Tasted Memorial Monday night after a long day of running and watching bike races. Thanks to Mike Gillhouse for buying (3) cases a couple weeks ago while he stayed here to watch our last collegiate track race.
Taste: Juicy is a word that characterizes my first impression. The basic caramel backbone along with subtle notes of honey hold through to the end maintaining a maltose sweetness - makes me think that this is a very young tasting, under-ripe beer. The midtaste takes the combination of the hops and the malt and thrusts a balanced fruitiness (raisins, plums and apricots) for a second or two before the resined alpha acids and the alcohol seep through to introduce new flavors. Some fruit skin tannins also arise from this interaction. Finishing is a relatively simplistic pine hop flavor with a nutty taste still drawn from the malt, but also orange peel and grassiness. Alcohol finishes in a vapored taste. By the end, once the beer warmed, I picked up a bit of a viney characteristic.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is mellow as it fizzes across the tongue, with a medium to heavier body. Sticky to the lips and cloying makes me think a little under-attenuated. Finishes very dry and resinous from the hops and alcohol.
Overall Impression: A bigger bodied IPA that went for a bigger malt base but still tried to give enough hop-age to balance it out. It worked relatively well, but still left a grainy-sweetness throughout. I did enjoy the complexity and the interactive flavors that were produced.