Total Score: 68.0
I’m about to have Intercourse.
Intercourse Brewing Company’s Paradise Pale Ale, that is. Founded in 2008, the brewery is named after the rural Amish town of Intercourse, PA, which happens to be a dry town. [Insert dry intercourse joke here]. The brewery’s founder Nicole Courides (who discouragingly admits “By no stretch am I a professional brewer”) spawned the idea as part of a business plan creation assignment in a college course. The seed was planted once she brewed up some test batches in her parents’ kitchen and got The Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre to agree to brew the beers on a contract basis. It was no surprise that she encountered some resistance when applying for label approvals from the notoriously prude TTB, although they ultimately did give their consent. The brewery has swelled in size and reach since its founding, currently distributing throughout most of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey, yet still seems far from climax.
Their beers bear the names of real Pennsylvania towns, including Blue Ball (porter), Bareville (pilsner), Mount Joy (light), and today’s Paradise Pale Ale. The pale is described as being “Brewed with a variety of domestic hops as well as a unique blend of spices” and brings an ABV of 5.2%. It sure would be nice to know what those spices are, but it looks like I’ll be left guessing.
Well, enough foreplay.
The bottles bear the image of an open barn and a silo with two round bushes at its base, which I found rather amusing. Pours a pretty clear orange-gold with a restrained head that quickly wilts to a thin film and leaves no lace. Smell is primarily malts with a touch of floral hops behind. Tartness or some sort of staleness in there which is subtle but noticed immediately. Knowing there are spices in there has me straining to detect them…maybe picking up traces of cinnamon and coriander, but probably just the power of suggestion here. Pretty bland pale ale aroma. Taste fails to even live up to the less-than-average aroma. Grainy malts forward with a hint of Belgian tart/fruit/spice type of thing. Hops are more earthy and perhaps stale, and just don’t get it done. Mouthfeel is mediocre: smooth drink but flaccid body with average carbonation, and on the dryer side in the aftertaste.
Overall this pale ale is impotent. Not offensive, for what that’s worth, but not good either. The marketing is brilliant, no doubt, but as is often the case it’s sadly not backed up by a noteworthy product. Didn’t finish it and won’t be buying again. A regrettable one night stand.
Look: 7.5/10 Smell: 7.5/10 Taste: 6.5/10 All-Around: 6.5/10