I’m finally back, this time checking in with a very cool offering from Narragansett Brewing Company. Founded in 1890 this Providence, RI based brewery recently started a line of beers inspired by another Providence native born in 1890: horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. While I missed out on the earlier entries in the series, this one got my attention. Not only did it come out right around the time I was getting into a Lovecraft inspired text-based game, but the beer was an imperial red ale. The combination was too good to pass up.
Beer Name: I Am Providence
Brewer: Narragansett Brewing Company
Style: Imperial Red Ale
Description: The third installment in Narragansett’s line of beers taking inspiration from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. For this offering they brewed a hoppy red ale, the specifications of which you can find here. It was around $12 for a six-pack of 16 oz. tall boy cans.
Pour Info: For the purposes of this review, I drank two of these: one poured into a snifter glass and the other straight from the can.
Appearance: The beer had an amber body with a reddish gleam to it when held up to the light. A fizzy white head formed quickly on the pour and then steadily fizzed away.
Smell: There wasn’t much to report in regard to the smell. Just a faint cotton-candy like sweetness that was a bit stronger coming from the can than the glass.
Taste: Consumed from the glass, the beer had a sticky caramel malt sweetness upfront coupled with citrusy hops. It then transitioned to a more bitter and piney taste before coming to a resinous finish. Mixed in was a wheaty/yeasty character that seemed somewhat out of place, along with hints of alcohol. From the can, this beer was a bit more cohesive. The taste followed the same general pattern as it did in the glass, but the bitterness on the end wasn’t quite as pronounced and blended into the sweetness a bit more. The heat from the alcohol and yeasty/wheaty presence were still there, but much less discernible, making for a smoother drinking experience. I preferred it from the can.
Mouthfeel: Sticky medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Nice and easy to drink, especially from the can where it picked up an almost creamy smoothness underneath the bubbles.
Hype Factor: I suppose a release from Narragansett Brewing isn’t something most beer enthusiasts typically get super excited about, but as I said in the introduction, I had my reasons for wanting to try this.
Overall: A pretty good beer, no more and no less. While it might not have been the hoppiest or maltiest of brews, it did strike a nice balance between the two that worked in its favor. Working against it were its tendency to get a bit too boozy for the style and the occasional feeling like everything didn’t quite came together as well as it could have. That said though, I’ll have no problems finishing my remaining cans and was happy I picked it up.