“Meet Colonial Small Ale, brewed to be lower in alcohol, not impact, or flavour. Our Small Ale is brewed using the same techniques – with the same malt and hop profiles – as an IPA, but it’s cleverly crafted to reduce the alcohol content to 3.5 per cent, without sacrificing substance. Brewed to deliver gentle, lasting bitterness, and layered a swift kick of citrus-and-pine goodness, you can drink small and stand tall with our full-bodied, flavour-packed Small Ale.”
Quite interesting these new ring top lids. It would surely make for a better drinking experience from the can, not to mention a good point of conversation at the pub. Anywho we served this in an IPA glass and we see a thin wispy head atop a slightly hazy amber body. It weaves a surprisingly healthy lace despite the lack of head.
Don’t let the name “small ale” fool you, the aroma is big in juicy tropical fruits like honeydew, passion fruit and rockmelon. A subtle and smooth biscuity malt backing brings a good balance and a hint of buttery sweetness to the table. Maybe a fleeting trace of pine coming in and out too. Very good for a middy.
The mouth feel is a little too light and slippery. Hard to pan them for it though as it is only a lightweight that sits at 3.5% ABV. It does provide a nice spritzy carbonation with a well presented bitterness despite the low 19 IBU.
It’s not a tidal wave of flavour but the palate gets a good wash with stone fruits, subtle pine and a mild malt sweetness. The flavours seem to taper off a little but the modest bitterness carries the sweet malts into a considerably lengthy finish.
Although the session IPA isn’t vastly popular it’s not a bad weapon for a brewery to have in its armoury. As much as we all cringe at the idea of being designated driver you can’t sidestep it all of your life and that’s where these little guys come in. This fact, along with the ring top lid and the eye catching artwork gives this beer its points. The solid aroma and reasonable flavour are just an added bonus!