24 October 2010

Okay, name that beer...........

To heck with it.  After consulting with a couple other folks, I made the decision to go another route with that bottle of beer gifted to me by a fellow blogger.

I split it with a homebrewing friend of mine.  We took about 1/2 hour to split one bottle, in ordinary tumbler glasses.  He had no idea what I was pouring him.

Here are my notes: 
Pours slightly hazy, rich and dense head, pale golden/amber with mild haze.  [Friend] says "This is more of what we just had [Long Trail Traditional IPA]!  {sips again} Okay, no, it's different...."  It's laden with fresh white grapefruit flavors, unsweetened.  [Friend] guesses 6.5-7%, I say same.... LONG head retention, longest seen in ages.  This is a vehicle for rich hop flavors, tang, and aroma, not malt; indeed, I call it a bit thin on the mouthfeel for the style, a call [friend] disagrees with.  The hop nose is not overpowering, but pronounced, prominent, and somewhere between grassy, citrusy, and earthy.  [Friend]: "West Coast, grapefruity, grainy and citrusy.  I'm getting a bit of vanilla extract flavor once I get past the hops."  We're trying to debate whether this is an extremely big IPA or a more restrained Imperial IPA, assuming IPAs are 6-7% and I2PAs 8-9%.. I'm thinking this is like a Goose Island Honker's Ale--another grapefruit-hop-flavor-laden beer--on mild steroids.
[Friend}: "I would rate this in the best 1% of beers I've ever had, but I happen to like this style!"  In the final, warmer sips, we detect a touch of wood notes in there--oak?
My conclusions: I would definitely rate this as vastly superior for the style it's trying to be in, perhaps the best exemplar of the genre, but you have to be a hop fanatic to be ecstatic about this beer.  This beer is not for hot or frigid weather, nor is it for anyone looking for a rich and heavy beer.
Does anyone want to guess what beer this is, based on the notes?  Remember, it's a beer you can't get around here, and is highly rated/desired by beer enthusiasts online.  Go to it...........

13 comments:

Jake said...

I'll go with Pliny the Elder.

JohnM. said...

My guess as well. Given the description and lack of availability in the area, that sounds like the most likely culprit (PtE).

Could be Sculpin as well I suppose, or exponential hoppiness, but the former is available in SEPA (Westy's in Harrisburg often has it) and the latter just seems too obscure (not sure EH is even bottled, now that I think about it).

So my guess is Pliny as well. Hopefully a fresh bottle... :-)

I would just add that if it is PtE, while the bottled beer is not distributed in Maryland (or any place else on the East Coast), you can get draft PtE up around Philly, and I've been fortunate enough to bring back a growler on occasion. Either way, it's a might tasty IPA/DIPA.

Jay Zeis said...

I'll play your game and take a guess or two. Initially, I thought PtE, but Jake guessed that. So I would say, Bell's HopSlam or Three Floyds Dreadnaught. (I have not had any of these beers, so it is strictly a guess)

Nick said...

beat me to it

JohnM. said...

@ Jay

Really hope it wasn't the HopSlam, as it's only released once a year (January I believe), and I don't think it ages very well.

Dreadnaught would be a pretty smart pick though...

Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

If it in not PtE....Sculpin and 3F's Dreadnaught are good picks.
If going on the earlier comment that the bottle might give it away....I am going with New Belgium's Ranger IPA.

david.m. said...

I thought Pliney from the moment you posted the original entry about this bottle. I' sticking with it.
PS- Never had it.

Brad said...

Probably PtE. Been there, had that. Pretty good (fresh). Though most beer geeks (including me) will tell you they'd rather have a fresh Bell's HopSlam over a PtE just about any day. Begin the arguinnnnnnng..... NOW!

stevejones said...

... and speaking of Pliny ... in an act of shameless self promotion I would just like to point out that there's a bottle of Pliny and some other rare treats up for grabs on this week's Friday Question on the blog at www.oliverales.com .... just sayin'!

JohnM. said...

"Though most beer geeks (including me) will tell you they'd rather have a fresh Bell's HopSlam over a PtE just about any day."

I'm not sure that's true, but it's either way, both are very excellent DIPA's. Certainly not something I'd want to argue about. :-)

Andrew said...

Since moving to San Diego a few months ago, I have to say that Pliney the Elder, now available to me almost everywhere I bother going, has lived up to all expectations from its mythical status I heard tell of while living in Baltimore.

I couldn't begin to field a guess outside of PTE.

Tom Custance said...

Blind Pig

JohnM. said...

@ Tom

Blind Pig's definitely sounds like a good guess, but is RR even bottling it any more right now? I thought I read roughly a year ago on the RR blog that there was so much demand for PtE, Vinnie had been forced to temporarily discontinue bottling the Pig any more.

I confess I haven't seen any bottles of Blind Pig for quite some time now (which is a shame).