Peticolas’ Prime Minister Gets Our Vote.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Peticolas Brewing‘s Prime Minister.

Fast Facts on Peticolas Brewing Prime Minister.
Style: British Strong Ale.
ABV: 8.6 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 48.
Color: Light copper.
Availability: Kegs — Limited Release.

It was around this time last year when I reviewed Peticolas Brewing’s Ghost of Alfred Brown. Honestly, it’s hard to not play favorites with one of DFW’s best breweries. Peticolas isn’t one of those breweries that releases beer after beer in an endless parade of experimentation. Rather, it focuses on fewer recipes that represents classic styles. In the case of Prime Minister, Peticolas pays homage to a classic English style, one that’s not widely available in DFW.

Background on British Strong Ale.
According to BJCP guidelines, this style ranges from 5.5 percent up to 8 percent ABV. Fruity esters are common on the aroma, and the flavor should have a familiar British malt profile. Toast, caramel, nuts, and toffee are common aroma characteristics. While the beer can be higher on the booze range, the flavor should not take on any hot or solvent-like notes. Darker malts can be commonplace in the grist, but they shouldn’t be overused; the beer shouldn’t go off the charts as to affect the color nor take the flavor in to over-roasted mode. ontap2

Prime Minister pours clear in to the glass, with an deep orange, light copper sort of color. The head remains for about ten minutes, and then beautiful rings of foam appear down the glass as I sip it. If you have had a Velvet Hammer before, then imagine the color of that beer, but turned down some on the intensity and on the redness.

At first sniff, I get a solid amount of malt on the nose. It’s a warming sort of malt sensation, but not in a solvent or fusel sort of way. Behind this malt aroma is an inviting but subtle amount of fruity ester aroma. Neither of these two elements takes over in the aroma; it’s clean, balanced and not overstated at all. I get a small amount of hops on the nose, but the hops are subtle and sort of hang out in the background.

The malt sensation carries through to the flavor. It’s part caramel, part toast and a little sweetness to round it all out. There is a noticeable amount of alcohol present in the flavor, but it’s not overwhelming. I mean, the alcohol is here, no doubt, but it seems to be nicely balanced with the malt profile and the caramel sweetness. For hop flavor, the main thrust of hops in Prime Minister come in bittering form. I don’t get a ton of hop bitterness, but the parts I do sense in a significant way are toward the end of the swallow and somewhat in the aftertaste. Yeah yeah, I know that the aftertaste is more of an aroma sort of sensation, but I’m talking about it here. ontap4

For its 8.6 percent ABV, Prime Minister is a total sleeper. The alcohol is there in the initial bite on my tongue, but other than that, it’s almost invisible. In other words, if I blind-ordered a couple of these at a restaurant, the buzz would quietly and quickly sneak up on me. Prime Minister is adequately carbonated — probably not as low as what you might imagine when your mind wanders off to some random British pub for some cask ale — but hey, we’re in the United States here. Honestly, if this beer were a lower-carbonated beer, it probably wouldn’t sell so well. I think that drinkers here have a tacit understanding (and maybe a bias) of what a properly carbed beer should feel like. And that carbonation range is relatively narrow. However, the ground may shift soon as more cask and firkin nights happen in DFW.

Overall Impression.
As there’s not a whole lot of comparable styles in DFW for me to compare it to, Prime Minister appears to be a nice example of the classic British Strong Ale style. I don’t notice any perceptible off flavors, and there’s a certain dialed-in and refined character that I get on this beer that I don’t get on some other DFW beers.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Peticolas Prime Minister a 8.25.
ontap5What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Friday, October 14. Brew-Haha Comedy Series at Legal Draft Beer Co.
• Saturday, October 15. Hot Tech Chili Cook-Off at Tupps Brewery.
• Wednesday, October 19. Beer, Beards and Beethoven at Wild Acre Brewing.
• Wednesday, October 26. Zombie Dinner at BrainDead Brewing.
• Saturday, October 29. Halloween Candy and Beer Pairing Flight at LUCK.
• Saturday, November 12. Untapped: Dallas at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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