Royal Charter Pale Ale

Royal Charter Pale Ale
Six pack, $10.99++, 5.5% ABV

Purchased at Parkview Wine and Spirits, West Hartford

Charter Oak rolled out their second beer in the fall of 2012 after their first brown ale effort in the summer. I thought the 1687 Brown Ale was really good so I was fairly enthused to taste what was next.

I was not so enthused about the $11 price tag for a six pack, but hey, I’m supporting a Connecticut brewer – er, Connecticut business owner who brews his beer in Massachusetts but does a damn good job of “Conneticutting” it up through his beer names and labels.

No, it’s not that expensive, especially when I pay the same for 4-packs of NEB’s 668, but at least that’s an established brand. I hate that I sound like I’m whining… I’m really not. (The brown ale was a dollar cheaper.)

Since Charter Oak explains what the Royal Charter is, I don’t have to.

Charter Oak says:

Charter Oak’s Royal Charter Pale Ale beer (named after the Connecticut charter hidden in the Charter Oak Tree) is the little brother to our IPA, but still brewed with plenty of flavor and hops. This top fermented ale will be solidly an American Pale Ale style; not too sweet and not too bitter, but complex enough to not disappoint you. From your first sip and scent of a citrus and floral aroma, a solid backbone of the Cascade Hop can be detected. We hope you will enjoy this well balanced, medium bodied, and deep golden appearance in our Pale Ale. We can assure you it is not intensely hopped up, but only a subtle bitterness and dry finish. This is a beer you can drink all night long!

Here’s the weird part about that blurb. This beer does actually trend towards the bitter end of the spectrum. But on the six-pack side board AND on the bottle itself AND what you just read, they make it clear that this isn’t a bitter-hopped ale.

King Charles II

But then you drink it, and it pretty much is. And that’s not a bad thing, but in the case of the Royal Charter, it’s sorta the only thing. It’s a little thin in the florals and pines and malts. The smell is great, but it’s just missing aut a bit in the flavor department. I’ll be very curious what comes from the IPA when they release it.

By the way, want to know something funny about the Royal Charter of 1687? The one that “mysteriously” disappeared with the candles blew out when the British were there to take it back to “officially” seize control back of Connecticut? The one that was then squirreled away in the Charter Oak a few blocks away?

Yeah, that one. None of that even mattered for King Chalres II of England took control of Connecticut back anyway, charter or no. So while it’s a cool story (and having the original charter did help our cause many years later), it’s not like England gave a crap about a piece of paper when they were busy ruling the world.

I won’t even get into the British being responsible for the present-day borders of Israel and Iraq and so many other screwed up places.

Overall Rating:, B-
Rating vs. Similar style: C

Beer Advocate’s Reviews of the Royal Charter Pale Ale
Charter Oak Brewery
Back to CTMQ’s Reviews of Charter Oak beers
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