After drinking a
bottle of Catamount Eight Lives a while ago, now brewed by Harpoon of Boston
at it’s newly-acquired Windsor, Vermont facility, I was ready to be
disappointed by what Harpoon had done to Catamount’s wonderful pale ale. Not
that the Nine Lives was bad beer mind you, but it was a Harpoon beer,
not a Catamount beer in my estimation. Not that a Harpoon beer is a bad
thing either for that matter, but when I drink a Catamount I want it to
taste like a Catamount.
Breweries do indeed have their own character. Malts, hops, yeast strains,
recipes unique to the brewer all contribute to giving a particular brewery
its own signature, if you will. For some breweries this is more the case
than others, I think of Anchor, Otter Creek, Sierra Nevada, Geary’s, Rogue,
and of course Catamount just to name a few when I think of distinctive
breweries. So there I was, ready for the great experiment. I popped the cap,
hey there be hops here! I poured the beer, took my sip….and sat back amazed!
Damn if this didn’t taste like Catamount Pale Ale! Congratulations are in
order to Harpoon on this one. They not only rescued a pioneering New England
Brewery from extinction, they also managed to preserve one of its best beers
Catamount Pale Ale pours to a slightly reddish, mostly golden color. Head
formation is foamy, rocky, and creamy. The nose is quite aromatic, with a
gentle citrusy hoppiness to it. The palate is firm with malt, delicate and a
touch chewy with caramel malt, it serves as a wonderful background for the
flowery Cascade hops that finish the beer nicely. Not too bitter, but still
quite hoppy, this is a wonderful beer that is very similar to the original
version I loved so much.
A mug of ale, a hunk of chewy bread, and a hot bowl of soup are a favored
meal for me in the winter, especially on a snowy day like today. I’m
enjoying this brew with a home made cream soup packed with shrimp,
portabella mushrooms, scallops, crab meat, potatoes, onions, and chives.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.