Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hop Wrangler

Tasted at the Reis' house mid afternoon Saturday after drinking almost a gallon of tea. Tasted for the first time at Deadwood bar with Luke for his birthday at 1:00 AM in Iowa City. Thanks to Justen Parris for introducing this fantastic brewery to me!

Appearance: A beautiful golden orange with a touch amber. Not much resembling a head, except a few clusters of bubbles atop the beer. Tasted within a New Belgium globe glass. Clouded in clarity but still some visible carbonation rapidly rising to the surface fueling a central congregation of foam in the center of the surface.
Aroma: Very tropical and grapefruit smelling with a very aromatic zestiness. Some grassiness initially upon the nose but easily develops into a citrus zest character. Orange peel and sweet. Some pine can be made out as well. Definitely some yeast notes buried under the bouquet of tropical pine aroma.
Taste: A lot more grassy than the aroma led me to predict. Some mild toasted and caramel malt in the foretaste but immediately transitions into a high alpha acid flavor from a fast midtaste and then long draw on out through to the aftertaste. Still some grapefruit and pine can be made out, but definitely very subtle and following the grassy bitterness. Gradually by the end of the beer, my palate suggests that I'm drinking a glass of orange zest juice with a splash of grapefruit sweetness. Long drawn aftertaste. Some candied sweetness develops by mid glass.
Mouthfeel: Smooth texture with a medium body and mild carbonation that sticks to the top of the tongue with a subtle spike. Very dry and resinous which leaves a residue on the roof of the mouth.
Overall Impression: Harsh in the beginning by means of outrageous bitterness, but I really enjoyed experiencing the development of this beer. The complexity of the hops and other flavors really start to expose themselves by mid glass. I really like the combination of American hops, English malt and Belgium yeast. For the Hop heads if you can find it. Definitely a lot more bitter in the glass than on tap.


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