Black Raven Brewing Nothing But Flowers Session IPA

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Men get women flowers when they realize their wrong and their significant other is angry at them, but what do women get men when the tables are turned?  Trick question.  Women are never right wrong.  But in theory, beer would be a good make up gift.  That and well… you know.  Here, Black Raven Brewing, from the tree chopping state of Washington, has created a beer that would not only act as a peace offering even 17th century Native Americans would accept, but would also be an appropriate man-make-up-gift on name sake alone.  Nothing But Flowers is a session IPA, or an IPA with a lower ABV, that seems to be all the rage in craft brewing right now.  Will it be blooming with life, or will I be wilting after every sip?  Time to run them numbers…

IMG_9232Appearance: Slightly darker than Bud Light (although it looks darker in pictures – up to the light, it’s, well, light), very clear, and biscuity.  The head disappeared in seconds and this brew left behind no lacing at all.  Strange to say, but this simply doesn’t pour like a craft beer.

Smell: Bready and malty at first aroma.  Not at all what I was expecting just based on name alone.  It’s not floral in the least and it smells as if it’s really going to be malt forward.  In addition to the malt I get some spices like that of herbal green tea and some tree bark.  Like a true Washington lumberjack.  The little hop smell that I get is piney and earthy, which is really what anybody thinks of when they here Washington (state).

IMG_9233Taste:  Earthy, herbal tea, spicy, slight hop flavors, but the malt is more of the star here.  A very grainy taste lingers on the palate when I drink this, but it’s not heavy or fulling as other malty IPAs can be – it’s dubiously light for a beer this grainy.  I suspect that this is old due to the fact that the strong hop taste and aroma most sessions have is lacking here and what I get out of this beer seems to be a bit off from the description.  The hops that I find tend to be typical of the Pacific Northwest – piney and resinous with little tropical or citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel is light.  Watery light, but it works here.  Nothing about the flavor would suggest that it tastes like a light beer as I really enjoy the maltyness of the brew coupled with how sessionable this beer is.  At 4.9%, you could drink this all day and not be stuttering shaking stumbling over your words.  Carbonation is on point and no complaints here.

Overall: B+.  I really enjoyed the drinkability of Nothing But Flowers, but the lack of a strong hop bursted taste and aroma threw me off a bit.  That being said, what was inside the bottle delivered even though it was a tad bit against the grain.  Not quite a bouquet, but still a nice bundle.

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