This beer just arrived at the Rock Island Hy-vee, and I've been since interested in trying it. Completely new label, which had me confused. Jen picked up a 6-pack While I was in Iowa City for a beer festival over the weekend. Rich Nunez explained that this was his favorite way back when, but with the new expansion, he hasn't had it since. Tasted Sunday evening following the homebrew club meeting a the brewery. I finally got my share back from the barrel aging project we did a year ago. Man, it's phenomenal!!
Appearance: Boasting a large bubble cream colored head right from the pour, the beer holds a glimmering attractive look to it. Dissipation takes a minute or so, but the beer still maintains its peaks. The color is a glowing amber with a hazed appearance. With a closer look one can easily see a lot off flocculated particles suspended in the media, as if it were jello or agar. Carbonation is present, but infrequent.
Aroma: There is a prominent biscuit quality to the beer along with a faint pepperiness and a touch of yeast. Unfortunately at the end I get a bit of oxidation and cardboard.
Taste: The oxidation that I smelled in the aroma is nonexistent in the flavor. The malt base is enhanced by a caramel midtaste, while prior it is represented by a full on biscuit 2-row bread bill. Mmm! This flavor carries on to the end, with the accompaniment of the caramel that was introduced halfway through. Very sweet. However, the finish counters all this with a floral crispness no make for an extreme balance in flavor. Alpha acids kick in in the last 1/4 of the tasting to dry out the palate with a peppery spice, and leave it relatively clean, aside for the enticing biscuit aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Smooth texture and medium bodied. I find the microbubble carbonation that was incorporated into this beer to match its prospective qualities to the tee. Creamy and bubbly, and goes down very soft. Finish is dry and refreshing.
Overall Impression: Well matched and balanced in all areas of the spectrum. Perhaps more bitter than your typical gate-way Fat Tire, but more biscuit and malt sweetness as well. The beer explodes with a huge flavor in all. If it were up to me I'd choose this over all amber's. Well done, Bell's. I'd like to see more marketing for this beer to counter the Fat Tire Revolution.