This week’s spotlight beer hales from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, where Westbrook Brewing Company is on a mission “to make the most interesting, drinkable, and generally awesome beer possible.” The brewery’s One Claw Rye Pale Ale (ALC 5.5%) caught our eye with its quirky blue and white hand-drawn can artwork–a design style you don’t come across often in beer packaging–and a familiar brazen little crab much like the many we see on the beach. Let’s see if it’s got more than just good looks.
Pours a deep apricot and honey-like hazed gold. A thick, foamy, off-white head stays just long enough to get those first few swigs in and disappears to reveal heavy lacing. Medium bodied with very light carbonation.
A wonderful combination of fresh cut citrus fruits and pine are immediately present. Next, biscuity malts, wet hops. I have to admit I was extremely surprised by the vast depth of scents I picked up that I would usually only find in world-class beers (usually IPAs for that matter.)
Soft, smooth, silky and almost buttery but without any syrupy thickness like that of a fuller bodied beer. A pleasant sharpness bites the back of the tongue on the back end.
A luxurious assortment of fruits immediately takes the stage. Passion fruit, pineapple, and clementine all perfectly mix together with a fantastic piney earthiness. Complex but seriously smooth. The malt profile reminds me of shortbread or Irish soda bread. Subtle rye, a hint of coriander, a dash of pepper all take a bow. Lemon peel is the last character to exit the stage leaving behind it a pleasant amount of bitterness.
Wow. I have found a pale ale that will always have a home in my fridge. I must admit I’m shocked and sad that I am just now coming across One Claw. The depth of flavors from passion fruit to spice and the way they mingle in such harmony is almost mind blowing. Overall balance is what makes this a world-class beer in my book, and it deserves some serious attention and libation. Cheers to Westbrook Brewing Co. for living up to their mission!