Okay — so this is a tasting that is long, long overdue. I actually bought this beer a year ago. The only reason I put it off this long was because of the 1-litre bottle. And, so, I’ve been waiting for the right moment when I could both review it and settle in for a long winter’s sip. Superbowl was the right time.
So what happens to a beer after a year? A lot of things can go wrong, not the least of which is that the beer could lose it’s carbonation or, worse, literally go bad. In this case, I’m not sure if anything happened or nothing happened, but what I drank was a beer that made me go “wow.”
It pours a beautiful unfiltered dark apricot amber and with a reasonable head that disappears quickly. Beautiful (amazing really) mouthfeel with low-medium carbonation. Upfront it is apricot jelly and orange zest, beautiful floral hops, with a hint of mango. Very tropical flavours overall which I quite liked. The nose brings with it a fair amount of yeast (on account of the sur lies/on lees fermentation method) along with the tropical hops. These hops are quite nice, but there is no mistaking the west-coast influence here. However, the hop flavours are well-balanced with the malts that add some good caramel sweetness that accentuate the apricot sweetness, making this beer taste like early summer.
Off the tongue and the middle come powerful bitters that ignite the tongue and convince you that if this started like jam, it ends like a big beer – big like the bottle. It drinks remarkably smooth and light for a beer that ultimately has a very balanced and well-rounded figure. This is a beer that you’re going to want … and probably not want to share, so if you crack it, make sure you’ve some time, though the convenient mason flip-top allows you to reseal and store it away again. Really, what is best about this beer is that the malts and bitters are in near perfect harmony making this one of the most easy-drinking beers I’ve had in a long time.
Stats: American IPA. 6%. Mont-Laurier, Quebec.
Colour: Dark orange-amber.
Mouth Feel: Low to medium carbonation, balanced, creamy aftertaste.
Pairings: Chili con carne; chicken wings.