As I mentioned in my last couple posts, I’m in Atlanta, GA, visiting my friend Joe, who took me to Taco Mac. After having a couple local beers, including Monday Night Brewing’s Drafty Kilt and Red Brick’s Hoplanta, we headed down to The Fred. It’s a speakeasy kinda place with some good beers, including Red Brick’s Smoked Vanilla Gorilla Porter that I started with. I’ve had several beers from Highland Brewing, and most were pretty good, so I thought I’d give this one a try.
Location: On tap and served in a tulip shaped glass at The Fred in Atlanta, GA.
Numbers: 10.2% ABV, 60 IBUs, ~310 Calories
Ingredients: Grain: 2 Row Brewers Malt, Munich, Malted Wheat, Flaked Barley & Carapils; Hops: Magnum, Fuggle, German Select, Styrian Golding & Willamete.
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark orange in color with amber hues, and fairly cloudy. The head was a quarter inch thick, and had soapy-looking bubbles, which left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was a great, warm oaky-piney citrusy smell.
Taste & Feel: The body was full and the mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, almost velvety. There’s a nice light caramel malt sweetness up front, with biscuit and oakey notes in background. As it evolves, the hop flavors come through with a complex mix of resin, pine and citrus flavors that are fairly sweet with a very mild amount of bitterness coming through in the finish. The biscuit and oak flavors are present throughout, but the hop flavors dominate, lasting for a couple minutes in the aftertaste – along with a mild alcohol warmth.
Food Pairing: This beer is very complex, and I recommend enjoying it on it’s own. If you were going to pair it with food, I’d go with a light fish dish, like a seabass baked on a wooden plank, which would allow the beer to take center stage, but would add a bit of woody-buttery undertone to the pairing.
Overall Impression: Hands down, this is one of the best beers I’ve ever had. The complex mix of biscuity maltiness, oak, and resin-piney-citrus hop flavors worked incredibly well together, and was very smooth and drinkable. I could have sipped on this beer all day long and continued to enjoy the flavors and complexity in this beer. If you can find it, get it… and send me a bottle or growler.