Beer Review: ROADHOUSE BREWING HIGHWAYMAN BELGIAN SESSION ALE

Beer Review: ROADHOUSE BREWING HIGHWAYMAN BELGIAN SESSION ALE

The Highwayman Belgian Session Ale takes on a clear pale golden hue, adorned with a frothy, soapy-looking white foam that’s powered by a robust carbonation dance. Unexpectedly, a sediment layer rests at the bottom of the Red Stripe-style stubby brown bottle, adding a touch of intrigue to its visual presentation.

Aroma

The aroma of Highwayman asserts itself with a notable yeasty character. Phenolic white pepper, herbal sage, hints of lemon peel, and a touch of perfume create a bouquet that beckons exploration. The olfactory experience sets the stage, inviting enthusiasts into a Belgian journey.

Taste

This Belgian Session Ale stays true to its roots with a bone-dry, herbal profile. While the taste resonates with Belgian authenticity, a mid-palate twist introduces a slightly soapy and chemical bite. Yet, the sage-like herbal bitterness perseveres, taking center stage in a lingering finish. The bitterness, leaning towards a 5 out of 10 intensity, adds a bold note, while a growing acidity reminiscent of real sourdough provides an intriguing contrast. A balancing act is maintained by a subtle bran/cracked grain character, bringing the overall experience closer to expectations.

Mouthfeel

Contrary to the initial 4.8% ABV claim on the label (5% as mentioned on the website), Highwayman surprises with a more substantial body. Around halfway through the glass, the perceived alcohol content seems to defy expectations, edging closer to 6.8%. This transforms the ale into a filling, spicy, and prickly experience on the palate, deviating from the anticipated smooth and refreshing nature. The combination of sharper bitterness and a dry finish gives it a character that might not align seamlessly with the envisioned post-work, everyday quencher.

Overall

Highwayman deviates from the anticipated American blue-collar beer, defying expectations set by its Wyoming roots and pickup truck imagery. The surprise of encountering a Belgian pale ale instead of a traditional pale lager or cream ale adds a layer of complexity. Despite its departure from preconceptions, Highwayman impresses with its assertively yeasty aroma, herbal bitterness, and a dry finish that aligns with the Belgian pale ale style. While not fitting the expected branding, it stands as a well-executed divergence for those seeking a twist in their beer journey.