I helped at my son’s soccer practice this evening and was ready for a beer when I got home. I got this beer last year from my friend Joe, when I helped him pack for his move to Atlanta. I’ve enjoyed several Terrapin beers, and another Belgian IPA – Raging Bitch from Flying Dog, so I was looking forward to trying this one. The bottle says, “Step back in time for this holier than thou union of two great brewing traditions that are worlds apart. Kudos to Friar Spike and Little John for marrying a classic Belgian style Tripel and a new age American Double IPA.”
Location: Poured into a slightly curved pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 9.6% ABV, 82 IBUs, 19.7 degrees Plato OG, ~ 380 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: 2 Row Pale, Pilsner, Munich light, special aroma, pale crystal, acidulated. Hops: Magnum, Columbus, Chinook, Amarillo, Cascade, Simcoe.
Appearance & Aroma: It’s mostly golden, but slightly amber in color, and very clear. The head fell very fast, and sat with a thing ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. There was a big citrusy hop aroma with some Belgian spiciness.
Taste & Feel: The body is pretty full and the mouthfeel is crisp. There’s a slight honey-like sweetness up front with some Belgian spiciness. The spiciness comes forward in the middle along with a decent amount of piney hop flavors. The hop flavors come forward in the finish with some citrusy-pine breaking through. The spiciness edges out the hop flavors in the finish, but the aftertaste is mostly hoppy bitterness with the spiciness in the background.
Food Pairing: This beer has a mix of big mix of flavors, from citrusy-piney hops to Belgian spiciness. I think it would be good with a peppercorn or spice crusted steak, as the steak would be bold enough to stand up to this flavorful beer, and the spices would mix well with the Belgian spices. I think it could be an interesting mix with a bleu cheese burger as well.
Overall Impression: This beer is more about balancing Belgian spiciness with hoppy bitterness than anything. This beer mostly fell on the side of the spices, although the hoppiness was definitely present. The mix of flavors wasn’t bad, but I think I prefer a bit more from the hops and more subtlety from the spices. Overall, it was a pretty good Belgian IPA that’s worthy of a try if you can find it.