Beer Review 0173: Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s India Pale Ale

We’ve reviewed a couple of the canned offerings from Oskar Blues, which brews out of Lyons, Colorado. Most notably, their Dale’s Pale Ale scored 92 points, and I thought it drank much more like an India Pale Ale rather than just a Pale Ale.

Everything Oskar Blues makes comes in a can, which according to Dale Katechis, the company founder, makes the beer “immensely portable for outdoor enjoyment fun,” and “keeps beer incredibly fresh by fully protecting it from light and oxygen.”

I’m sure there are people out there that will rebel against cans, but we happen to love them here on this website, and encourage you to pick up a canned craft six pack on your next beer run. Each Oskar Blues beer comes stamped with a random message on the bottom of the aluminum, along with the date it was canned (huge thumbs up for that, guys!).

Deviant Dale’s India Pale Ale is the newest beer from Oskar Blues, and it is a single IPA, but a big one, coming in at 8% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 85 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). This beer won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011, and it is dry-hopped with Columbus hops. It’s also the first 16 oz. tallboy can in production from this company.

And I would be remiss to not include that Oskar Blues recently announced they will be expanding into North Carolina (Brevard, NC), which is my home state. They will join New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, two other breweries that recently announced new facilities in NC. Speaking as a North Carolinian, I welcome a company whose ethos is this: “We’re in this to have fun and put some extra joy on the planet. We love the way people’s heads spin around after they try one of our four-dimensional canned beers. ‘That came out of a can?’ We hear it all the time.”

But let’s get to the drinking, shall we?

The pour made for an average size head, frothy in texture and long lasting. The head was an off-white color, almost tan, atop an orange beer that had hints of amber, but was moreso burnt orange. The body was clear, free of particles and sediment, and rewarded the glass with magnificent lacing, leaving a thick sheet completely coating the glass.

On the nose, there’s a ton of hops — grapefruit and lemon up front, supported by pine and a light tropical fruit. This is balanced by a nice malty sweetness, giving the nose a hint of caramel and some biscuit. There’s a light cattiness and a subtle spicy note, almost as if this were brewed with rye, but I’m fairly sure it is not.

The taste hits flavors of grapefruit up front, sharp and bitter, leading to a mellow unripened orange with a piney backbone. The hop flavors are wonderfully balanced by a nice caramel sweetness, leading to a finish that is quite bitter, almost medicinal. The finish cranks out flavors of pine, grapefruit and caramel, making it balanced yet still heavily bitter. 85 IBUs in full effect.

Deviant Dale’s is an outstanding brew, but just like it’s predecessor, Dale’s Pale Ale (which drinks more like an IPA), this one drinks more like an Imperial IPA than a single IPA. That being said, this is a tremendous beer in regards to balance and sharpness of flavor. Hop heads will not be disappointed, and the tallboy can is just awesome.

Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s India Pale Ale, 94 points. Price: $13.99 for a four pack.

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