The second I heard the makers of The Raven were coming out with a new Edgar Allen Poe themed beer I was excited. Not only have I enjoyed hell out of The Raven in the past, but the literary dork in me was excited to partake in anything Poe. I picked up a bottle of Tell Tale Hearty Ale a few weeks ago and after reading nothing but good things, I decided I shouldn't wait any longer to taste the sweet nectar.
Appearance: Tell Tale Hearty Ale is quite the looker. She pours a beautiful golden amber color mimicking the classic IPA appearance we've all come to know and love so much. I didn't get a massive head out of my pour, but there was at least a finger of the good stuff on top.
Nose: Grapefruit, tropical fruit, a little bit of resin and pine all make their way from the head to your nose. There is plenty of hop presence, but not in an intimidating way. A lot of times the first whiff of an IPA has me bracing for a bitter hop bomb, but with all the fruit in Tell Tale Hearty Ale, the aroma is very inviting.
Taste: Everything that the aroma hints at shows up in the flavor profile. You get the all the fruit flavors with just a little bitter smack. Happily, the hops never completely take over your palate and that's something I can definitely get behind. At a little over 7% ABV this isn't a session beer, but Tell Tale Hearty Ale's easy drinking ways makes it very easy to keep going back in for another sip. All of these delicious flavors are rounded out with a slightly dry finish.
Final Verdict: Tell Tale Hearty Ale is a beer to behold. It's an IPA with plenty of hops, but one in which you won't find yourself looking to the sidelines for coach to call a timeout and give you a breather. I can easily see myself downing pint after pint of this fruity Ale all summer long. If you life in Maryland, get out there and find you some! Maryland, there's a new king of IPA in town.