Throwdown: Pale Ales, East Meets West

As you all know by now, if you read this site, Oskar Blues is pulling out of Idaho.  I learned this on Friday morning, and Friday afternoon I went to my local beer store and cleaned them out of Dales Pale Ale and Old Chub.  So long OB, at least I got a few before the big farewell.  So my brother Jim is enamored with Dales Pale ale, which you can read about over at The Brew Club this morning.  He also sent me the Troegs Pale Ale.  So with this unlikely collision of events I decided to do an East meets West throwdown between Troegs Pale Ale from Pennsylvania and Dales Pale Ale from Colorado…

The Troegs poured a nice light straw color with a puffy white head.  It was almost crystalline in appearance.  The nose was little to write home about, it had a mildly hoppy, and somewhat biscuit like smell.  All in all it seemed like a nice light summertime beer.  Crisp and sweet.

The flavor was solid and very good.  It went down very easy and drank well cold.  This was a well balanced brew with a good amount of hops to balance out the lightly roasted malts but not so much that the came forward.  It was a drinkable and satisfying and flavorful brew for being very sessionalble 5.4% ABV

The Dales’s Pale Ale poured a darker orange color and had a cream colored head that had good retention and left lots of lacing as I drank it.

The nose was far more pronounced than the Troegs.  A little more hops forward, a more malty smell, and some breadiness by comparison.

The flavor was very good.  This is a strong competitor.  It was slightly hops forward backed by a good sized malt backbone.  It too was well balanced, without the hops being too far forward, but it is just bigger all the way around.  You can almost tell just by looking at them.  The Dales is richer and heavier looking.  And with 6.5% ABV, a full 1% more alcohol than the Troegs it does swing a bigger bat.

All in all in this East meets West showdown I have to give the edge to the contender from the West.  Dales is just a bigger brew all the way around and it gives it more flavor and beery goodness we all crave.  That said, the Troegs was very good.  It was crisp, light, and refreshing, so I guess it might depend on what you are after.  If you want a great session brew drink the Troegs, if you want to kick back and realax, go for the Dales!  Either way you can’t lose.

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7 Comments on “Throwdown: Pale Ales, East Meets West”

  1. June 14, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    And the winner is…Don! Two great pale ales for sure. The Troegs was the favorite on Simply Beer’s session beer podcast, as it offers a lot of flavor and complexity for a beer under 5.5% ABV. Like you said, it’s perfect for mowing lawns without losing a foot.

    Dale’s a great beer as well, and the fact that it comes in cans makes it special for me, as I can take it to my glass-free lake and enjoy a couple of great beers in the great outdoors.

    You drank these in the right order, too. If you had the Dale’s first, I’m not sure you’d be able to taste the Troegs.

  2. Don
    June 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    I actually had them on different days, and thought I would write it up as a throwdown. I was originally thinking about pairing up the Troegs with a Sierra Nevada, but when I tried the Dales, I thought this would be a good contest. Two great beers and depending on what you have going on, you might choose each of them for different reasons. Too bad I will no longer be able to get either of them! 😦

  3. June 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Thanks for the mention, Don. It seems arguably great minds DO think alike! 🙂

    Troegs makes some nice beers, so I’d expect their Pale Ale to be a quality product too. I see enough of it around here so perhaps I’ll get some to try soon as I’m always looking for another good lawnmower beer!

    The Dale’s is just an all ’round nice beer. In can configuration, its also easy to pack in the fridge!

    • Don
      June 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      Yeah, it is amazing how many you can fit just on the door! Enjoy the OB. You should also try their Old Chub. Scotch Ale, It is wonderful!

  4. June 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Don, I’ve been looking to try the Old Chub. Don’t think I’ve seen it @ any of my usual places but I’ll find it eventually!

  5. June 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Don, a great beer comparison, glad you did this. Based on your descriptions, it sounds like the Dale’s is more in my wheelhouse. I’ve never had either of them though. Will have to rectify that soon!

    • Don
      June 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

      Thanks Royce. You can’t go wrong with either brew. I think it really depends on what you’re doing. If I was out somewhere I’d more likely go for the Troegs, but if I’m at home and don’t need to be anywhere else the Dales gets my vote. Both good beers, both worth your trying them.

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