The Pilot Rock West Coast Pale Ale is a difficult beer to lock down.
Coming from Lake Havasu, Arizona-based Mudshark Brewing, the Pilot Rock is a bit of a puzzling beer. Labeled a “West Coast Pale Ale”, one would assume a higher level of bitterness and hops for a Pale Ale (per the West Coast moniker), yet also with a solid malt profile. The Pilot Rock has the latter, but the former is strangely lacking.
Poured from a can into a pint glass, the Pilot Rock produces a nice copper coloring and tops off with about a finger of white head. There’s very little in the way of a nose or bouquet, which again is strange for a Pale Ale of any kind.
How’s it taste?
The IBU is non-existent, and you’re met with an unexciting and somewhat unclean malty flavoring. In fact, it’s plain and uninviting. Research does not yield any results as to what malt was used (it’s seasonal, so information is scarce), so I can’t make an informed opinion on the recipe. But it doesn’t really work.
The result is a beer that’s approachable enough at a low ABV (hovering around the 5.5% mark), but doesn’t challenge or really invite a second go-round. Undeveloped palettes or casual samplers would likely be put off. There’s a good chance it’s a beer that doesn’t translate well to can and bottle and is best experienced from their taproom.