Beer Profile: Laika, by Straight to Ale

Profiled by Ken Carman for

laikaRISlabel-e1352407854402-200x200Beer-Profile1-258x300Light brown head: rock mixed with pillow. Obsidian. Roasted barley up front but not too much to be problematic. This is a beer worthy of the heroic dog it was named after. Sent into space, Laika was a struggling street dog who was taken from trash barrels in the old USSR where life was tough tough to begin with unless you were highly placed in the party, taken from a street life of scraps. Then he was trained, not that he needed a lot of training. Everyone who worked with him said he was brilliant. Brilliant even for some humans. He died in space because they didn’t know how to bring him back. That sucks!

Nice full mouthfeel with a sturdy abv to support. Carbonation light but perfect. Head holds and slowly fades. The pale malt plus roasted barley mix is perfect: not that much of “other” malt sense. Hint of sour, as per Guinness. Foam tingles the mustache as it gently glides over the palate.

Taste is a nice roasted barley mix with malt intensity. I would call it roasted barley, mostly… with just a hint of sour. Hint of sharp hop bitter balanced with malt sweetness: the balance here is superb. This is what a Russian Imperial should be. There are obvious sweet unfermented sugars, but: in the background.

From Straight to Ale out of Huntsville, Alabama. I will have to check this out. Sweet Magnolia is great, But this is impressive!

Welcome to the new PGA rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.” This beer was rated…


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