Metropolitan Coffeehouse in Baltimore's Federal Hill is pouring another of their one-off treats this week for the Firkin Thursday: Smuttynose's IPA, 6.6%, on handpump, dry-hopped in the firkin with Simcoe hops. Now, normally I'm not a Simcoe fan--Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe a few years back left me almost wincing in semi-pain as just too "over-the-top" in more ways than one--but this works nicely. Hazy golden, rich head, outrageously distinctive hop nose--it's neither piney nor grapefruity; I'm inclined to compare it to white grapefruit, if only because I had terrific pink grapefruit with breakfast this morning, and that ain't it. Okay, call the nose grilled grapefruit drizzled with honey. Flavor: lots of hop bitterness, but well balanced between grassy notes, pine needles, dandelion, and white grapefruit. Maybe it's the cloudiness, but I get a touch of dandelion wine in the body and finish. (And yes, the thought occurs to me as I type this: how many readers of these words have ever sampled dandelion wine??) Outrageously complex and full-flavored, but dangerously drinkable. Do come and drink this richness and relish in the lovely day and beer that it is, but be careful.
Owner/manager Bruce Dorsey stops by and tells me about a couple brewpubs in Argentina he had chance to sample as part of an Argentine wine vacation. Well, bully for him--but is this Anglophile still holding it against Argentina for the Falklands War in1982? I guess not.
And how does Metropolitan manage to score such incredible firkins? They took a proactive move that I think more places should adopt.
2018's best cookbook, "with beer."
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