Total Score: 7.45/10
Another Mountain Goat Cross Breed and another mouthful of a name (and perhaps a beer too) in this Back To The Brewer Double Steam Ale. FYI I love the Back to the Future nostalgia in the bottle label, remember it was only just 2 years ago in 2015 that we invented flying cars, predictable weather, hover boards and power up laces thanks to the vision of Robert Zemeckis. What a genius that guy. This Cross Breed is a celebration of Mountain Goats 20th birthday (had no idea they began in the late 90’s, damn I feel old now). The idea for this brew involved a collaboration of all four past head brewers, it’s a riff on their biggest selling beer – their Steam Ale, also it uses HPA Experimental Variety 035, Galaxy and Cascade hops, hmmm, intriguing.
Poured from a 640ml (US Bomber sized) bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Looks like a classic Californian Steam Beer in colour – pale straw yellow, bit cloudy in the body though, with a decadent wispy white head starting at 1 inch and dropping back leaving lace patterns inside the glass. 7/10.
S: Floral and savory (???) hop notes. That savory note is odd, a bit like bacon, never noticed that in a Steam Ale, or even a Pale Ale for that matter. Could be yeast related – there’s a doughy yeast character in there as well. Light citrus and hints of passionfruit in the background (that’s Galaxy for sure!). That soupy savory bacon character is quite unsettling though, hoping the flavour is alright. 5/10.
T: It is a bit gamey, though not as bad as the aroma would suggest. First and foremost is the malt character, which as this beer has aged several months, has taken over the palate somewhat – with notes of: biscuits (white sugar cookies and creamy Scotch fingers), big doughy/bready almost pastry-like yeast, a firm but yielding orange citric bite, hint of pepper, and a finish that is smooth and dry with a slight bitter orange tweak at the end. Flavour is fulsome and oddly compelling. It’s got that Steam Ale angle of being refreshing and meaty at the same time. Actually was expecting something fruitier and lighter from the hop bill, but it just goes to show what a difference California Common yeast makes.8/10.
M: Mid to heavy bodied with a creamy and luxuriant mouthfeel – this is where IT is AT, bring on more Double Steam Ales I say! 9/10.
D: What a curious beer from the get go! It’s not a Steam Beer as we know it – it’s definitely got more face-punch in it, but at the same time it goes down too easy, + it’s weird. Hopefully they bring this one back again. 8/10.
Food match: Bratwurst and other fancy sausages, with a giant pretzel, and mustard!