The newest addition to Deschutes Brewery’s seasonal bottling line up is worthy of its own style classification, which is exactly what Deschutes has given Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. This 6.4% ABV “Northwest Pale” is one of several strong pales that Deschutes has been experimenting with in the past year. More approachable and session-like than most IPA’s, this aromatic ale is characterized by abundant late hop additions and virtually no hop bitterness.
Bend Wild – Beer Scoring Scale
Nose/Appearance: A sweet, citrusy nose that could be confused with Inversion IPA’s little brother if not for it’s lighter color and slightly smaller profile.
Body/Flavor: Nicely balanced body with big citrusy and piney hop flavors. Moderate mouthfeel with mild resinous notes balanced by ample flavors of Crystal malts.
Finish/Mouthfeel: Perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of this hoppy beer is that it does not have an especially bitter finish. The body is echoed in the finish with notes of citrus and pine rather than a puckering bitterness.
Overall Drinkability: 10/10! Stimulating hop complexity without excessive IBUs make for an exceptionally palatable, everyday beer. The niche that Deschutes is trying to create with the “Northwest Pale” is a good one. Here in the Bend Wild tasting compound, we much prefer late additions of hops and the flavor complexities that they add over early hop additions purely for the sake of bitterness.
Beer Likeness- This is a tough one but we’ll go with the old school Mirror Pond Pale ale, before Deschutes stopped bottle conditioning and before it started tasting like Sam Adams Lager.
We will mourn when this beer is replaced by Twilight Ale in Deschutes’ seasonal twelve ounce bottle rotation. The word on the street is that the supplies of Red Chair are short, so stock up now, while it lasts.