8/25/21: MadTree Brewing Company's Ramble On

3:00 PM

Summer's not over yet! While I've moved onto Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales in my personal, non-blog drinking life, I still have a summer series to bring to its conclusion. I have a couple more lo-cal beers to write about and just under a week to do it. Easy enough. Don't sweat that this is my first August post.

It's especially easy enough since after today I'll only have one left. And, speaking of easy, today's beer should be an easy-drinking one: MadTree's Ramble On. This is a beer that's been on the market for a while now, but I haven't given it a go. Let's see how it is.

If you haven't seen MadTree's "About" page (or if, like me, you haven't visited it an a bit), it's definitely worth checking out. The brewery believes in giving back to the communities in which it operates and the plant that sustains it and those communities. The folks at MadTree do a lot of achieve this: plant trees, make nature trails, recycle those plastic six-pack handles that most craft breweries use, and, sometime recently, started to provide opportunities for their customers to help them in their efforts to positive impacts on our environment. Just imagine that MadTree does all of this while continually making some of the best beer in Cincinnati. It's a marvel.

Ringing in at 106 calories, Ramble On--MadTree's low calorie IPA--seems like it should live up to the brewery's pedigree of excellent beer. 4% ABV. Notes of grapefruit, lemon, and orange. A finish described on its official page (see the link near this start of this paragraph) as "...thirst-quenching." Yeah, this sounds like a beer for me.

I do get all of the above fruit in Ramble On's nose. There's also that distinctive MadTree aroma: Some magic mix of malt, yeast, and place. Seriously, if you've ever set foot in MadTree's taproom, you know exactly what this is. If you lined up a bunch of beers and had me guess which one was the MadTree offering based on bouquet alone, I could do it. Michelle probably could, too. Anyway, I'm also getting a little grass from the nose on this can. And, yeah, that's about it. I love the bouquet but, at four paltry whiffs, Purrl doesn't.

The ale's crisp and light. The hops are present but not overbearing. The grapefruit's the most prominent flavor on my tongue, but the lemon's not too far behind. The finish is clean and, you guessed it, thirst-quenching. This isn't as flavorful as some of the more calorie-dense IPAs, which is fine. The flavor here's bright and just the kind of thing to help keep you going during an adventure.

Ramble On's a quantifiably crushable beer. It's, as mentioned before, light, but decently carbonated, too, like a good saison would be. But this isn't a saison, it's an IPA that's undeniably drinkable. That saison-like quality in it's mouthfeel isn't a detriment. It helps to bolster the base beer into something more that it'd be otherwise.

Last weekend, Michelle and I were in the Lake Hope (OH) region with her side of the family. On our way out of the cabins we were staying in, we swung (way out of the way at first but then back to where we needed to be) by Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest to see the Belgian coke ovens and the remains of the Vinton Furnace itself. The hike there was short, but hot and uphill. The ruins were amazing to see in person (online pictures just don't do them justice) and the trek was absolutely worth it, but, damn, a can of Ramble On at the end would've been sweet.

So, what do I think of MadTree's Ramble On? 10/10. The best beer I've had yet in this series. Light, crisp, and exactly as flavorful as it needs to be. A fine low calorie beer for whatever adventure your rambling onto next.

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