TUPPER LAKE, NEW YORK
Tucked away in upper New York’s Adirondack Mountains, RAQUETTE RIVER BREWING opened March 2014 inside a small ‘northern country’ wooden cabin near Lake Saranac and Lake Placid. Featuring four flagship offerings, including an untried Pale Ale, this boutique operation allows free samples, growler fills and keg sales (as of August ’14). Based on the few worthy offering already available onsite, future expansion seems imminent for dedicated brew masters Joe Hockey and Mark Jessie.
One enjoyably sessionable summertime seasonal, Orange Coriander, brought lemony mandarin orange, curacao orange and clementine mildness and light coriander spicing to its toasted white bread base, retaining a pleasant citric tartness perfect for any witbier enthusiast.
As for the flagships, upscale Blonde Ale maintained a sturdier piney fruited IPA-like briskness than many of its simpler stylistic competition. A clear favorite among local denizens, its loud yellow grapefruit rind and peel bittering as well as zesty orange pith pectin and sugared pineapple tang picked up wood-dried white peppering.
Similarly styled India Pale Ale buttressed its bark-dried piney hop bittering with tangier grapefruit, pineapple and orange juicing.
The most unique offering, German-styled Red Ale, brought barley-smoked campfire cinders to roasted butternut-chestnut wisps and mild red-orange fruiting for a moderate-bodied rauchbier-like infatuation.
During October ’14, Dennis returned with sessionable summertime moderation, Pale Ale, a fruity Cascade-hopped pleasantry with crystal malt sugaring and mild grapefruit, lemon and orange illusions receiving wispy celery earthiness.
One month hence, Dennis picked up a growler of awesome autumnal dessert, Imperial Pumpkin. Its brown-sugared pumpkin pie luster sweetened the ethanol-charged lacquering, leaving cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg spicing along the honeyed yam midst.
November 2015, enjoyed rangy Hefeweizen, a sassy stylistic moderation with white-peppered grassy hop astringency reinforcing sweet banana-clove expectancy and raspy lemon bite. Afterwards, mocha-smoked Irish Stout brought black-malted dark chocolate bittering to dry oats toasting and wood-singed charcoal hop char.
January ’16, discovered three more Raquette River offerings. Best bet: convincing Imperial Pumpkin contrasted brown-sugared cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice seasoning against leafy-hopped earthen gourd acridity. Wheat-honeyed crystal malting and red cherry snip kept it on the sweet side.
Sessionable North Country-bound India Pale Ale brought candy-spiced tropical fruiting to moderate piney hop bittering and vegetal celery acridity. Sunny grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, peach and papaya tang retained easygoing nature. Surprisingly less bitter than the aforementioned flagship IPA, Double India Pale Ale relied less on stylish grapefruit-orange-pineapple bittering than brown apple/ brown pear sweetness to rise above light piney-hopped wood tones as well as French-breaded caramel toasting.