Thanks to Thomas Christian for donating this beer to the blog. I first tried this at Brew Ha Ha in Davenport and thought of it as overly hopped and too bitter. The more I've had it since, the more I've learned to appreciate it.
Appearance: Golden colored with the utmost clarity. Carbonation bubbles race to the surface fueling a dense white soapy head. The lacing is thick segmented to each sip and dry to the glass, almost plaster-like. Very presentable
Aroma: Minimal sweetness and more floral smelling with brief hints of tropical and citrus zest. Pretty grassy smelling as well with a resinous background. Herbal and foresty as well as some estery notes. Finally pine develops into the final sensations of the smell.
Taste: Extremely bitter upon first, second and even 8th taste. It takes a long while for the palate to get used to what you are presenting it. Gradually, however, the true complexity of alpha acids and hop elements begin to emerge. The malt backbone takes a serious hit. It is hardly presented in the flavor eve if one is able to over taste the bitterness. Nevertheless, some caramel elements permeate through the aggressive hop character. Definitely bitter orange peel flavor and tropical grapefruit elements. Freshly cut grass and citrus resins leave a bitter aftertaste. Similarly, these flavors may be equally be considered very piney and juniper berry tasting. This is another contributing leftover flavor in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Lighter body with a mild carbonation. Somewhat resinous upon finish. Nevertheless it is very refreshing and crisp. Smooth texture and carbonation make the feel of this beer very friendly and drinkable.
Overall Impression: A serious IPA. This beer establishes itself as one of the most bitter beers I've had. It's IBU's are deceiving and certainly not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, once you can get past the initial shock, the beer presents a nice bouquet of fruity tropical flavors and grapefruit zests and a very favorable drinkability and refreshing taste.