Total Score: 7.15/10
Last Mismatch to try in my Mismatch swag bag is the Extra Pale Ale, which is being abbreviated to XPA much to my dismay [damn beer style trends taking over this craft world of mine dammit!]. Although Mismatch, wisely, haven’t fancied it up with an XPA acronym – they’ve chosen to take the high road IMO and gone with Extra Pale Ale, though the term itself is still neither here nor there (nor anywhere) I do applaud them for not jumping on that XPA bandwagon *cough*Balter*cough*… apologies, bit of a tickle in my throat there. Apparently this [insert non-existent beer terminology here] is a Pale Ale that is strong for a Pale in ABV but not enough to be an IPA… make up your minds people.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Cloudy light yellow tinged amber body with a white 1.5 cm cappuccino foam head on top. Looks respectable this: extra pale is this ale. At least Mismatch are clearly exponents of bottle conditioning – I prefer bottle conditioned beers personally. 8/10.
S: Light tropical papaya notes upfront, hints of kiwi fruit as well (ahhh, NZ hops!)… peachy note as well – this Extra Pale Ale has a top-notch hop combo working for it. Although it needs bigger hop aromas IMO. Malt base isn’t really detectable (a total reverse on Archie’s Red Ale) so I’m imagining something crisp and hoppy. 7/10.
T: Interestingly hits straight off with a real lemon/peachy twang, mid palate sweetness from papaya which follows through and finishes slightly succulent with a tropical hop character but not overly bitter. Good flavours at play, however this is in the flavour-realm of a light APA rather than an IPA. Malt backbone is lacking a little, but it doesn’t really suffer from that. Easily the best of the 3 Mismatches. 7/10.
M: Almost medium bodied with a thin but dense carbonation – pretty slick mouthfeel as well. 8/10.
D: Although this isn’t as lacking in the flavour department as the last 2, Extra Pale Ale paints a picture of a brewer (who mind you is from the same city as those overall risk-takers and all-round scurvy-ridden raiders Pirate Life) who doesn’t take enough risks. Whoever the head brewer from Mismatch is they can take the advice of this beer reviewer who has now reviewed 747 different beers (and drunk more than twice as many): Brew BIGGER beers – don’t be afraid of losing consumers – take risks – that is the path to Pirate Life greatness. Anyway my 2 cents. 7/10.
Food match: Asian salads – stuff like a green papaya salad, not too spicy, fresh flavours would work well with this.