Thanks to Eamon for picking up a bottle of this for me about a month ago. I had first seen this beer in boxes at the brewery as it waited to be distributed to retailers. Tasted on a Tuesday morning after one of my first 10 milers in over 2 months and a large veggie sandwich.
Aroma: A fantastic orange peel aroma paralleled by rich fresh pine and other fruit, primarily mango, pineapple and grapefruit. The malt base is simple, but fuels these fruity byproducts when matched with the abundant hops.
Taste: The start is sweet, reminiscent of cane sugar, biscuit malt or brown sugar. Quickly, however the hops introduce an orange peel sweetness in the midtaste, which eventually blossoms into a full blown hop complexity. The alcohol in the end is warming, and I think it helps release some of the residual alpha acids, leaving in its wake a near biscuit/nutty sweetness against a grapefruit zest bitterness. As this beer warms, it approaches the flavor of an orange liquor. Aftertaste is dominated by malt, with a pine-orange characteristic.
Mouthfeel: Medium to heavier body, but with the higher alcohol content, I think it helps loosen things up. The carbonation is extremely fine tickling the throat as it progresses down. The finish is both cloying and dry, though acquiring more or a nice crisp bite at the end. The beer is tacky to the lips.
Overall Impression: I found this beer very interesting as it warms. Changing from crisp and zesty with rich fruit character, all the way to a mellow orange malt based liquor. Surely one to boast the best of complexity, while not neglecting balance and palatability. A big malt based IPA with no neglect to the hops.