I’m in Atlanta, GA visiting my friend Joe, and we’re at The Wrecking Bar Brewpub for a couple beers and a snack before dinner. After I had the Jemmy Dean Breakfast Stout, my friend Joe recommended I try their Denamelizer IIPA. However, I noticed on the corner of the menu, that they had the dry hopped AND cedar aged version of this beer… in the cask! I think Joe was a bit jealous and wanted to change his order after he heard me order this one.
Location: On tap and served in a curved 4oz tasting glass at the Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Atlanta, GA.
Numbers: 10.3% ABV, 140 IBUs, 310 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was a dark orange amber color, and appeared to be fairly hazy when I put the tabletop candle behind it. The head was very creamy and had nice retention and lacing. There was a bit of woody cedar in the aroma, but it was slightly edged out by the citrusy hops.
Taste & Feel: The body was full, and the mouthfeel was pretty creamy, thanks to the cask-pulled head. There was a nice, sweet, honey-like maltiness up front, with some citrusy hops in the background. The hop flavors grew throughout the middle with some woody cedar, honey and slightly biscuit malt flavors stuck around in the background. In the finish, the citrusy hop flavors dominated, but had a smooth flavor and bitterness to them thanks to the cedar. The citrus hop flavors and bitterness lasted for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: I once had a seabass baked on a cedar plank (I think it was in Nashville), which would have been perfect with this beer. As the cedar flavors mixed, the subtle buttery flavors of the fish would have complemented the bold citrus flavors of this beer.
Overall Impression: This beer was tremendously complex in flavor, and the dry hopped Chinook, along with the warmth and texture added by the cask, made for a very good beer. The cedar flavors were just at the right level, adding flavor and complexity throughout, letting the hop flavors take center stage. The hop flavor was bold, but not too bitter, and the slightly warm creaminess smoothed it out. Overall, this was a very good beer, and I recommend it, along with a stop at the Wrecking Bar Brewpub if you’re ever in Atlanta, GA.