It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and we’re sitting here watching the game (and commercials). It’s also been one of the worst, most stressful and trying weekends of my life. It’s a really challenging time, and therefore, I really, really needed a good beer to enjoy. The bottle says it’s “A bottle conditioned India Pale Ale with maple syrup. There are some situations when 90 is too much. There are other situations when 60 is too little. There are many situations when 75 is juuust riiight. Bottle-conditioned with pure maple syrup for complexity and dry-hopped out of the bejeezum boards.”
Location: Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 7.5% ABV, ~250 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s bright golden in color and very clear with a lot of carbonation in it. The carbonation gave it a huge pillowy white head, which fell to – and stayed at – about a quarter inch thick. The aroma is musty-earthy hoppy, with a bit of citrusy and spicy hoppiness behind it.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium to full, and the mouthfeel is smooth and a little creamy thanks to the big head on it. The flavor up front is honey-malty-like with a bit of that musty-earthy hoppiness that’s in the aroma. In the middle, the hop flavor grows and is joined by some earthy bitterness. In the finish, the citrusy hoppiness comes in with a mix of hop flavor and bitterness, with the musty-earthy and slightly spicy hoppiness underneath. The citrusy bitterness and slight earthy hops last for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is a hoppy IPA with an interesting musty-earthy hop flavor that I would have paired with something like a burger. I think the heartiness of the burger would be solid enough at the hops would add a unique flavor to it.
Overall Impression: It was a decent IPA, with a good malt base, but I wasn’t such a fan of the musty-earthy hops, which made it almost taste a bit stale. I was also expecting a hint of maple, since it was indicated on the label, but it had obviously all fermented out of it. Overall, it was OK, but definitely not worth the money.