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Trade Route Pandan Brown Ale

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RATINGS: 90   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.43   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Pandan Ale represents a major advancement in Asian style beers. It is a complex brown ale brewed with crystal, chocolate, and honey malts. We have also given it a Southeast Asian flair by adding palm sugar and pandan , a nutty and fragrant leaf. Pandan, also known as bai toey (Thai) and lá dua (Vietnamese), is considered an essential ingredient to Southeast Asian rice dishes and cakes. This is a truly unique and flavorful beer that you will enjoy. Pandan Ale is a dark, full-bodied beer that will complement spicy Thai and Indian curries, as well as savory Filipino and Indonesian stews.


2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
argo0 (11316) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 3, 2008
(22oz bottle, thanks acrdz) Creamy tan head atop cloudy mahogany body. Aroma is moderately sweet, artificial chocolate, light cherry/raspberry. Taste is moderately sweet, chocolate, caramel, some cherry, cereal, bread, sourness. Medium body.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAY 3, 2008
22oz bottle, courtesy of acrdz. Dark brown, tan creamy head. Warm nutty chocolate rice krispie notes ride undercurrents of dark berry. Nutty sweet chocolate and roasty earth notes play out from start to finish. Light bodied, soft carbonation, chocolate fruity finish. Interesting brew which I would gladly drink again...

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
kmweaver (3206) - Petaluma, California, USA - MAY 2, 2008
22oz bottle, courtesy of acrdz (and 5000!). Thanks, guys! Pours a murky chocolate brown color; light tan head mixed-bubbled lacing. Bran, cereal, and nuttiness in the aroma; kind of strange cereal. Medium mouthfeel: follows the aroma to some degree: bran, cereal, toasty and roasted grains; brown ale character with some citrus hoppiness and much better malt character than the aroma suggest; reasonably tasty stuff. Medium finish: cereal, toasted malts, and a touch of brown sugar.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
3fourths (7855) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 2, 2008
22oz bottle. Dark brown or purple colored body with a small off-white head. Strange smells confuses the nose: bran is noticed first, but it morphs into some strange musty cocoa, sugar and seedy blackberry smell, with some sort of stem or twig aroma as well. Not a bad smell but not a great smell, just a strange smell, more confusing to begin, but settling out into a nice sour, seedy blackberry smell as it warms. The taste is wet but smooth, lacking any noticeable bitterness, but does develop some dryness in the back. Tastes of mild berries, twigs, bran, cereal grains, and some sweet sugar, even developing some sort of chocolate raspberry/black cherry character over time.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - MAY 2, 2008
rich chocolate color, fair head. the aroma is a real treat, unlike anything else i’ve experienced. nutty indeed, there’s a fullness to the aroma which adds as a great precursor to the beer. i find this beer marvelous in both intent and execution. the combination of malts yields a respectable complexity independent of the added pandan and might be suitable on its own, but the added ingredient gives the beer another tasty wrinkle, and more importantly, it’s own unique character.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 28, 2008
A vigorous pour produces an fat-two finger thick, lightly browned tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. The beer is a very dark, burnt brown color, but shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma is quite interesting, it has a really rich nuttiness to it, though that might not be the perfect adjective. Whatever it is (obviously the Pandan leaves, because palm sugar does not contribute this to beer), it is quite savory and gives the nose quite a savory character. It really accentuates the browned malt notes (toasted bread & cracker like aromas) and serves as a nice offset to a sweet, caramelized undertone that is just a bit fruity (raisin and a light berry note).

Fairly sweet, though complexly so, and it has a thick, chewy body for a beer of this strength. Soft and fruity tasting up front, it picks up some cola notes and a peanut-butter flavor as it moves towards the finish. The flavor is not as distinctly influenced by the Pandan Leaf; if I had been told this was a plain brown ale, I would not have guessed that it was spiced with anything, but given that I know it is here, the flavor has definitely been influenced by it. What does the Pandan Leaf contribute, well if I had to guess I would say that the nuttiness is quite distinct, with some supporting berry-like flavors and a bit of spiciness towards the finish that is reminiscent of cola. This is a very quaffable brew, and remains fairly light, despite having a viscousness and a chewiness to it.

The Pandan Leaf is definitely much more noticeable in the aroma than in the flavor, but it still contributes nicely to the overall experience of this brew. This is a really nice Brown Ale, one that I would be happy to have regular access too. I really do like that neither the palm sugar or Pandan was over-played here, the use is clearly supporting and not so much that you would say that something other than typical beer ingredients were used here, yet there is certainly a distinct, pleasing character to this beer that is a result of how all of the ingredients meld together. I really like this, but then again I am a sucker for a tasty brown ale.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - APR 25, 2008
Bottle shared by pudditane. Hmmm. Pours dark brown with a tan colored head. Aroma of dried leaves, chocolate, caramel. Flavor is dried leaves, chcoclate, caramel. Palate is medium bodied, medium carbonation, finished sweet. Wierd.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ironchefscott (357) - portland, Oregon, USA - APR 24, 2008
thank you suzygreenburg...for this bottle a very sweet and complex dark brown ale...with a bit too much sweetness after a few sips...but all in all a very complex brown ale....interesting pandan flavors as well as a great nose that smells of palm sugar!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jake65 (2588) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - APR 24, 2008
Bottle: Dark brown pour with a small, creamy tan head. Aroma is roasty and nutty with a raison like dark sweetness. Maybe brown sugar? Flavor is roasty with light bittersweet cocoa and a little more raison. Nice. Thanks BuckDich.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BillKismet (3321) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 24, 2008
Dark root beer brown, nearly black with weak head retention. Distinctly nutty aroma, with the characteristic popcorn/hazelnut pungence. The flavor is similarly nutty, with popcorn as well though it is not as dominant. Small flares of brown malt appear and add complexity to the sharply nutty, caramel flavors. Unique for certain. A nuanced, distinctly nutty and caramel, medium to full bodied brown ale.


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