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03-31-00

Beer Review #323 Viridis Lupulus

03-31-03I always try to support local breweries in addition to other craft beer and I came across a new beer from Weyerbacher Brewing Company, a local brewery, and I decided to go for it. They make some outstanding beer and I was excited by the image of hops on the label. This bad boy comes in a 750 ml bottle and drinks at a healthy 7.5% ABV.

Viridis Lupulus pours a muddy orange color and has a medium off-white to light tan head. The beer isn’t clear at all but light does pass though and you can see a thicker-than-normal layer of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The nose is solid hops. They are mostly piney with some good citrus hints. The hops are sticky and super aromatic. The only other thing that escapes the hops is a slight bit of sweetness on the front-end.

On the first taste I got a slight bit of malt sweetness. The malt wasn’t very complex and didn’t leave a lasting impression. The hops roll in quickly after the forgettable malt and start slow and build to a sharp pine bitterness. It’s almost like a wave of hop bitterness. The wave starts with a slight citrus/tropical note and builds quickly to pine and then proceeds to wash out everything else. The climax of the wave is pointed and dominating.

I rather enjoyed this beer. The high carbonation mixed with the bitterness helps wash the beer off the tongue and leaves you wanting more. I would of liked to see a bit more complexity in the malt but the hops are really nice. This beer edges on the strong IPA to weaker double IPA realm of things. Drink this one up if you have the chance. (more…)

08-09-02

Beer Review #307 Single Hop Citra Imperial IPA

08-09-04It’s been a long time since I reviewed a Flying Dog Brewery beer. I’ve been in a real hop mood lately (as you can probably tell from recent reviews) and when I came across this beer at the store, I grabbed immediately. Citra is one of my favorite hop varietals and Imperial IPA screams “Drink Me!” This beer also comes in at a drink and fall asleep(™) 10% ABV.

This Imperial IPA pours a light orange and has a nice white head. It is perfectly clear and looks great with light passing through it. The nose is full of rich hops. Citra is clearly the hop at play in this beer. If you ever want to find out what a particular hop smells and tastes like, finding a single hop style of beer is the way to go. Homebrewing makes this task a bit easier. Citra has notes of citrus (duh), grapefruit, and other tropical fruits. The hops are bright and round. I really love everything about how this beer smells. Even more impressive than the fresh hop aroma is the lack of any trace of alcohol.

On a first tasting a slight malt sweetness with light caramel can be found. After that the flood gates of hops open and the hop flavors flow in fast and wonderfully. All of the flavors mentioned in the aroma are present in the flavor of this beer. The hops are solidly biting and slightly grassy. This beer leaves your mouth while making your inhale a bit to counteract the bitterness. The body on this beer is nice and creamy as well which helps the sipper crowd out there.

This is an excellent example of how a brewery can showcase an ingredient. If you don’t know what Citra is or what it tastes like, this beer will give you an education. Everything from the aroma to the flavor is covered with Citra. It’s truly a wonderful beer that I will be drinking often. (more…)

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…)

07-16-03

Beer Review #301 Imperial French Style Ale

07-16-02I’m always on the lookout for new beers and beer styles to sample and try. When I came across the Lavery Brewing Company’s Imperial French Style Ale, I just had to purchase it. It comes from Erie, PA and Lavery has a bit of a history of making some different styles of beer that you normally don’t find. I’m also a bit partial being from Pennsylvania.

Lavery’s Imperial French Style Ale pours a hazy straw color. This beer comes packed with carbonation which results in a thick white head. This nose has a slight hop around that was nondescript. A wet hay aroma cane be found along with some Belgian-like spice. A grassy note can also be found. It has a Belgian IPAness to it.

On the first taste I was really struck by how bright the hops were. The nose didn’t really let on that bright hops were to be found in this beer, but upon tasting, there they were. The hops are packed with citrus and have notes on lemon. There is a slight Belgian yeast note that comes out the more the beer warms. There is also a slight sourness mixed into the flavor that I rather enjoyed. All tolled, the malt wasn’t very powerful, but the hops and yeast notes make this an interesting tasting beer.

In my notes I wrote, “a very nice, confused beer.” It’s like a Belgian IPA with a funkier yeast than what you normally find. The hops are on par with other beers in the style by the yeast is more unique than others that I have tried. If you like IPAs, and more specifically Belgian IPAs, this will be an enjoyable, drinkable beer for you. I’m excited to try more of their stuff in the future. (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…)