So you know, when I see a beer with the name "Patriot" on
it, I'm gonna buy it, right? You know you do. And not really because of the
fact that I'm a New England Patriots fan (the beer in question is made in
South Carolina, where they're usually Panthers fans). No, more so because
it's beer, and when I see a new beer, I try it. It's what I do.
That said, I'll probably knock back a few or more bottles of RJ Rockers
Patriot Pale Ale this fall when football season starts up again.
And why not? This is really a great beer for any time of year, what with
it's form mouthfeel and formidable hop character. Patriot Pale Ale is what
we of the beer cognoscenti like to call "American Pale Ale", which is sort
of kind of like IPA Light.
American Pales are generally bigger and body and certainly more hoppy than
classic English pale ale. Everything is bigger in Texas, after all (or in
this case, South Carolina). Patriot Pale Ale is just little stronger in
alcohol content than most at 6% by volume, but it's the massive amounts of
Challenger and Cascade hops that really set it apart from the rest of the
To my mind, that makes it a natural companion to that other southern
institution: barbecue. The bitter, herbal hops allow it to stand up to the
spiciest of sauces, and I myself enjoyed a few bottles with some smoky pork
ribs, hot off the grill and slathered with piquant sauce, grilled corn, and
southern-style mustard potato salad.
RJ Rockers Patriot Pale Ale pours to a murky orange amber color with
a light but densely packed head formation and a vibrant citrus and herb hop
nose. A sip will impress you with a solid caramel malt foundation that's
tasty and packs just the right amount of body for the style.
Of course, American Pale Ales are known for their hop character, and that
quickly makes its presence known. It kind of sneaks up on you, gradually
increasing in grassy, herbal intensity until it culminates in a long, dry
aggressive bitter finish. All in all, this is a very nice brew, and probably
my favorite so far from this Spartanburg, South Carolina brewery. It's a
credible version of American Pale Ale, and I very much enjoy the smooth
drinkability and assertive hop character.
Just the thing for a hot southern afternoon, and that's just how I enjoyed a
bottle as the mercury passed 94 here in Atlanta today.
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.