When it comes to beer, unlike our buddy Miracle Max, I don’t like to stash it away and let it age. Maybe it’s a lack of the willpower required for aging brew but I like my beer fresh and prefer that it is local. So when I was at one of my favorite brew stores the other day and they were unloading a fresh shipment of the locally brewed Flying Fish Exit 9 Hoppy Scarlet Ale I couldn’t resist picking up a bottle of freshly minted beer.
Exit 9 “Hoppy Scarlet” Ale is Cherry Hill, NJ based Flying Fish‘s latest “stop” on their big bottle tribute to the Garden State. Here is their description:
“Stop seven on our multi-year trip to explore the state of New Jersey through its beer and culture, is Exit 9, best known as the Rutgers University exit. The state’s university, Rutgers, began in 1771 with classes held at a local tavern though by 1810, students were banned from frequenting “beer and oyster houses.” Alumni include Nobel Laureates, astronauts, brewery founders, authors, actors and perhaps most notably, the cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
To celebrate Exit 9, we brewed a richly flavored red beer crafted with a variety of domestic and imported malts and a classic American yeast strain. Assertively hopped with Amarillo, Centennial, Chinook and Citra, the bouquet has complex notes of citrus and tropical fruits, with an appropriate bitterness in the finish. Serve it with spicy foods (try gumbo or curry), a rich blue or sharp cheddar cheese or enjoy it by itself.”
Here is my take on Exit 9:
- Appearance: Medium to Dark Amber, Slightly Hazy with the signature particles of a bottle conditioned beer.
- Aroma: Hops and Sweet Floral notes
- Taste: Mild bitterness with hoppy notes. A very short finish.
- ABV: 9%
I didn’t want to like this beer, I wanted to LOVE it …. but I don’t. I love about 80% of the brews that Flying Fish makes and this one didn’t make the cut. Exit 9 was not a bad beer. There is nothing off or weird about it. It is generally quite nice but it seems like an incomplete beer. Perhaps my expectations were too high. The appearance and aroma were fantastic but the taste left me wanting something more. After a sip, this beer seems to vanish off the tongue. I was expecting a long complex finish and it never arrived.
I would suggest this beer for anyone who loves the aroma and sweet floral notes of a hoppy beer but doesn’t like bitterness that often comes on the back end. Also, this may be a brew that is better when paired with the right food (as suggested by the brewer) so I will try some pairings and see how it goes.
Note: This was one of G-LO and my Thirsty Thursday brew tastings so I expect he will be able to add his own unique perspective.