Fiddlehead Brewing Company Mastermind

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People say the Vermont beer scene is one of the best in the country.  Craft beer meccas like Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, and Lawson’s are inhabit the green mountain state, in addition to nationally distributed breweries like Otter Creek, Long Trail, Harpoon, Magic Hat, etc…  Often forgotten about, Fiddlehead Brewing Company out of Shelburne, VT, is making waves in the craft beer realm by producing some incredible IPAs comparable to the ones being concocted by the meccas mentioned earlier.  Mastermind is a double IPA that’s a brewery only release and usually goes quick.  On a recent trip up to the “why does everything smell like cow manure” state, I was able to nab a four-pack and enjoy the contents from within.  Let’s run them numbers.

IMG_3573Appearance:  Murky golden brown with a white head that laced nice in the glass.  You can tell the yeast is alive on the pour alone and it looks like an inviting DIPA.

Smell:  Juicy hops, passion fruit, grapefruit, orange, and lime.  This smells like Omnipollo 42 tastes – there are so many similarities.  Very fruit forward with piney and resinous hops taking a backseat in the beer.

Taste:  Taste veers a little from what I got on the aroma; the main flavor I’m getting from this brew is faint anise.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a signature taste I get out of almost every Trillium IPA I’ve had and is also quite similar to Bissel Brother IPAs.  It’s spicy and almost has a charred rye taste to it.  I can’t really get past that one taste and the beer doesn’t quite open up to anything else.  It’s not too bitter, there aren’t a ton of tropical flavors, and maybe there’s a touch bit of pine at the finish; the main thing I’m hung up on is the anise.  This is actually the third time I’m having this beer – I had it a few days ago at the brewery and once about 6 months ago – both times I didn’t recognize this much anise and remember it being very tropical and balanced, so maybe with time this will round out?  I might have to follow up on this in a week or two.

IMG_3574As far as mouthfeel and carbonation go, both are fine.  Mouthfeel is thinish and the carbonation is more normal than the name Bill.  The ABV in Mastermind is at 8.1%, which frankly is much more than I would have guessed.  This goes down very easy and there is no hint of the ABV at all in the brew, so kudos for Fiddlehead on that.

Overall:  I like this beer and enjoy it, but I think I could find something on my shelf at home that I’d prefer more.  Given the rarity of this beer (AKA lack of accessibility) I have to give it a B.  However, when I had this a half a year ago, I gave it a 5 on Untappd, which I rarely do; this beer can definitely change with a little time (for the better of course).  The can date on the one I’m reviewing is 5 days ago, so it still may need some “aging”.  A good Vermont beer, but out of reach of Heady and Focal Banger.

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Other Half Brewing Hop Showers

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Some people would love to be showed in money, for others it’s joy and happiness.  Women get showers for their babies and wedding and the Weather Girls like to be showered by men, while Parry Gripp and BooneBum prefer their showers in the form of tacos.  Me?  After a hot day mowing the lawn and doing yard work, I’d prefer a hot shower, then maybe beer shower.  The Other Half Brewing Company, based out of Brooklyn, NY makes a product to suit all average Joes during the summIMG_3448er with a juicy IPA brilliantly named Hop Showers.  If the beer tastes as good as the design on the can, we’re all in for a treat.  Let’s run them numbers…

Appearance:  Golden brown with a white head and minimal lacing.  It’s a bit cloudy (which is appropriate given the whole ‘shower’ name) and looks like one heck of an IPA.

Smell:  Suuuuuppper tropical: mango, papaya, yuzu, heavy tangerine/clementine slight grain presence to round things out.

Taste:  Balanced.  Incredibly balanced.  Flawlessly balanced?  A lot of great IPA flavors bursting across the palate.  First up is a tangy citrus – similar to an under rippened orange, sour tangerine, or grapefruit.  I love this flavor in my IPAs, but it gets settled pretty quickly once your palate adjusts to it.  Like a shower putting out a citrus flame, sweeter tropical fruits like mango and pear make their way in on the mid-palate.  These sweeter fruits help to nudge out the grain in the beer while still being predominately fruit forward.  Hop Showers is certainly on the juicy side as far as IPAs go with a ton of tropical fruit, however don’t let this Brooklyn beer fool you, it’s backed up with a nice amount of bitterness.   The finish is very hop forward, dry, and a bit tangy with some pine.  Much more complex than I was expecting.  A lot of shelf IPAs I’ve been having are just not bitter enough for me, which is essentially the definition of what an IPA should be.  This IPA balances the line perfectly with it reaching over to the bittereIMG_3446r side rather than sweet/tropical.

