Total Score: 8.6/10
Guess what? After reviewing 2 shit/average beers I was like “stuff it – I’m going to review something I reckon’ll be good”. I didn’t want to go to bed tonight wishing I had reviewed something nicer, and I’m not gonna dammit, I’m gonna crack open this lovely bottle of Prancing Pony India Red Ale, and I’m gonna enjoy it! FYI this averages 4.43/5 on BeerAdvocate so I reckon I’m in for a tasty bit of grog… although it is up against a pure thoroughbred in the Red IPA stakes with my favourite brew being Modus Operandi’s The Former Tenant – surely one of the best Aussie craft beers out there. This may be a battle of the titans in the making: Modus versus Prancing Pony, who will win? The excitement is palpable!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Not quite red, more of a brown, guess “India Brown Ale” sounds less impressive. Cloudy caramel brown body with a nice beige 7.5mm head that retains very well indeed. It’s a great looking beer with somewhat of a misnomer name. 8/10.
S: Fantastic aroma upfront with bold lemon and floral characters. Caramel and biscuit base. Hints of herbal/cannabis hops lingering in the background, and some light earthiness as well. The aroma hints of big things ahead, and I’m ready as ever for a facepunch-worthy amount of hop silliness. 9/10.
T: Interestingly more hop restrained and syrupy than expected. Above noted hops (lemon, floral, herbal, earthy) remain, however this is all married to a large caramel/biscuit/toffee malt base. The balance slips between sweet and bitter on the palate, at the fore caramel/biscuit/toffee sweetness borders on imperious and towards the finish comes a herbal/piney hop bitterness that also (almost!) overthrows it all. This is of course a rather exciting and complex flavour profile – which is exactly what my tongue was savouring for. 8/10.
M: Mouthfeel is probably the best of any Australian brew I’ve encountered, and right up there with Founders for gooey goodness [the old “GG”], with a mid to heavy body/viscosity and a light but dense carbonation. 10/10.
D: Rather difficult choice deciding between this and Modus FT… they’re both rather special, and both good in their own way… however Modus has on balance (for me) a better flavour profile and flavour will always win out in the end – it could be the worst looking, stinkiest brew with a paper-thin mouthfeel, but if it tasted like angels shat on my tongue it will always be a winner. 9/10.
Food match: Pad Thai: Yes! Anything Thai? Also yes!