Red Seal Ale - North Coast Brewing Co (USA - California - Fort Bragg) 5.5%
An appetizing dark brass and amber colour in a glass. A full creamy head and a nice hoppy aroma with some dark hints of not quite coffee. A roasty, bitter, sweet and hoppy flavour. Initially it is the bitterness and red roasted malt that greets you, then sweetness with a hint of maple, a nutty flavour and the spicy hops character reveals itself along with some wooden tones. The wooden tones persist and soften into an aftertaste of spicy hops flavour which puts me in mind of rappinni or a similar green that is bitter, darkly green and mildly spicy.
I could drink this everyday: Red Seal Ale is intensely malty with pleasant roasty flavours, sweet with those bits of maple syrup and then bitter and spicy with a great mix of hops. It is a delicious, complicated, well-crafted and interesting beer but not strongly flavoured so I think everyone would like it unless they are die-hard lager-only drinkers (in which case who cares!?). Needless to say, a very nice beer.
On a personal note, I actually had Red Seal Ale for the first time 6 or so years ago while living Vancouver and not again until today and I remembered quite clearly liking it a whole lot then too - that doesn't happen with most beers from that pre-blogger stage of my life.