The flavors in Hop Showers are brilliant, dare I say better than that sweet can/glass design, and the mouthfeel paired with the carbonation follows suit with the rest of the beer.  It’s medium bodied with great carbonation and full of alcohol… not a bad thing for beer.  At 7.4% ABV, this brew packs a punch, but there is zero hint of the booze in here. 

Overall:  From looking at the can to the last sip, Hop Showers rained down from cloud 9.  I have to give this one an A; it was so well balanced and had all of the good parts of an IPA without any of the bad.  Plus, that logo is only helping its cause.  I got rain on a sunny day, and I love it.

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Grey Sail Brewing Captain’s Daughter

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In my head, I imagine all sea captains to be curmudgeony, surly, and abrasive… (see what I did there?)  They set sail with a few cartons of cigarettes and a handle of Old Granddaddy ready for the voyage ahead.  They don’t care about your city slicker education, your fancy new teku glass, or the fact that you have no missing teeth.  They will swear at you, belittle you, and if you dare even lay eyes on their daughter, they will kill you.  Perhaps this is why this beer is becoming so hard to take home for the night.  In the New England area, Captain’s Daughter is flying off the shelves quicker than gallon jugs of water before an incoming Nor’easter.  Is it worth the risk of facing the Captain’s wrath?  Time to run them numbers…

IMG_1760Appearance:  Golden brown and cloudier than an April day on the east coast.  The head was white with a little staying power and some lacing as I drank.

Smell:  Yup, this beer deserves to be in the conversation with the New England elites just based off of smell alone.  Lemony citrus, grapefruit, tropical pineapple, mango, sugar plum, all while maintaining a light grain presence and oily hops.  This smells fantastic.

Taste:  Nice and bitter upfront with some dankness and a touch of tropical flavors coming through.  The hops in here kick you in the teeth and leave the palate stinging, but don’t worry, flavors of resin, grain, and grapefruit come in like a bag of ice from Rocky’s trainer.  Initially, Capt’s Daughter reminds a lot like the beer formerly known as Gandhi Bot – dank yet tropical, resinous yet grainy.  Not too many DIPAs can pull off that kind of yin and yang, but this brew is in that conversation.  It’s not as tropical as Nelson or Abrasive, but there is something to be said about assertive, dank India Pale Ales.  The beer finishes with a nice grapefruit bitterness that gives you both the hops and the citrus providing an ending happier than Finding Nemo.

IMG_1764Since there are pungent hops and a deeper grain body found in this beer, it’s not the most drinkable DIPA I’ve had, but that is not a bad thing at all.  All things considered, this is one enjoyable double that still won’t last very long in your glass.  Once you get used to the assertive taste, it actually becomes very easy to get down.  The ABV in this brew is also curmudgeony clocking in at a comfortable 8.5%, but none of the booze can be detected in the taste.  The carbonation is on point, and there’s not much to knock this brew on.

Overall:  From smell to last sip, Captain’s Daughter does not disappoint.  It, however, is not the beer for the wimpy Gorton’s Fisherman, but should be reserved for those rag-tag group of Alaskan crab fisherman.  It packs a punch, but one that I’m willing to take right to the jaw.  Grey Sail scores an A with this brew.  You won’t find people chasing after it like Sip of Sunshine or Heady, but if you see it on the east coast, grab it and treat it right.  Captain’s orders.

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New England Brewing Locust Reign

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I’d much rather have a plague of hop water than that of locust.  I think Moses would also agree to that, and a local brewery made [what I think would be] his wish come true.  New England Brewing concocted this beer in the hopes that it would let their people go… and grab as many growlers as they could hold, venture out, and pick up some this liquid gold.  That had to be the thought behind NEBCo’s newish IPA, Locust Reign.  Brewed with Mosaic and Galaxy hops, this IPA would make Neil Armstrong take one giant leap to get another growler fill.  With the puns reigning strong, it’s time to see how well this beer will fly.

Appearance:  On first pour, I babied it a little too much and didn’t get much of a head, but on the second go around, Locust poured with a solid white fluffy foam and laced as I drank.  The body is a murky golden color, reminiscent of many tap only IPAs from NEB.IMG_1714

Smell:  So juicy.  Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, papaya, yuzu, peaches, kiwi.  Also get signature NEBCo dankness, and a little bit of citric acidity, maybe some pine.

