Tasted the Wednesday evening before thanksgiving just as Luke and I arrived at my Mom's new house in Galena. Enjoyed with a fresh bowl of Lentil Soup and of course Hummus! (of course). Victory never ceases to impress me.
Appearance: Golden and clear with a dense stable cream colored head. Lacing is dry with an entire design. Clarity is semi-optimal, with perhaps minute elements of chill haze but enough to allow carbonation to be visible as it slowly rises to the surface of the beer. Swirled, on can pick up fain
Aroma: Initially, I find myself smelling rather a stale hop scent amongst a faint biscuit malt backbone. Swirled, on can pick up faint citrus and orange peel notes with a leafy, peppery profile
Taste: Wow! the flavor is in your face and bursting with hop complexities. Right from the start I think pear, pine and apricots, but as the palate adjusts more orange peel, tropical fruit and citrus take over with vengeance. By third and fourth sip, orange zest makes the primary hop element of this beer, while pine takes an undertone. With a mild base malt backbone, the integrated hop flavors force a fruity grapefruit and pineapple foundation, While preserving a fresh crisp flavor. Finish is dry with a bit of grapefruit and green hop resins in the aftertaste. Some alcohol at the end (though well masked) to complement the drying, yet enticing hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to heavily bodied with a smooth forgiving texture. Microbubble carbonation helps maintain a lot of the complexities that would have otherwise been destroyed with a high VCO2. Dry, but crisp at the end. Mouthfeel/body makes it a little less refreshing.
Overall Impression: Great hop complexities: Fruity, citrus, balanced and bitter, while still retaining a residual sweetness. Smooth textured and richly flavored. Definitely for the hop heads, but still a beer to lure the developing pale ale and IPA enthusiast.