A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Florida, and on the way down, we stopped at my friend Joe’s house in Atlanta. He picked up a bunch of beers for me that I couldn’t get at home in Illinois, and made sure they were in cans so I could enjoy them on the beach. I had heard a lot about this beer, and was really looking forward to trying it. I had an extremely long day at work today and so I was looking for a big beer to take the edge off. At 10% ABV, this one certainly fit the bill.
Location: Poured into a 12oz snifter glass from the can (says it was canned on 7-16-12) at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 10% ABV, 100 IBUs, 315 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s orange in color, with some copper hues, and it’s very slightly hazy. There seems to be a fair amount of carbonation and it, and it’s got a decent sized creamy head on it. The head stuck around for quite a while and left some nice lacing on the glass. It’s got a light citrusy – grapefruity hop aroma.
Taste & Feel: The body was very full and viscous. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy from the foamy head. The flavor up front is a very thick bready-maltiness, which quickly turns to a sweet earthy-resiny and juicy-fruit citrusy hop flavor. The citrusy hop flavors grow throughout the finish, and continue to get bigger in the aftertaste for a few seconds. In the finish and aftertaste, it’s got a very cloying citrus bitterness level. After several sips, an alcohol warmth in my throat was noticeable.
Food Pairing: This is such a big and flavorful beer, it definitely needs something light and bland to cut through the cloying citrus bitterness. At the very least, you should have a pretzel or other bread. I think I’d go with something buttery, salty, and bready to match the big flavors in this beer. I’d suggest a cheddar or swiss grilled cheese sandwich on Texas toast.
Overall Impression: I had heard alot about this beer and was really looking forward to it – a huge hoppy beer with a big body to match. At first, it was exactly what I was expecting with a big bready-malty backbone, matched with a resin-like bitterness. However, the bitterness came in quickly and grew and grew… and grew. The citrusy finish was so cloying, it made my mouth pucker and my face grimmace. I consider myself a hophead, but this was too much as I found myself almost choking down this beer.