Taste:  Big bitter hop kick to start that nails the sides of the tongue followed by the softer, more tropical tastes of the hops.  The acidity of the hops are noticeable and give off a bitter grapefruit rind taste but the citrus mellows it out a bit.  Not as much mango in the taste compared to the nose on this brew, but it’s there, especially once you get used to the bitter charge.  The grain in here can only be identified on the back end once the more assertive, punchy hops give way, and the malt has a very light, minerally taste to it similar to the most recent batch of Maine Beer Co’s Dinner.  The beer finishes with a little bit of star anise, which seems to be signature of Trillium, but works with the dankness of the hops in here.  One thing to mention before moving on to ABV and drinkability is how earthy this beer also is.  The hops in here have a connection to nature stronger than most Occupy protestors which makes for an interesting and complex IPA.IMG_1717

In addition to the grassroots taste, what’s really impressive is how easy this monstrous IPA is to drink.  It has the perfect level of carbonation accompanied by a light to medium bodied mouthfeel.  The 8.5% ABV goes unnoticed in the brew only leaving a gregarious hopped up taste in your mouth.

Overall:  Admittedly, I had this beer when NEBCo first came out with it about 8 months ago and was blown away by it.  This experience is a little bit different, but I was still very impressed by it, as were other NEBCo fans judging by the line that formed at 2:30 on a Thursday.  This might be my favorite IPA by New England and is one that hasn’t got a ton of traction yet, but looking at its Beer Advocate score, that will change soon.  I’ll have to give Locust Reign an A.  I actually think that if you give this brew a week, it’ll drink better than it does fresh… but I’m sure many would disagree.  In any event, this beer is one of biblical proportions.

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Trillium Brewing Company Upper Case

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Beer people are the best people.  You strike up a conversation with a beer person, and you can tell immediately that they are just a good human being.  So often they are willing to share their knowledge, information, and most importantly, their beer with others.  Recently, an incredibly generous customer who often frequents the package store I work at proved just how awesome beer people are.  This gentleman returned from a trip to Trillium in Boston with their newest double IPA, Upper Case.  Trillium imposed a strict limit of fIMG_1686our bottles per person, yet he dropped off two bottles for me and my beer manager, just because he thought we appreciate it.  Talk about paying it forward.  With gratitude in the air on a warm spring day, it’s time to run the numbers…

Appearance:  Golden with a little cloudiness and a nice fluffy white head.  Some lacing as I drank

Smell:  Mango, pineapple, apricot, peach, passion fruit, grapefruit, orange peel, floral, and slightly dank.  This brew smells unreal.

Taste:  Another phenomenal IPA reviewed on Beer Chatter.  Mike, this is great.  I identify a lot of flavors all over the board, but theIMG_1694y mesh together so well it’s tough to distinguish them separately.  Grassy, dank hops lead the way here followed by a juicy grapefruit bomb.  The other tropical wafts I got can be picked up in the taste of this beer, especially the mango.  This is really a nice, hop forward DIPA and the malt takes a back seat to let the cones do their thing.  Some sweetness is achieved on the finish of the beer, but I think I would attribute that to the ABV rather than the malt profile Trillium used.  This beer also has a nice floral taste to it like stepping outside in the middle of the Spring as the leaves just start to sprout on trees – it’s delicate yet dank at the same time.  Like Double Dry Hopped Congress Street from Trillium, I do get a bit of star anise at the very back end.

IMG_1687The drinkability of this beer is incredible, especially given its ABV at 9%.  You cannot detect it whatsoever outside of the bit of sweetness it adds to the beer and it goes down so incredibly easy.  I could have this all day, any day, any time, any place.  The carbonation isn’t even noticeable next to how amazing this beer is and the mouthfeel is medium bodied on this guy due to the aforementioned ABV.

Overall:  Just a wonderful beer.  It’s up there with Julius, Dinner, and the like and easily earns an A for me.  Make friends with a gracious beer guy, or go to Trillium right away.

