Additional notes 08/22/23 (pictured)
Draught, JK O’Donnell’s, Fort Wayne, IN. 12oz pour, presumably 2023 vintage.
Now sporting an 11% ABV (as opposed to 10.4% in the bottled 2011 vintage) and a ‘Triple IPA’ moniker (yawn), it’s been around a dozen years since I’ve either tasted or seen this.
Nice copper body, and with a more aggressive pour this would generate enough head and lace to be acceptable at this ABV.
This does feel ‘hoppier’ than in years past, but also exhibits most of the attributes listed below. Still solvent slickness (hardly surprising) and punching up at the advertised ABV.
SN and breweries like them did all the heavy lifting for a multitude of pretenders that followed, and that didn’t (and don’t), make beers that are as good as this within the style. As such I still want to patronize them, even if Celebration and many others are ‘better’ beers. Shoot me.
Original notes 01/30/11
The 24 oz large format bottle that SN seems to have favored for this type of release for sometime now. $9.99 from Smyrna World of Beverage, Smyrna, Atlanta, GA, USA.
A very, very attractive looking beer. A beautiful golden, clear body with some significant white, frothy, sticky lace which is well retained considering the ABV, and is really pretty.
Nose has some alcohol, but frankly not a huge amount of hop presence when considering the nature of the beast.
The tastes are similarly sweet and slick as opposed to very hoppy. There’s a little hop burn in the chest with the alcohol, but it doesn’t tear at the palate in a massively aggressive manner. The slick mouthfeel is appropriate, and to be expected when considering the style and the alcohol content.
There is a decent amount of solvent in the very back end, finish and aftertaste which takes a little away from the overall experience for me, but the beer never really delivers what I would call a huge hop battering. Some metal in the aftertaste too.
OK, but poor value for money, and surprisingly “unhoppy” given the positioning in the market.