Farmington River Brewing Co.
Another of Mercury’s vast number of brews, this is labeled as an ESB. This basically means it’s an English-style pale ale.
Deep copper like dark maple syrup or molasses spread thin, the beer puffs up to a thick pillow of yellowed head. Even after pouring, photographing, and writing up til here, the beer maintains an inch of foam.
The nose is more floral than I would have thought – piney, resinous hops with touches of tobacco, charcoal, and even a faint whiff of cannabis. However, the malt comes through with wafting odors of baked pretzel, graham crackers, and dried stone fruit.
The mouthfeel is excellent – full, but without any coating. The beer is nice and dry. The head, with its popover lightness stays put and adds to the sip. The flavors are subtly bready, but are not without graceful brushstrokes of hops. Wet cereal, walnuts, and some very light citrus and apricot all show up, the citrus showing up in the form of orange or tangerine close to the end.
Though it won’t satiate any hopheadery, hop fans and bitter lovers will appreciate this brew. It’s a nice round ale that would accompany shepherd’s pie just fine.