Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diabolical India Pale Ale

 Thanks to Adam Slaker for bringing this to the house this past weekend as he visited us along with the rest of the Augustana Alumni who came back for the annual 'Buckethead' drinking fest. I tasted this on Wednesday afternoon before heading to practice for my first track workout in about a year. I'll be running my last 5k race on the track this Saturday at the Viking Olympics!

Appearance: At the pop of the cap the bottle released a loud spritz sound. The pour produced an over-carbonated explosion of foam in the glass that made pouring the whole bottle into the glass difficult. However, the head was thick and resinous, with a frothy pillowed peak standing centralized in the glass. Dry styrafoam lacing. The beer itself is a hazy copper color (the dreggs can be seen within the bottle). Carbonation rockets to the surface from some unknown origin.
Aroma: Some citrus, but with a boastful earthiness. There is a lot of pine present in the second half, more so reminiscent of dried pine needles. Paint notes of yeast and a biscuit malt backbone hold up to the hop complexity.
Taste: The start is mildly sweet and honeyed. The hops come through almost immediately, providing that earthy character that I got in the aroma, but paired nicely against the malt bill. I get a ton of pine resin and maybe some orange pith and zest. Overall I think there were more bittering hops put in, as the beer is generally quite bitter, but leaving in its wake a layered complexity. The end leaves a woody character on the palate in conjunction with a floral undertone.
Mouthfeel: Very bubbly and with a bite. I'd recommend degassing slightly by pouring vigorously into the glass (at the sacrifice of waiting a minute more for the head to dissipate). Otherwise it is extremely palatable with resined feel and a medium body
Overall Impression: A middle of the road IPA, not overly hopped, but not too fruity either. I think the earthiness complements the more developed pine flavors, as the palate adjusts. The malt is perfect and biscuity, with a honeyed note. A hop resin and alcohol flavor rounds out the finish.

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