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Steady Habit Brewing Company He Died With His Boots On

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Sometimes, the most important and influential people in our lives can be our grandfathers.  Both of mine were part of the greatest generation, and both of the proudly served in the Military during WWII.  Steady Habit Brewing Company, one of Connecticut’s newest breweries, wanted their flagship beer to have a deep personal connection to the owner’s own grandfather.  Recounting stories he used to tell, the owner recalled one phrase his grandfather uttered during his war days: “He died with his boots on.”  And voilà.  Steady Habit’s double IPA pays homage not only to family, but to hard work, sacrifice, selflessness, and heroism.  Let’s run them numbers…

IMG_1463Appearance:  Golden in color with a fluffy off-white head.  The brew is merky, unfiltered, and something I’d expect from a solid DIPA.  It left a pretty lacing as I drank too.

Smell:  Incredible balance on the nose.  I get some fruity characteristics like apple, mango, orange, grapefruit but it also has a hoppy and resiny punch to it.  You can smell some of the sugars from the grain in there as well.  The smells in here are diverse but mesh nicely, analogous to the melting pot that was 1920s America.

Taste:  It’s really hard to distinctly identify any one flavor that dominates this brew.  There is a vibrant hop character to the beer that adds freshness and bitterness, but tagging along are some tropical tastes and grapefruit.  Those flavors linger for a bit, but I can clearly pick up on the grain used in here as it adds a touch of sugary sweetness to balance out some of the acidic tastes from the hops used.  The finish is bitter enough that the sides of the tongue are dancing around in your mouth, and the only way to quiet the pitter-patter is to delve right back into the glass.

IMG_1468The fact that I just want more and more of this DIPA is a testament to how drinkable this beer is.  Its 8% ABV is nothing to scoff at, yet it goes down super easy.  I wish these guys were a little bit bigger so they could fill full growlers, but the 750 mL swing-tops will do for now.  I actually like the approach of filling only 750s so everybody can experience the goodness of Steady Habit.  The carbonation in here is perfect, especially considering how green the brewery is (one month old), and the mouthfeel on Boots is medium bodied.  The sugars in here leave a nice coating on the mouth.

Overall:  I’m impressed by Steady Habit’s flagship.  New breweries are popping up left and right in CT right now, but I have a feeling that Steady Habit will be a steady habit for anyone in the area.  New England Brewing and OEC are staples in the state, but once the word travels, Steady Habit will soon have expand out of the baby clothes they are wearing right now.  All things considered, I have to give Boots an A.  A little hometown bias?  Perhaps, but I think this is drinking far better than Sip of Sunshine and is on par with Julius.  This beer is wonderfully balanced and leaves little to be desired – drink this when you get a chance.  This is a type of hard working, honest brewery your grandfather would be proud of.

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Jack’s Abby Kiwi Rising

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I think everybody wants to travel to Australia and New Zealand at least once in their life.  Beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, wonderful people… what more can you ask for in a vacation?  How about some souvineer hops?  Jack’s Abby, from the commonwealth of Massachusetts, did its best to concoct an elixir emulating the flavors of New Zealand in their semi-limited release brew, Kiwi Rising.  Featuring all New Zealand hops, this lager should spout sunshine after I pry the cap.  Let’s get our tan on…

IMG_1281Appearance:  Gold in color with a nearly white head.  It’s a little murky diving in there, but looks like a perfectly colored, southern hemisphered IPA.

Smell:  Explosion of juicy fruits: peaches, oranges, grapefruit, and mango.  Very citrusy.  I also get some lemon-lime soda in there too and some candy sweetness.

Taste:  This double IPL is very vibrant.  At first taste, you get a lot of fruity sweetness, but it’s immediately followed by a sharp hop dagger to the sides of your tongue.  The finish, however, transitions back to sweet sugars left on your palate.  A very interesting and intriguing beer indeed.  You know the New Zealand hops are there because of the bitterness, but I can’t specifically identify the exact flavor characteristics they give off.  They’re a tad rubbery, a little tropical, and bitter.  I’m thinking that because this beer is lagered, it closes with a crisper, more mild-mannereIMG_1286d finish.  That aspect makes this one of the most drinkable hop forward beers I’ve ever had, however I do miss the grand finale ending most assertive IPAs bring.

I’m also surprised at how drinkable this beer is considering its hefty ABV at 8.5% – I can’t detect it at all.  The carbonation is fine, maybe a touch undercarbed and the mouthfeel is thin for an imperial.

Overall:  I enjoyed Kiwi Rising a lot, but I think I’d enjoy it more on an 80 degree day hanging out with friends.  It definitely seems like a summertime brew and you’d be able to have a few of these in a sitting.  The price point on this beer is also fabulous at just about 5 dollars per 500 mL bottle.  All things considered, Kiwi Rising gets an A-.  Would like to see a little more bite from a double, but hey, it’s not too often that you can bring an 8.5% hopped up brew to the beach.

