Saturday, February 22, 2014


I made the full-on cheeseball move this past Valentine's Day and actually drank a "holiday-themed" beer on the day itself. That week – last week – I stumbled upon ALESMITH's "My Bloody Valentine" ale at a local beer monger, and once I'd made the connection that this was, in fact, an imperial red ale (sort of), I dove in. Imperial reds, as readers who may have stuck w/ the Samizdat thing long may know, are my very favorite underdog beer style on the planet. Now Alesmith has never really blown me away in the same manner they seem to do with so many other folks; I mean, when I was starting out jabbering about beer, they were among the most hyped brewers on earth. Not sure where they stand in most folks' pantheon. I know that this particular beer hasn't altered their place in mine.

"My Bloody Valentine" is said to be an evolution of their "Evil Dead Red" ale, which I imbibed during my time off these past 5 months and therefore never reviewed. It pours a deep and lustrous red, which they call mahogany. I guess so. I found it to be a creamy, relatively hoppy red ale, but much more tuned to caramel malt frequencies than those of the lupulin, and even then, it didn't really have the bready, sweet intensity of the best reds. What it was was solid, all across the board. The gimmicky "6.66% ABV" is indeed a gimmick, but it also made for an easy-drinking 22-ounce beer than I barely "felt" once quaffed. Which is good, because it was Valentine's Day, and wives don't particularly dig it when you fall asleep at 9pm after a big beer, do they? 7.5/10.

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