This is my second attempt to jot down a review of this beer after my computer decided not to save the post as I went to Publish it. Dammit. Thanks to Joe Weitlispach for giving me this on Friday after a long day of pushing foam through the filter (it sat a little bit too long). Tasted that evening at the back bar with Brewery and Co.
Appearance: Shining a bright copper color, this beer exemplifies a perfection in appearance. Complete with a long sustained, 1" pale off white foam head and dry styrafoam lacing, set atop a glowing ambrosia. Carbonation is consistent and strong. After several minutes, the head still retains a large accumulation of foam.
Aroma: Fresh and leafy with faint undertones of citrus and wheat. Grain husk is there as well as characters of straw and bready malt. Some Wheat qualities and peppery noble hops are present.
Taste: Fermentation seems to have been taken to entirety as this beer only retains a residual sweetness up front. What is still there is mildly biscuit and bready. Some floralness. Further along I get lemon zest and that prominent husk flavor, that, after several sips becomes more and more reminiscent of a woody tannic flavor, perhaps even sappy. Some yeast quality is there, but ovaral it is a clean taste. The end is like chewing on a dried piece of wood (or brushing one's teeth with it - as I did in my time in Africa). Aftertaste is highly bitter and leafy. Some citrus is there, but difficult to decipher over the sap resined dryness.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied and zippy with a bite from the strong incorporation of the carbonation in the mouthfeel. The finish is very dry and resinous, but generally refreshing.
Overall Impression: This beer is alarmingly similar to New Belgium's previous beer: Somersault ale. I find that the woody/sap based flavor from the hops is a bit deterring, but the lemon adds a bit of an extra spice/peppery flavor to carry along the way. Refreshing.