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Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn

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I don’t know about you, but when I picture unicorns, I think a cute and cuddly majestic animal that every 8 year old girl writes to Santa about.  But in the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!!”  This unicorn adorning the Pipeworks label looks as if he (and it has to be a he) was shot up with more steroids than BALCO had at the turn of the century.  Roger Clements, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, The Macho Man Randy Savage, and Sammy Sosa were all cleaner than this bulging, raging, and testosterone laden thoroughbred.  It actually could put up a fight against a ninja, that’s if it doesn’t find itself in front of a grand jury denying every knowing Victor Conte.  Will it knock my taste buds out of the park, or will it forever be branded by an asterisk?  Time to run them numbers…

IMG_1253Appearance:  Lighter in color than the picture would suggest.  A transparent golden brown with a head that lasted for a little while.  Lacing was pretty as I drank.

Smell:  Nice citrus fumes are emitting from this brewski.  Oranges, limes, grapefruit and some tropical mango are the fruits that I get from the head.  A fruity IPA with a noticeable malt backbone to it.  Under the fruitiness there is a sweet, grainy scent that reminds you this is a Midwestern IPA.

Taste:  Big grapefruit and bitter finish on this brew – it’s odd that this is the first thing that I notice about the beer.  It’s probably because upon first sip, everything was pretty lackluster.  I was expecting something better than this, considering this beer his highly regarded by the public, but man, it just falls short.  On the front end, it’s pretty malty.  I get very little citrus from the brew and it sits heavier than Vader for an IPA.  Mid-palate, there is an odd muskiness you get similar to venturing into your Grandparent’s basement crossbred with year old freezer burned vegetables.   Mustiness sometimes works in a sour, but for what is supposed to be a clean IPA, it really subtracts from the overall experience.  Other than those off flavors, there really isn’t much else this brew offers, other than a dense, malty taste.  It’s quite lacking in flavor and might be one of the least complex DIPAs I’ve had.  The biggest note is on the finish, which for me is overly bitter and on the acidic side.

IMG_1255Mouthfeel is a little syrupy on this brew, but at 9% ABV, that could do it.  I felt that the carbonation was a little too much for an IPA, but it could have been in my head.

Overall:  Since it’s around Christmas time and I’ve been brushing up on the holiday movies, drinking this beer is the same feeling Ralphie had when he realized the secret message he eventually decoded was, “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.”  I felt gypped from this bottle.  How can this possibly be so highly rated?  If you’re a fan of West Coast, hop forward, tropical IPAs, skip this.  Overall, I’ll give it a C-, and if you take into consideration the availability factor of this brew, maybe even a D+.  With that rating in writing, you maybe thinking I must have had an old batch.  Not really.  It was brewed less than a month ago.  I know it’s not as fresh as people would like, but considering my review of Lunch was at least 3 months old, it’s young in comparison.  Not even PEDs could help this brew.

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Pipeworks Nelson Sauvin

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Don’t look into his eyes.  They’ve been known to paralyze, mortify, and brutalize.  This ninja is quick, deadly, and is bitter about something.  Likely because Pipeworks Brewing Co. shoved whole lot of Nelson Sauvin hops into his bottle.  He’s looking for a score to settle and is ready to nun-chuck the bejesus out the unsuspecting beer drinker.  I’m willing to bear the brunt of this attack, but will it be more like a 1920’s bare knuckle boxing match or a school girl pillow fight?  Time to run them numbers…

Appearance:  Fuller and darker than many west coast IPAs, but Pipeworks is from Chicago anyway, so the west coast comparison is stupid.  Nice light tan head that laced.

IMG_1198Smell:  So this will be frustrating for some readers, but it smells just like a batch of homebrew that I made (in which I ended up drain pouring).  Not a good way to start off this brew with bad memories like that.  With that homebrew, I used only New Zealand hops including Wakatu, Nelson, Galaxy, and Wai-iti with a very light grain build and low ABV.  So I can say for certain, a ton of New Zealand hop aroma is coming from this, however if those hops aren’t balanced, it gives off a dirty dishwater/sponge smell… and I’m getting a little bit of that out of this brew.  Some traditional hop aromas, a little citrus, some berry notes, and the malt is definitely coming through in the smell – like a dense rye biscuit.

