Review: Steam Whistle Premium Pale Ale

The first time I ever tried a Steam Whistle beer was at Luxalune Gastropub in 2011. Luxalune was the craft beer pub in Winnipeg at the time.. then fast forward a few years, they ended up closing the pub to open up Farmery Estate Brewery in Neepawa.. it's crazy how times can change.. which speaking of which - For literally their entire existence, Steam Whistle was known as a one beer brewery, producing Steam Whistle Pilsner, which I originally reviewed back in 2012. Well.. times definitely do change.. Steam Whistle now brews New Belgium's Fat Tire Amber Ale for the Canadian market. Once Steam Whistle started brewing a second beer, people were having hissy fits about it.. but hey.. what's wrong with having variety?

Two months ago, I received an email from Steam Whistle about another beer they're making - Steam Whistle Premium Pale Ale. For some reason they thought I was a popular influencer out of Ontario and asked if I wanted to try it out.. but once they discovered that I was a rural Manitoban beer blogger that recently lost a biweekly column in a local paper, I never heard back! Well, that won't stop me from trying out the beer! So, today we're checking out Steam Whistle's newest product, their Premium Pale Ale

From Steam Whistle Pale Ale's label: "Steam Whistle Pale Ale is craft brewed with the finest natural ingredients . to create a beer that is crisp and balanced.  Pure spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast come together in a refreshing, truly Canadian beer worthy of any celebration." 5.0% ABV

Appearance: Hefty amber pale ale that reminds me of Sleeman's Honey Brown in appearance, it's that caramel/honey/ambery looking. LOTS of carbonation in the body that's comparable to a typical every day lager. The head is somewhat frothy, creamy and beige-ish - there's a good deal of lacing on the side of the glass, a thick amount of creamy bubbles that follows the beer as it diminishes.

Aroma: Moderately toasted malt with a bit of caramel sweetness to it, a bit of a cerealy graininess, leafy, grassy & light floral hops to it - not really any bitterness to it. A tad soapy at the end.

Taste: Very crisp Pale Ale that begins with a crisp malt presence that has a light toasty malt, tad bit of unsugared breakfast cereal to it,  a bit of caramel sweetness, a very smidgen of straw.. but also a moderate hop profile - it's very grassy, a tad floral, ever so slightly bitter, to the point that the aftertaste is a slight tingling hop bitterness. Oh and a good deal of saltine cracker presence to it as well.

Overall Thoughts: When I got emails from Steam Whistle about the Pale Ale, I was expecting something over the top, instead - we have a classic Pale Ale that was more common 10+ years ago. This is something that would do well with beer drinkers who aren't anywhere as adventurous as I am (nor my friends). It's an easy to drink, crisp and sweet ale that's a bit more complex than their standard green labeled beer. It reminds me of when I discovered Sleeman in 2004, but a bit different. If you're a lager fan and want to try something different but don't want to go over the top.. this is something I'd seriously suggest, it's a bit more aggressive than the classic Pilsner,  but not tooooo aggressive.

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