One of the beers I was able to get at the end of the Midwest Brewers Fest in Plainfield a couple weekends ago. I thought I had reviewed it in the past, but apparently not as I had opened it just to drink but luckily realized with half a glass to go that it wasn't on the blog. Reviewed on Monday morning following breakfast at the local Mexican restaurant.
Appearance: Glowing copper colored with a subtle haze which gives the beer somewhat of a shadow when the fingers cross any light passing through. However, carbonation can still be seen. The head retention and even presence is poor, only to retain a faint white film across the surface.
Aroma: Fresh hops immediately whiff up from the beer. Citrus and pine are notable characters that resemble tropical fruit, like pineapple. If you've ever been in a hop cooler, this is exactly what it smells like, a conglomeration of multiple varieties of freshly preserved hops.
Taste: A mild biscuity sweetness isn't realized until the end of the first sip when it actually re-appears under the layers of bitterness. Nevertheless, the malt certainly takes a back-burner status, leaving most of the flavor to the fresh hops. At the mid-taste we are only truly introduced to the wealthy varieties of fresh hops and aromatic complexities of tropical citrus and deciduous pine resins. The finish is almost hot with the alpha acids, which accompanied with some alcohol leave a very crisp and refreshing flavor, and perhaps may even cancel out any grassiness that may well have been there. The aftertaste is bittered and reminiscent of fruit skin tannins while remaining extremely dry and resinous. Grapefruit emerges as the beer gets warmer.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a lower end carbonation, yet enough to follow through the bitterness right as the hot spike in the middle to end of the taste hits. The palate is left very dry, yet quenched any thirst.
Overall Impression: A sipper and a drinker. Set cold, this beer is a fantastic thirst quencher, remaining very drinkable and rich in complexity. Warm, more fruit flavors develop alongside the prominent pine and tropical citrus. Fresh hops are key (either big late addition or huge dry-hopping) If you're a hop head, I'd definitely look towards getting a six pack of this...or maybe a case...