When I see the word "pale" used in relation to a beer, I'm expecting the beer to be bitter. I mean, pale ales tend to be hoppy and bitter, right?
So I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked up the Blue Moon Expressionist Collection: Rounder Belgian-Style Pale. I like most Belgian beers I've tried, but really didn't have much experience with a Belgian pale ale. Color me intrigued. Of course, I had to wait for the right time to try it, which in this case, meant not long after my 7k race.
Note: I forgot these bottles were twist-tops and did not necessitate a bottle opener. So I totally used one and then had a duh moment. Moving on...
The first thing I caught about the beer really was the pecan color of the ale - not exactly what I was expecting. The aroma also caught me by surprise - it had a nutty, almost caramel note to it. Before I even took a sip I could smell hints of toasted pecan, hops, and some subtle floral aromas, which really made excited to try this mysterious, Belgian-style ale.
On first sip I was pretty hooked - this is definitely a beer you do not want to drink straight from the fridge, as it tasted best to us slightly warmer - not by a lot, but a few degrees totally made a difference. The flavor was bitter and hoppy at first, and those floral aromas came through just a bit. The finish though? Nutty and smooth. It tasted like so many beers I've enjoyed in the fall.
Really, this is a great beer if you can get your hands on some. The hops add some pep to each sip, while the nutty finish makes it an easy-drinking beer without being overwhelming. And it definitely tastes like fall.