Franklin's Crossing IPA pours a deep marmalade color with just a ring of foam at the top. The aroma exhibits grassy and citrus hop notes. The beer is dry hopped with whole Cascade hops after fermentation, and the fresh "green" flavor is apparent. The juicy citrus flavor is balanced by a bit of sweet malt. If not for the 8.5% ABV, one might pick Franklin's Crossing as an extra hoppy Pale Ale. The beer is not bitter or overbearing and I enjoyed my second pint as much as the first. As an aside, this beer takes its name from Franklin's Crossing, a Civil War pontoon site located just a few hundred yards from the brewery.
Colleen opted for the Fred Red Reserve. This beer is a once-a-year release of Blue & Gray's Fred Red Ale that is aged for 7 months in oak bourbon barrels. The color seems a tad darker in color than the parent beer. The aroma is mostly sweet malt though the effects of the bourbon barrel is detectable. The change imparted by the aging is readily apparent when the beer is tasted. The beer has a rich, dark malt flavor with a distinctive sweet bourbon flavor. The oak aging gives a richness to the beer, but does not overpower the flavor of the red ale. Frankly, I am skeptical of the trend to age everything in bourbon barrels, but the Fred Red Reserve proved a good use of the time spent in the barrel.
|Franklins' Crossing IPA an Fred Red Reserve|