Review: Oskar Blues Pale Ale, Old Chub, Gordon Ale, and Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Previously we discussed Oskar Blues’ Gubna Imperial IPA brew here, and the company was kind enough to send four more of its more readily available concoctions — all sold in cans and all made in Colorado — for us to try out.
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale cuts a traditional pale ale style, intensely hopped and dark gold in color, with a thick head on top. It’s hard to argue with the praise this beer has received — the New York Times named it the country’s best pale ale — but its thick, viscous body and rich finish make it more of a complex sipper than the big thirst-quencher you might hope for from your average canned beer. 6.5% alcohol by volume. A-
Oskar Blues Old Chub Scotch Ale is a beer I like, and not just because it has quotes from So I Married an Axe Murderer… printed on the can. Smoky and deep, this dark brown ale offers a wealth of foam atop a sweetly woody core, rich with coffee notes and, again, all that smoke, courtesy of the smoked grain used in the recipe. The company suggests it’s “the beer equivalent of a lightly smoked single malt scotch,” and that may be pushing things. Either way, though, it is a big, burly, and incredibly unique brew. 8% abv. B+
Oskar Blues Gordon Ale is named after Gordon Knight, a Colorado hero who perhaps was a fan of the Imperial Red/Double IPA style of beermaking. A monstrous IPA, you can sense the alcohol before you even drink it — 8.7% abv, by the way. Thick and oily, it’s a big brew, not as hoppy as you might think but strong and perhaps a little unbalanced in its over-earnestness. B
Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils (get it?) is a traditional pilsner, low-alcohol at 5.3% abv by Oskar Blues standards. A Czech-style pilsner, it’s a bright yellow color as the name implies, but the taste doesn’t really show. Dusty and corny, it is neither overly intriguing nor all that refreshing. It’s plenty drinkable, but I feel like the beer needs more sweetness and a racier body to merit serious attention. B-
each about $2 per 12-oz. can / oskarblues.com