Chameleon Hop on Top

Chameleon Brewing Co.
Glendale, WI
Hop on Top

Labeled as an “Aroma Hop Ale”, Hop on Top uses Willamette, Tettnanger, and Cascade, but Chameleon doesn’t boast that this is a big hop beer. Tetts are Noble hops, but both Willamette and Cascade are Pacific Northwest varieties that usually make big IPAs. However, at only 11 IBUs, this beer is not meant to be a hopheads delight.

As I pour it, the beer offers up little in the way of a head – even a glugged pour yields little more than a wispy cirrus cloud. That soon evaporates, too. The clarity is excellent and slow but sparse carbonation ascends lackadaisically up the glass.

The color is polished bamboo or burnished gold, with a sheen that appears to have a hazy quality, though it doesn’t actually affect the clarity.

The nose is very floral, with lavender and honeysuckle rising above sourdough malt and maple sugar cookies.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, with any hint of thinness quickly filled out by a surprisingly present effervescence. This is actually a very refreshing ale. Flavor emerges slowly and subtly – lemon seltzer and water crackers, along with a faint bit of parsley. Some very mild chewiness, but this beer is missing something. Certainly, it very closely resembles a proper English pale but there’s no thrill. I hate to be negative, and since I lean towards bigger (and usually hoppier) brews, I would say that this is a very drinkable session ale that does, in fact, remind me of some of low-ABV English pub pints.

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