My dad is in town for my son’s baseball games this weekend, and tonight we decided to hit Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Since dad was buying, he suggested I have a beer. This seemed to be the most interesting thing they had on tap, and I’d been wanting to give it a try since I saw it come out a few months ago. Besides, I always enjoy pairing a nice IPA with spicy chicken wings.
Location: On-tap and served in a large Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at Buffalo Wild Wings in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 6.5% ABV, 45 IBUs, 11 SRM, 198 Calories
Ingredients: Malts: 2-row pale malt blend, caramel 60; Hops: Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo; Sam Adams Yeast strain.
Appearance & Aroma: It’s crystal clear and bright copper in color. It has a fair amount of carbonation in it, and a bright white, fluffy head that fell a bit after a couple minutes. The aroma has a lot of citrusy grapefruit with some pine close behind it.
Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium, and the mouthfeel is fairly smooth with a little bit of crispness. The flavor up front was a bit sweet with some lightly bready maltiness. In the middle, the sweetness changes, with some tropical-citrusy hop flavors joining in. The hops open up in the finish with tropical and grapefruit like citrus hop flavors and bitterness. The hop flavors last for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a fair amount of citrus and grapefruity hop flavors, adding both a sweetness and bitterness. These helped to cut down a bit on he spiciness of the wings, and added an interesting flavor component to it as well. It paired nicely with the wings, and would probably go with a lot of different foods, including Mexican, Thai, or even something as light as a salad.
Overall Impression: I was a bit surprised at first that it had a fairly light body for an IPA, but it helped make it one of the most drinkable IPAs I’ve had in a while. I enjoyed the maltiness up front before the citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors kicked in. The hop flavors weren’t overwhelming like most IPAs, and seemed to provide more flavor than bitterness in this beer. Overall, it felt like a light and citrusy IPA I’d probably enjoy on a hot day – feeling more like a pale ale, instead of a big hoppy IPA.