top of the list, but this is a beer I might buy again if I was in the right mood for it.