Rating: 87 points
Stats: American IPA. 5% ABV. Oakville, Ontario.
Size: 650 mL bottle
Colour: Slightly turbid straw
Mouth Feel: High carbonation but very dry throughout
Pairing Notes: n/a
Ok, so 30mL into pouring this beer, it was already evident that this was going to be hugely frothy. I wasn’t really sure what to expect by the notion of a “hop nouveau,” but it did bring to mind thoughts of the the once more trendy Beaujolais nouveau I used to drink and wondered if carbonation would be as characteristic. It didn’t take long to figure that out and I poured this straw elixir as carefully as a sommelier with a fine bottle of grand cru. I then went to take my ceremonial head shot of the beer for this review only to find out the battery in the camera was dead — so I raced upstairs to get another and in the meantime, the ample head of this beer had faded to nothing but jetsam on the surface. So I poured another splash to top it up and add replenish the head for the picture …. and, well, I got the picture, yes, and that picture should tell you everything you need to know. What I witnessed harkened back to those high-school chemistry experiments we all did by adding vinegar to baking soda and watching the reaction … or the experiment kids now perform with a pack of Mentos and a bottle of Diet Coke. Cool as that might be in campsite or school lab, it was not so cool in my light box and all I could do was shake my head, take the picture, and hope like hell my washing machine would return my backdrop to me renewed, unstained, and in one piece.
While I digress, yes, the story is essential to defining the chief characteristic of this beer: carbonation, foam, and heck of lot of micro bubbles.
But what’s underneath these million bubbles? What’s the beer?
This unfiltered, wet-hopped beer is an odd one, to say the least. Not bad, but not exactly true to the American IPA style … but certainly true of the wet hop technique (as you can read here) which imparts a strong flavour of fresh hops which is a bit different than the flavours you get from dried hops. The greenness/freshness is certainly imparted and you won’t mistake the grassiness of this beer along with ample earthiness and a bit of green apple and honey running under the surface. And the fresh hops produce a huge and satisfying aroma which reminds me ever so slightly of a Heineken. It is fresh and it is astoundingly refreshing … perfect for a hot summer’s day, but you’ll never get to match the two given this is a harvest ale with a 3-month shelf life, so you better hope for a late Indian summer day. Not exactly a winter beer, that’s for sure, but interesting nonetheless. Definitely tasty and I can’t get over the fact that this beer which explodes with fizz in the glass is actually quite gentle in the mouth. There is nothing flat about it, but for something that fizzes more than Coke, it doesn’t have that bite in the least. The mouthfeel is in fact quite brilliant and compels sip after sip to follow.
My biggest and really only complaint about this innovative beer is that they don’t put a warning label on it with respect to pouring it carefully and slow.
Read more of My Beer Reviews here ….