Moby Dick. While motivations differ, like Captain Ahab we are in search of one specific thing. For the Captain, it's the fierce great whale Moby Dick. For Dumbartons Beer it's the perfect beer. So it was, we were on yet another wandering journey through the beer aisle looking for our white whale when we stumbled upon Cisco Brewers Whale's Tale Pale Ale.
What makes the Whale's Tale worth discussing? First, the name rhymes and that's just fun. Second, Cisco Brewers is based in Nantucket, MA leaving open the possibility of endless childish "poems". Finally, Cisco Brewers makes shatters the beer-wine barrier by brewing both. Some wineries force the "wine is for the average joe" and other breweries push "beer can be as sophisticated as wine". Cisco puts both philosophies into practice and proves both are right. Just for giggles, they offer a distillery too. So, basically, it's Nirvana.
All of this is well and good if the beer is good (we didn't stumble upon their vino or their spirits - yet). It turns out the beer is good. For reasons best left unsaid, we're unable to pour this fine brew into a glass but let's be honest for a moment - most people are concerned with a beer's taste. Light, dark, head retention, lacing, yadayadayada - how does it taste?
It's an English Ale that is best described as a mellow brew. There's a lot of good, earthy flavor. The hops are prominent and the floral aroma is comforting. The Whale's Tale doesn't have a lot of "depth" and is not overly complex, as some beers tend to be. This is a beer that reminds you of a simpler time - a nostalgia that can only be brought forth by lovers of the sea. We're land lovers but we are happy we found the Whale's Tale and will surely grab more Cisco brews (be it wine, beer, or spirits) if we can find it - and we recommend you do the same.