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Mayflower Pale Ale crisp and clean, not too bitter

Mayflower Pale may lack in bitterness, makes up for it in a smooth taste and good malt sweetness

Mayflower Pale Ale


On a 90 degree day in Boston, the beer of choice for this reviewer has to be a crisp, slightly bitter ale. An IPA, for example, has the hoppy bitterness and citrus notes that make it a refreshing, enjoyable beverage sitting out in the sun. One great example was Plymouth's Mayflower IPA from a cask. Yet for those who don't like bitter IPAs, Pale Ales can be just as enjoyable, and Mayflower Brewing makes one of those as well, and although drier than other renditions, it's a solid beer for the less bitterly inclined.

The Mayflower Pale Ale was drank out of a bottle a few minutes after being pulled from the fridge, which means it was tasted under different circumstances than the IPA, which was pulled from a cask. Like their IPA, the Pale Ale is also available in cask form, which is probably the best way to enjoy ales, although casks are still difficult to find in the US. Even still, after sitting for a few moments in a tulip glass, the head was able to give off a spicy, almost bready aroma, which just a hint of orange zest underneath. Possibly due to the inclusion of East Kent Goldings hops along with the Nugget variety also found in the IPA, the hoppy aromas weren't as pronounced, which is what is expected of the aroma of a pale ale.

Taste wise, the golden-amber beer had a crisp, yet rounded mouth feel, in contrast to the bitter punch of the IPA. The orange flavor still comes through as the beer warms up slightly, and a malty sweetness starts to develop which is quite enjoyable. However, it takes a lot of coaxing and swirling in a tulip glass to get the flavor profile to come through. It is a dry beer, almost like what a Sauvignon Blanc is to white wine, which is unique, but doesn't provide a good vehicle for the hops to truly come out.

Mayflower Pale Ale has the malty aroma that is expected in a pale ale, but the hops tend to get lost a bit, which can allow the beer to taste flat when served cold. This is unfortunate because the company's IPA is just bursting with flavor. It is still a clean, crisp ale that can satisfy a pale ale fan's palate, and is worth checking out either in a cask or in a bottle.