“Fancy seeing me here! After all, the place can hardly hold 11% — I’m scraping the rafters. Makes for a good view, and it’s clear when a room needs what I’ve got in spades: fruity, dank, and devilishly hoppy flavor. Your night is looking up. Savor it and don’t blink because I like to vanish in a puff of lupulin dust.”
Appearance: Hits the glass with a bright and clear amber, good Co2 activity and a thumb of finely beaded white foam. Healthy lace work decorates the glass as we imbibe.
Aroma: A very archetypal old school west coast IPA. Filling the nostrils with heady pine/resin, dank herbals and ruby grapefruit. Quite pithy too but the sweet caramel malt overtones suppresses it nicely. As it settles it displays sweeter citrus notes like orange, tangerine and a hint of mandarin. The 11% ABV adds a gentle warmth as well. Solid.
Flavour: Holy hell it almost has traits of Pliny with its super clean and sharp pine/resin, dank weedy herbs and pithy citrus. The clear difference being the much sweeter and stickier malt profile which counters the warming booze very well. Hints of aniseed, toffee, stewed fruits, wood shavings and burnt orange round it all off with a lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Sticky, a little chewy but drying out post swallow. Medium body and fine Co2. The 11% ABV is really well hidden.
Overall: Man it has been years since the last time we had a Hoptimum. It literally is a benchmark west coast triple IPA. Impressive stuff.