Fat Ten-er # 6 (Blonde Ale)
2 glasses, 4.4% ABV
Enjoyed at Lasting Brass Brewery
There’s a guy on one of the beer review sites who ends every NEBCO review with, “NEBCO does it again!” While most reviewers on those review sites are either idiots or obsessives or stereotypically platitudinous goofballs (I’m merely an idiotic obsessive, so I’m not that bad), this guy’s simple closing note is absolutely correct.
Because honestly, NEBCO does do it again… and again and again.
With the explosion of breweries in Connecticut I have given up on “drinking every Connecticut beer.” I will still drink ever bottled and canned Connecticut beer, but as for brewery-only releases, it’s just impossible. I do have a fairly full life, y’know.
Part of that full life includes a bunch of really cool friends. I’m talking real life friends whom I actually talk to face-to-face and stuff. I know, I know… I’m old.
But some of those friends help me out in my noble (and noble hops) Connecticut beer quest. One such friend is Ed of the excellent Lasting Brass (home) Brewery in Waterbury.
My wife and kids and I rode Naugy the Train up at the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston and then stopped by Ed’s house. My kids love it there and my sons get along famously with Ed’s son. Our wives enjoy chatting.
And I love Ed’s beer. #BFF!
Anyway, I had just returned from a trip to Boston and had some goodies for Ed from Trillium and Jack’s Abbey breweries. Ed had a train table for my boys take. Oh, and some Fat Ten-Er #6.
A hoppy 4.4% blonde ale brewed with a newer hop variety called Hallertau Blanc. Think Nelson with gold stock like qualities as well.
So you’re thinking, “a blonde ale? Really? THAT’S supposed to be exciting?” See, that’s where New England Brewing Company steps in and says, “Drink it. It’s Good.”
Holy crap. This is not your run-of-the-mill blonde ale. Not even close. Because this blonde ale is actually phenomenal. It has a depth of flavor and complexity that belies the blond ale moniker. That is due to the Hallertau Blanc hop, of course, but it’s also due to the fact that NEBCO are hop geniuses.
The Hollertau Blanc hop is a new one out of Germany. I’m guessing the Krauts have seen the explosion of citrus-forward hops from New Zealand and America and have stepped up their program. They are, after all, the masters. This bad boy invokes a flowery-fruity aroma with passion fruit, grapefruit, gooseberry and pineapple notes. (That’s one way to skirt the German “no fruit” purity laws, eh?)
So why not make a session blonde with a delicious hop profile? Why would that be groundbreaking, especially in this day and age of oyster liqueur goses and kumquat Berliners.
Because it’s really, really, really good. With a light body this beer is refreshing and totally sessionable and delicious. The citrus is there and so is the very light bitterness. So #6 is like a diet IPA of sorts – lower ABV, less bitterness, less hoppiness, yet all still present in the proper levels for a blonde ale.
So thanks Ed for the train table and the beer. And thanks NEBCO for “doing it again.”
Overall Rating: A+
Rating vs. Similar style: A+