Saturday, August 29, 2015

Third Street Brewhouse Rise3 Above Review

Name: Third Street Brewhouse Rise3 Above
Style: Cream Ale
ABV: 8.6%
IBUs: 25

Had you told me three years ago that styles like a pilsner or cream ale would one day be Imperialized (i.e. stronger than normal), I would've looked at you with bewilderment, shaken my head, and went about playing Temple Run on my phone as I would've been on the subway headed home and you would've been a crazy person who spent their day weirding out patrons of the Red Line L-Train.

Yet here we are three years later, and now styles that were once considered to be light have found themselves coming under the influence of the Imperial Monster by becoming stronger, faster and bolder. Case in point, Third Street Brewhouse's Rise3Above, an Imperialized Cream Ale that was created to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Third Street Brewhouse, which is formally known as the Cold Spring Brewery. Once called Rise to the Top, I guess reaching the top of a mountain wasn't enough, so I'm guessing this beer acquired a jet pack and went even higher; Though I noticed on the label that the guy didn't scale the tallest mountain but I think they're saving that for the inevitable RiseAbove release.

I've never, for the life of me, have had an Imperialized cream ale before. In fact, I've only had maybe a few Imperialized lagers before this and my experience with all of them have been very hit-or-miss. Regardless I'm very curious to see how this one pans out.

Appearance - A hazy wet straw color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is quite thin with only a little bit of retention and the lacing is nowhere to be found.

Aroma - I'm getting some light flaked corn mixed in with some pale maltiness. I'm also picking up on some light floral hop notes and even some mild toffee sweetness. For a beer that is in the upper 8% range, this smells surprisingly tame.

Taste - Well, everything certainly tastes stronger than what the nose leads you to believe. The flaked corn and pale malt backbone come out in force and are both reasonably strong. The floral hop notes are still pretty light as usual but the toffee sweetness is amplified here as well. There is also a potent yeastiness here too that shows itself on the back of the palate. Yes, there is even a hint of booziness in the flavor as well but it doesn't interfere with the overall flavor.

This is one of those beers that you're either going to love or hate. Traditionalists of the cream ale style aren't going to like this too much while those who like to see beer explore uncharted territory will find something to love about this. As for me? I can't help but feel that for a beer that is 8.6%, that there is something missing from the flavor; Kind of like a dish that would be better with salt but it's nowhere to be found.

Nitpicking aside, I think it's an interesting concept that has some redeeming qualities to it nonetheless and I think it's worth trying out at least once just to get a feel for the style.

Third Street Brewhouse Rise3 Above - 8/10

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