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08-06-03

Beer Review #306 Palate Wrecker

08-06-03Green Flash Brewing Company has been increasing their distribution to my area recently and I’m a happy guy because of it. When I saw a beer named Palate Wrecker on the shelves of the beer store, I just had to buy it. I’m such a sucker for a good name/label. I took a look at the bottle before purchasing and this one clocks in at 9.5%. I think Palate Wrecker is just part of what this beer wrecks on your body.

Palate Wrecker pours a orange color and it is perfectly clear. The head is super thick and off-white. The nose is packed with hops. Pungent hops. Palate altering hops. The grapefruit and pine is more than almost any beer that I have ever smelled. I love big hops, but this one seems over the top.\

I did get a slight malt flavor on my first sip but it was short-lived. The hop train came in and knocked out everything else that was there. The hops just wash over your tongue and blow out every taste bud. The hops start as a citrus flavor and then a hammer of pine comes in and cleans any other flavor out of your mouth. I know that hops are supposed to numb your taste buds, but this is the first beer that I have ever had that actually lives up to that tale.

I LOVE this beer. It’s big and bold and in charge. I’ve never had a beer that left my mouth feeling the way that this one did. I guess this falls into the double IPA range and it delivers on every end of that. The hop flavor and brutality of this beer are second to none. I highly suggest this beer. (more…)

Beer Review #284 Grand Cru Dark Ale

04-14-03One of the most random style categories out there is Grand Cru. Most beer categories have a set range of numbers, color, and other things that are pretty specific, but Grand Cru is wide open. I’ve have everything from sour to peppery. Green Flash Brewing Company makes a Grand Cru and that’s what we are looking at today. Let’s see what direction they decided to go with this open style.

Grand Cru Dark Ale pours a dark ruby color. You can’t see through it as first glance, but when held up to the light you can see that it is clear and changes the source of the light beautifully as it travels through the liquid. The head is a light tan color and soon fades into the beer below.The nose starts with a good malty, caramel base. It then morphs into a nice helping of dark fruits, most notably fig and plum. It ends on a slightly spicy note.

On the first taste the first thing I noticed was the drop of heat. This beer comes in an at a massive 9.1% ABV so it’s not surprising that alcohol shows up. The caramel smells follow through to the flavor and add a nice splash of sticky sweetness. A nice raisin flavor develops in the caramel and carries through until the end of the sip. Grand Cru Dark Ale has a spicy Belgian finish that has a bit of clove on the end.

This is yet another Grand Cru that is different from what I have had in the past. It is nice and smooth. It’s a little sweet but overall it’s pretty well balanced. This is a style that I want to explore more as I love the variety and combinations of flavors that different breweries put into it. (more…)

Beer Review #243 West Coast IPA

Today we have Green Flash Brewing Company’s claim to fame, West Coast IPA. I first heard of Green Flash via praise for this beer. Being a lifelong (minus one year in Texas) east coaster, I have a bit of a different take on what an IPA should be compared to my left coast beer lovers. Everything I heard about West Coast IPA told me that this beer took a hoppy west coast IPA and hopped it up more.

West Coast IPA pours a nice burnt orange color has has a thick off-white head. I actually had to leave the head settle for a bit so that I could empty to full bottle into my glass. The nose is a punch of bright citrus and pine homes.The bottle reads “extravagantly hopped,” and boy did this one smell like it. There was a slight hint of malt behind the mountains of hops. I didn’t get any heat which I was expecting to find as this beer comes in at 7.3% ABV.

After I gave my nose a break from the hops assault, I dove into the beer. A strong bittering hop hits you right away and a citrus/pine hop flows through the entire beer. There is a solid malt backbone that supports all of the hops, but I couldn’t identify any particular flavor in the malt. The beer finishes with one final hop kick that fades as you drink the beer.

I really liked this one. It’s super hoppy and lives up to the hype. For a beer that is so hop forward, I found that the body supported the hops very nicely. I’m going to be getting this one again. (more…)

Beer Reivew #213 Rayon Vert

Today’s beer review is our first from the Green Flashing Brewing Company based out of San Diego, Ca. They have really opened up their distribution recently as I have seen their stuff all over the MD, and PA beer markets. One of my coworkers loves their IPA and constantly encourages me to brew something similar to it. It’s a damn good beer, and when I saw that my local beer store was carrying something other then just the Green Flash IPA I quickly picked it up. According to the bottle Rayon Vert is a Belgian-style pale ale. Green Flash’s website has this to say about the beer,

If Green Flash were founded in historical Belgium, Rayon Vert would have been our flagship brew. A bold layering of hops finds balance from traditional malts. Bottle conditioning with fresh ale yeast and Brettanomyces finishes the beer, adding a delightful effervescence, dryness and continuously evolving character. Rayon Vert is Green Flash.

Rayon Vert pours a hazy orange with an incredibly fluffy white head. I actually had to stop halfway though my pour, and let the head settle for a few minutes before I could finalize the remainder of the pour. The nose has lots of citrus hops that hit you right off the bat. I was surprised by how tangy this beer smells and there is even some orange mixed in there. One odor that I wasn’t sure of was a slight plastic smell towards the end. I’m not sure if that was the Brett, or something else, but it was the only thing that took away from the nose on this beer.

Upfront, Rayon Vert as a really nice sweetness which is followed by a weak hop component. The hops don’t bit the way that I expected from the nose, but just fade in and slightly dry the beer out. Towards the end this beer was a bit grassy, which wasn’t a bad thing. There was also a tangy flavor to this beer, which I am going to attribute to the Brett. There is not a ton happening in this beer, but there are some bold flavors that lead to a well balanced beer.

There are a ton of good flavors in this beer. While the tangy flavor might not be for everyone, I enjoyed it. I want to go back and try this beer again at some point so that I can get another chance to experience it. I feel like this might be a beer that you have to experience multiple times to fully understand. (more…)