I just got back from a work happy hour and had a couple of IPAs. When I got home, I had a craving for another IPA. I found this tucked away in a cabinet the other day. It was given to me by John Harris (now of Ecliptic Brewing) when I brewed with him in Portland, during my Cuisinternship. I visited the real Brewmaster’s reserve beer cooler and he sent me home with several beers, including this beer.
Location: Poured into a perfect pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 8.2% ABV, 80 IBUs, 280 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark amber in color and pretty hazy. The head fell slowly, but was creamy and soapy in texture, leaving a nice bit of lacing. It has an earthy, dank hop aroma.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy and oily. The flavor up front is malty sweet with some earthy hoppiness behind it. It stayed smoothly malty and hoppy through the middle, and into the finish, which had an earthy-dank hop bitterness and flavor with a solid malty backbone. The earthy-dank hop bitterness lasted for a couple minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: With the earthy-hoppiness in this beer, I think I’d pair it with a mushroom cheeseburger to pull the earthiness out of the mushrooms and the maltiness out of the beer more.
Overall Impression: I blame myself for losing this beer in the cabinet and not drinking it in its prime. After 6-7 years, the hops have definitely faded and become a bit dank. Fortunately, the solid malt backbone held this beer up with the hop bitterness that remained. It would be great to try a fresher version of this beer to see what it was meant to be.