It has been yet ANOTHER snowy day here in New England. I don’t know how this year stacks up against others, but it certainly feels like we’re getting buried. Both Melissa and I have had it; if you asked us to move south today, we’d seriously consider it.
Seeing as there isn’t much I can do about the weather today, I’ll just drink a beer and try to forget about it. The beverage I’ve selected is Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA, a 5.7% ABV American Black Ale. Had you asked me about 18 months ago, I would have told you that this style was one of my favorites. At that time I went on a binge of black ales and went through most of them available in New England. When I saw this bottle of Noonan, a beer I haven’t tried, I jumped at the chance to try it.
I like my black ales very well balanced. There are three types of black ale in my mind:
- Too hoppy, not enough roasted malt.
- Too roasty, not enough hops.
- Just right – perfect balance of hops and roasted malt.
The Noonan falls into the second category, coming across far too bitter from roasted malts. There is a strong backbone of piney hopes, which only adds to the bitterness. As far as black ales go, not my favorite.