Taste:  OK… things are looking up.  This is my third Nelson IPA I’ve reviewed in less than a month, and in the previous two, I was baffled at how different they were from the homebrew I whipped up.  Nelson Showers and Alpine Nelson were both extremely tropical on the smell and also carried a heavy citrus note as I drank.  This beer is more like my botched homebrew, but where I got it wrong, Pipeworks got it right. 

IMG_1207The flavor profile is very heavy with dark berries: blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry – and while I have no clue what a gooseberry is, some say that Nelson hops give off this flavor as well.  There is really no citrus to be found in this Nelson IPA and as alluded to before, it’s entirely different than the two previous Nelson bitters I reviewed.  The heavy malt base and high octane ABV pairs perfectly with the rich berry flavors bursting from this brew.  And that’s where Pipeworks got it right.  The sweet, spicy, and biscuity malt base along with the 10% ABV thicken up this beer.  Both of these elements in the brew join hands with the Nelson hops rather than sitting on opposite sides of the isle, making it complete.  And while they pair well together, I wouldn’t say that it’s an overly complex brew – berries, bitter, sweet.  That’s what we have here.  The mouthfeel on this brew is heavy for an IPA and it’ll take some time to get through this bomber by yourself.

Overall:  Pipeworks made a Nelson DIPA that was like only one other beer that I’ve had… a homebrew that I tossed.  I will caution you, that this rating is based off of my past experiences and tastes.  I typically hate “berry” flavored anything – juice, candy, or beer.  That said, I give Pipeworks a B- on this brew.  It’s not something that I would ever go back to, however I do feel that it gives off a more authentic Nelson IPA taste, or one that at least matches one similar to what I made.  The 10% ABV and malt presence bails it out, but berries are still at the forefront.  This ninja is sneaky.

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Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA

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Can you imagine a 26,000 pound behemoth charging at you with hate in his eyes?  Now imagine he has 30 of his friends hanging around him.  Thoughts like that make me grateful that I live in an age post Jurassic Park.  How in God’s name did anything other than a dinosaur survive on this planet when they were roaming around?  Out of respect, or perhaps pure fear, Oregon based Ninkasi Brewing Company decided to pay homage to these ravishing beasts by brewing a larger than life Double IPA called Tricerahops.  Standing at 22 ounces and full of booze, it’s time to unleash the wrath of Tricerahops.  Let’s run them numbers.

IMG_1054Appearance:  Amber in color with an off-white head that lasted for a while.  A darker IPA would signify a malty IPA, so I’m curious to see if this West Coast brew has an East Coast flavor.  On the second pour, some schmeg came out of the bottle and I had some floaties lingering.

Smell:  Malt forward, spicy, sweet bread, some pine and a pinch of citrus from the hops.  The smell doesn’t surprise me given the colr.

Taste:  Similar to the nose with the malts landing the first punch.  The grain in here is not excessive, but it’s definitely the thing I notice most.  It’s quite similar to the spent grain smell that engulfs you when visiting a brewerey – a little sweet, a little roasty.  It almost reminds me of a roasted butternut squash with a light, distinguishable, charred, and refreshing taste.  The hops in here are rather tame considering this brew’s wicked cool name; they lean towards the piney and resinous side like a standard East Coast IPA.  However, the hops in here are true to the Pacific Northwest.  If you’re expecting a pineapple, grapefruit, mango bomb, then you might be searching for a while with this beer.  You do get some elements of those flavors long after you swallow, but the come and go faster than a one night stand.

IMG_1063The pineyness from the hops complements the grain and the alcohol in this brew.  At 8% ABV, it stands out and is most identifiable when you first start drinking Tricerahops.  As you get though the first pour, the flavors meld together like a melting pot of harmony.  Everything just works in this beer.  The mouthfeel is a bit on the thicker side – this DIPA has the body of a Triceratops.  Carbonation is OK, a bit on the flatter side for my tastes, but it doesn’t take much away from the beer.  I think more bubbles could have cut through the thicker body, but that’s just my two cents.

Overall:  Tricerahops drank very smoothly.  Ninkasi wasn’t afraid to feature the malt in this brew, and for me, the sweetness from the grain did a great job of taming the hops in here.  You got a little bit of everything without you palate being assaulted by bitterness.  I appreciate this beer and it’s one of the better malt forward IPAs I’ve had in a while.  I give it a final grade of a B+.  Maybe those dinosaurs we’re so rageful as I thought.

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