Lazy Magnolia Deep South Pale Ale – 5.2% ABV
Lazy Magnolia is a microbrewery from the heart of the Deep South – Mississippi – the town of Kiln to be exact. When I got these in a recent delivery from UPS, I was excited to see what the South had to offer. Everything I taste these days is from one of the two polar ends of the craft beer planet – either from the Northeast (as that is where I am) or from California or the Pacific Northwest. Both are major craft brew regions. I wanted to find something from “fly-over country” and was happy to find this brewery. I already posted a review of their Southern Pecan, and much to my delight, it was an interesting take on a nut brown ale. This time however, we’re going into the hoppy beer territory. Rut roe Scooby Doo, the dreaded hop realm.
I have already stated that I’m starting to come around on the hoppier side of beer, as I have been fortunate to get my hands on some stellar selections. But as always, fear of the unknown and an apprehension on the part of my taste buds often has me hesitating, if for only a second or two. I have to admit though that I’ve been able to handle some IPAs and pale ales in my time. Hell, I was 18 the first time I got to really savor a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for the first time, sold to me by the local beer and wine store as condolences for having to watch my fraternity house burn to the ground a few blocks away. Everyone was on hand to wipe their tears and drown their sorrows. But back to my point. For some reason, when I get into a hoppy beer, I just don’t know exactly what to expect and it’s hit or miss from that point on.
Enter Deep South Pale Ale, the other selection that came from Lazy Magnolia. The label was a nice red, white and blue. How patriotic, especially for an American Pale Ale. However, this is inspired by English and American IPA styles. How dubious indeed. After the pour, a golden amber/nearly copper body is produced with a thick creamy white head, two fingers-plus at its peak. It also stuck around quite a while, leaving us good retention.
The nose that comes from this sucker is bright and piney. It really sets the nostrils into a frenzy. Plenty of citrus notes in there as well as you continue to whiff. The taste of this is not unlike the aroma. Once I gave it a whirl, I noticed a malty sweetness right up front, caramel with pale malts yielded a sort of sweet and bready flavor before getting hit with the piney hop bite. Not too bitter, but just enough to make it dry so that it urges you to take another pull. After a few takes, the pine cone floral character starts to take hold and the bitterness kicks it up a notch over the sweet malt.It’s not overpowering, but it definitely shifts the focus of attention to the other side of the flavor spectrum. Deep South Pale Ale would probably go well with a big juicy burger or pizza. I have heard that people enjoy hoppy brews with greasy food because the grease helps to mellow the acidic nature of the hops and vice versa. It is said to be a nice counterbalance. Whatever, I just wanna drink and try to enjoy what I have in front of me.
For the lovers of hop-forward beers and pale ales, Deep South Pale Ale is a respectable offering. While it may not have blown me away like some of the other class acts I’ve had the pleasure of tasting, this can hold its own against plenty of competition. If you ever get deep down in the south, you might as well grab a beer that accurately represents the hood you’re in. Cheers!