A SMaSHing Good Beer: Long Trail’s SMaSH Project

On the docket:  12 oz. can of Long Trail’s SMaSH Project (Munich and Equinox)

Poured into:  River Horse Pint Glass

S:  A thick, creamy beige head sits crowning a burnt-sienna, clear body.  It sits and sits, gently receding, leaving heavy, plastic soda-ring like lacing.  It settles down to a full but very thin cap on the top of the beer, the tiniest of bubbles rising to the surface.

A:  Woodsy, herbal hops and brown bread crust feature prominently in this simple and clean brew.  Cedar, mint, eucalyptus and earthy aromas are made possible by the single Equinox hop varietal.  The malt here is toasty, brown, homemade bread crust.  There is a hint of bitterness here, too.

T:  Due to being a SMaSH beer, much of the aroma is also found in the taste profile.  The Equinox provides a woodsy, spicy, minty, medicinal hoppiness and bitterness.  The Munich malt, made famous by those festive German lagers, shines through with brown bread, graininess, and a touch of caramel sweetness.  The benefit of this type of recipe is that it allows a drinker to truly get an understanding of the flavors of both ingredients.  For something approaching 7% abv (6.8%), there’s no sign of fusel alcohol flavors or that warming sensation.

F:  Medium, with fine carbonation.  Drying, bitter finish that lingers just a bit before dying off.

O:  An excellent way to experience a single malt and hop type.  Clean and easy to drink.  Tasty amber ale.

Suggested food pairing:  Pan-fried, quality hot dogs on whole wheat buns, Dijon mustard and Kosher garlic pickles, hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, and onion, grilled meat, earthy, nutty English cheese