Reaping the rewards of a guilty conscious
A Review of Habanero Pale Ale by Triangle Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/15/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
One thing I have learned about regional beers is that they can be both a blessing and a curse at the same time. By that I mean that those who are close enough to enjoy them on a regular basis are very blessed, while those just outside their distribution area are sadly cursed. We hear our friends in other parts of the country bragging about a certain brew that they can just walk into most anywhere in their neighborhood and get, while we would have to drive hundreds of miles just to even be near that delicious nectar. For me, I constantly have to hear my co-founder rubbing it in my face about how he is literally minutes from one of my favorite beers ever: the Habanero Pale Ale from Triangle Brewing Company. The one good thing about all of the gloating is that I believe it finally led to enough of a guilt build up, that while up on a recent visit he felt compelled to send me home with a growler full of it, direct from the source.

Now in order to fully appreciate the beauty of this beer, one needs to understand that at its core it is a great pale ale. Everything from the visual aspect of it, all the way down to a nice malty backbone holding everything together, is spot on for the style. It has a golden brown coloration, with a head that is bright, white, and fluffy. The main aromas that escape from the glass include citrus hops, clove, and light smoke. When you go in for the first taste, you are greeted by those citrus hops detected in the nose just as one might expect. As things move along, the malts slowly creep in and keep things well balanced and quite tasty. And right about here is where this beauty really starts to separate itself from all other pale ales.

You don't notice it right off, but after you have let that first taste work its way down, a bit of a tingle starts to appear all over the inside of your mouth. Then a bit of heat comes in, and your brain instantly goes into overdrive to process what it is that's going on. You know you read it right there in the name of the beer itself, but you thought you missed it when you initially tasted it. The genius of the Habanero Pale Ale lies in its subtlety. If you can think in terms of ''highlights'' and ''notes'', then you get how it all works together. There is never a time where the small amount of heat, or the bite of the spice overpowers the core traits, but after you notice them, they are there to stay. They make themselves known at all times, but never to the point of distraction. More often than not, you find yourself thinking ''What is that fun little kick I am getting?'', and then you are snapped back to the realization of ''Oh yeah! It's those tiny little peppers!''.

I can see where people might be a little cautious when it comes to the Habanero Pale Ale and other ''spiced'' beers like it. In a lot of ways, it actually shouldn't work at all. And that again is just another reason why this beer is one of my favorites. With it, Triangle Brewing Company seems to look at standard thinking with a skewed perspective and comes out delicious on the other side. I recommend that all levels of drinkers give this one, and others like it, a try if you ever have the chance. The effect it will have on your view of ''outside the box'' beers could open an entirely new door for you in our better beer world.

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Habanero Pale Ale by Triangle Brewing Co.
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