Øl de Helle Cream Ale

Cream Ale, 5.6% ABV, unknown IBU.

Øl de Helle Cream Ale, enjoyed 2 months after brewing.

Whenever I visit my parents my father has always stocked up on craft beers to be consumed by yours truly. This summer he had a couple of special treats lined up for me: two homebrews from the neighbours Solfrid and Fritz! The two head brewers of Øl de Helle are quite new to the game – the Cream Ale is one of their first batches and it was brewed just a couple of months ago. I will therefore go easy on this beer… yeah right! As if! Nope, this brew is no exception, it will be judged as strictly as any commercial brew!

Before I start rating the beer I must confess that Cream Ale is far from being one of my favourite beer styles – a style that is supposed to be faint and subtle is usually not my cup of tea.

Cream Ale in a Nøgne Ø glass.

It pours a slightly hazy golden body, with a frothy, off-white, short-lived head that doesn’t lace my glass at all.

The aroma is fairly faint, but I guess that could be said to be according to style. It’s not a very exciting aroma, but it’s fairly clean, despite some very subtle hints of higher alcohols. The main elements are pale malts, citrus and some generic fruity notes, with apples in the back and hints of a Belgian yeasty peppery spiciness. Which yeast did you use for this one?

The flavour is also rather faint, with notes of grapefruit, apples, pale malts, spices (especially black pepper) and a chalky dryness in the finish. Also lots of citrus zest and pips, that make the aftertaste a bit astringent and decrease the drinkability slightly.

The taste is light sweet with a fairly long-lasting moderate bitter finish. To me the bitterness level feels a bit too hight for such an otherwise mellow brew.

It has a decent mouthfeel with a creamy, smooth and quite dry texture, medium body and moderate carbonation.

Conclusion: a fairly well balanced brew, but I didn’t quite like the astringency and the bitterness was a bit too high for the gentle aroma and flavour profile. A lover of cream ales might have enjoyed this one more that I did.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.4/5.0
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