Well, it took a LONG time to get this; I’ve been admiring this beer from afar for several years and today I got the chance to finally try it. Huge thanks to Grant for the opportunity to crack this one as a shared growler with many of the usual suspects at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA.
Pour is a typical mid-orange beer with a nice head and lace and some good clarity in the body. NOT perfectly clear, but still lacks much haze to speak of. Soapy lace created – a good sign.
The nose is a combo of grassy sweetness and sinus clearing, west coast hops.
The tastes ARE extraordinary. There is a distinct note of late hopping aroma, and it has tremendous balance. Simple and large hops, but nowhere near as aggressive as one would supect from such an obvious west coast hop bomb. Tasty beyond my wildest expectations.
I am ASTONISHED that this is tagged at 11.00% ABV – this beer drinks at about half of that, and the alcohol is simply NOWHERE to be seen (or tasted). There is tremendous balance here, BUT the hops seems to be cumulative. By that I mean that the more of the beer you drink the more th hops sseem to build and fatigue the palate. I started the glass thinking that it would be no problem to drink the whole growler, but as I got to the bottom of a large glass I was beginning to change my mind.
In no way is this a typical American, west cost DIPA. It’s infinitely more sophisticated and subtle than the usual nonsense associated with many of those beers, and in that respect I was amazed.
My pessimism had me thinking that this might be a let down, but this is one of the few beers that reached the expectations that had been flagged for me. One of the very few beers that just about managed to live up to the ridiculous hype. WOW!