Blue Mountain Brewery Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale
It’s funny (at least to me), that I’ve been able to easily find on a regular basis the limited series of Barrel House beers from Blue Mountain Brewery, but it’s taken me this long just to find their flagship beer on shelves. And I’m glad that finally did. The home-grown Full Nelson Pale Ale a tasty brew that is now available in the convenience of cans.
Brewed with the company’s variety of Cascade hops grown on their own farm, the beer delivers a solid hop profile with a balanced malt backbone that makes for a refreshing and tasty brew. I’ve known that Virginia has had a small, yet growing, hop farming community, but I believe that this is the first time I’ve knowingly consumed a beer that employs them. I’ve heard of their use in other beers and I’m sure that one of the local breweries has used Virginia sourced hops in their recipes, but this is the first that I can recall that explicitly states it. At any rate, it’s a darn good beer that will surely make another appearance in my fridge.
Full Nelson pours a deep amber in color with a moderate amount of white foam that fell to consistent lacing along the inner walls of the glass.
The clean hop profile has a moderate pine and grapefruit character with grassy notes. There’s a decent helping of caramel malt in the background to balance it all out.
A solid hop bite overlays a nicely measured malt base for the herbal, grapefruit, grass and pine notes of the Cascade hops to wash over the tongue. The bitterness arrives almost immediately and fades smoothly to a lingering finish. There’s a light level of malt sweetness in the mix, as well. The medium bodied brew has a fairly crisp mouthfeel that makes for an easy drinking beer. The 5.9% ABV is well masked.
This is a prototypical East Coast pale ale — solid, earthy hop character without overwhelming the palate as many West Coast hop bombs tend to do. Perhaps I’m just stoked on a local brewery utilizing Virginia-grown hops, but I really liked this beer. It’s not the best by any means, but I’ll be damned if I won’t be sitting down with a sixer of it at some point next Spring when the weather is warmer (it is porter and stout season afterall).