Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beer of the Week: 4/23--4/29: East End/Lavery Collaboration: Rojo Ahumado

Photo Credit: TotallyCoolPix

Rojo Ahumado, or "Red Smoke," can be used to indicate a location, signal a warning, or in some soccer matches, celebrate a big goal. I would certainly light a few flares in honor of this beer and all it brings. This beer has nothing to do with soccer or signaling locations (to my knowledge) and earned its name from the amber, or red, color of the beer's body and beer style (amber ale) and the smoked malts with which it was brewed. The beer is ideally named, as both tastes come across pleasantly.
   The beer is a Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week collaboration between East End Brewing (Pittsburgh, PA) and Lavery Brewing (Erie, PA). It was brewed at East End's facilities (March 21) after the two groups also combined to brew "Steel City Saison" at Lavery's brewery on March 11th.

My review:
Appearance: a very dark amber, bordering on brown with a solid cream-colored head that lingers for a bit.
Aroma: I'll admit my sinuses are acting up a bit, so I'm not totally committed to this category-but both smoke and spice are blatantly obvious.
Taste: tastes like an amber, but with the added kick of smoked malts, which come through fantastically, followed by moderate spiciness. The real heat from this beer isn't noticeable after only one sip, but it builds and it lingers on the back of the palate and is especially noticeable after breathing out. There's also a certain grit about this beer that is emphasized through earthy and woody tones that complement the amber backbone well. The earthiness is likely from the chili pepper flavors and the wood from smoked malts. There's also faint hints of cherry and vanilla.
Mouthfeel: carbonated, but not too overdone. overall its very smooth. the spice is perfect because its not overly dominant, but you know who's in charge: like the perfect coach or a successful boss, it dictates and directs without too much interference.
Overall: This is a really good beer. The amber backbone provides an ideal canvas for this well-crafted beer. Initially noticeable smoke flavors part ways for a perfect amount of spice and heat to finish off a fantastic collaboration between two great local breweries. I'm really impressed at this collab and hope I have a chance to chat with the East End or Lavery folks about this beer some time during PCBW14.

Photo from Scott's blog at East End's webpage. Sure looked like a lot of fun. I'll certainly search out the Steel City Saison during #PCBW14

Make sure you get a pint of this during PCBW14 or afterwards if its still around, you will not regret it.


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