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Posts Tagged ‘US of A!’

Tasted Wednesday 1 April 2010. 330 ml bottle. 7.2% Alc/Vol

California, USA

Ahh, now this is a beer for serious hop heads; no-holds barred assertively hopped American IPA. What makes this fantastic is that it is well balanced and easily enjoyable. You have to like the style though. It is bright traffic-light amber in colour with a thin off-white head. The aromas are powerful and aggressive giving huge fresh pine scents, fruity notes of passionfruit, orange rind, biscuit, backed by a faint herbal/peppery character.

The palate is well balanced and the beer surprisingly easy to drink. It is medium in body and big on flavour, like a fat man on a moped. There is a lovely malty middle palate with fruity tones of ripe peach, pine resin, pepper, biscuit and caramel. The malt carries the extreme bittering hops, driving front to back, incredibly well for a while before unleashing them on the back palate leaving a mouth-watering yet cleansing bitter hop finish that lasts for ages. Whole hop cones are used in this beer as well as a revolutionary Hop Torpedo system that is a unique way of dry hopping the beer to capture essential oils and resin. The result is a beer big on flavour and extreme in hop character, just way a true hop addict likes it.

Bitterness Units – 65

Malts – Two-row Pale, & Crystal

Bittering Hops – Magnum

Finishing Hops – Magnum & Crystal

Dry Hopping – Magnum, Crystal & Citra

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Tasted Tuesday 10 December 2009. 355ml botlle, 7.2% Alc/Vol.

USA

This beer is about as subtle as its title. In fact the back label is as interesting to read as the beer is to drink and it certainly makes no secret of the brewers opinion of commercial beers. This is the “regular” Arrogant Bastard made with American Oak wood chips and it is designed to challenge and excite.

This pours a deep red colour with orange edges and a thick fluffy head. There is big malty aromas, pine scented hops and distinct spicy wood smoke. The flavour packs a punch. It has a solid body and massive flavour. As I chewed my way through this beer it began with lots of sweet malt, molasses like, character carried upon a wave of powerful hops. Aggressive and brawny, dark and toasty, vanilla bean and subtle chariness, there was also a smoothness allowing a measure of approachability. Hops and malt combine perfectly like the meanest biker on a Harley. This beer has a dry and seriously bitter finish that lingers long after.

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Tasted Wednesday 28 October 2009. 355ml bottle, 9.1% Alc.Vol

USA

“An extreme style with flavour that is hell-bent on palate destruction….

Great Divide - Hercules - Double IPAI’m a hophead. Thought I’d make that clear, although many of you would have figured that out by now.

Hearing that this beer was available again got me salivating – quite disgustingly so…….

And yes it has lived up to my expectations and it’s been a number of years since trying it last. Quite simply this is full on – malt and hops jostling for attention but I feel that the malt dominates the most. Big sinus clearing, pine scented hops bounce out of the glass with toffee apple and malt extract.
The palate offers a big malt character again, rich and full. Molasses/golden syrup-like, oily alcohol that tries to rear its head but is battered back down with the said malt and building hops. While the hops build and extract themselves and crash on the rocky shores of my tongue leaving a pleasant wake of bitterness, I feel the malt needs to be toned down some.

Nevertheless it is an extreme and challenging beer that is strangely addictive. A big thumbs up from me.

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Tasted Wednesday 28 October 2009. 355ml bottle, 7.2% Alc/Vol

USA

Great Divide - Belgica - IPA“Rated as one of the world’s best breweries, Great Divide Brewery is not afraid to push the boundaries. These beers are a must for hop heads…..”

This beer will divide (no pun intended) beer folk. What is a Belgian-Style IPA anyway?
To me this tastes like a massively hopped Duvel. A strong golden ale on steriods this pours a suspicious bright yellow colour. Big fruity notes leap out of the glass – lemon and peach with pine needles, fresh hay and malt.

Lively, light bodied yet full flavoured with a glycerol/oily texture giving a fuller impression. Citrus flavour generously spreads itself throughout with some sweet malt, spicy hops that build in intensity and leave a wake of bitterness on the finish. An oddly refreshing beer, with bite.

While I do believe that this is a good beer, my overall impression is that the flavours are not harmonious, they work a little against each other rather than flowing seamlessly.

Some will like this, some won’t.

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