FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 12, 2007
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Served lightly chilled at about 58ļF (14ļC); Five days since being filled
Pours from the growler a brilliantly clear (so brilliantly clear that it is almost ridiculous or even suspect), deep, cranberry color. It is topped by a frothy, initially fat-two-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves a thin layer of lace as it falls back into the beer. The beer is quite noticeably hoppy; as I pour this brew the sweet smell of hop-induced fruit & citrus is easily noticed. Aromatic notes of candied orange peel, candied peaches, tangelo, lychee, apricot concentrate / preserves; there is just an Łber fruitiness to this brew that is so typically American. Behind the up front fruit notes is a backdrop of lightly herbal notes and a touch of sharp pine. Lest we forget about it completely, there is even some malt character noticeable in the aromatic finish. Aromas of toasty, freshly milled biscuit malt, caramel malt notes and a quite noticeable, crushed soda cracker aroma let me know that the brewer put enough malt in this brew to stand up to the hops, but also be noticeable (though not enough to lessen the overwhelming hop focus of this brew).
The taste is somewhat sweet, yet bracingly bitter from the get go. At first the bitterness is balanced quite well by the malt character, but it quickly starts to bite, with an astringent, slightly rough, yet mostly clean bitterness that becomes more prominent as the beer leaves my mouth and slips down my throat. Quite malty still in the taste, with flavors of caramelized malt sugars, a solid soda cracker maltiness and even has a touch of lightly toasted grain flavors to it. This beer is of course all about the hops though, and even though I have not mentioned the flavors yet, the hop flavors clearly are the main course here. The flavor is not quite as fruit focused as the aroma, yet it is still the most noticeable aspect of it. Fruit flavors reminiscent of lychees, tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, Curacao orange peel are all noticeable. Actually the fruit notes leaning towards concentrated apricot and peach notes is quite a bit more muted than it was in the aroma; really the citrus-like notes play a much more prominent role in the flavor profile. The alcohol is held pretty well in check, a touch of warming flavors intermingle with the sharp hop notes in the finish. The beer certainly has some heft to it, a fair amount of body, but no where near what I would characterize as a Barleywine. Still with the ample malt, and over the top hop character, this is definitely not quite a quaffing brew.
A sharply herbal and even a touch of pine tar flavors, adds to and melds into the bitter finish of this brew. Aggressive, with enough bitterness and astringency, a bit of an exercise in self flagellation, scathingly hoppy, yet still overall balanced towards the smoother, this is a great example of a Double IPA. This is a damn fine brew, it is very well balanced for a Double IPA, drinkable, yet engagingly hoppy.
pforei (338) - USA - OCT 10, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2007 On tap at Hop Devil. Extremely hoppy aroma and taste. Pine, floral, citrus, grass, and perfume; the whole hop spectrum is here. Slight fruity flavor is there as well. Bitter finish. This beer knows exactly what it wants to be.
Re-rate. Growler from Whole Foods. Malt is more prominent and beer is a little more fruity. Excellent.
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - SEP 9, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler from MrBendo. Assertive food my ass. How does a plate of szechuan chicken sound? Had to stop eating and enjoy this before I drank the whole glass
whilst trying to put out the fire on my tongue.Very nice brew, domintated by the hops here with some other fruity aromas and tastes. This was thick an syrupy which I happen to enjoy in a beer. Also nice to see that the brewer knows what Stilton is.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 8, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler, courtesy of MrBendo - thanks, Todd! Well, after working my way through this baby on a fine football weekend I can give it a hearty thumbs up. What impresses me about this beer is the interesting balance it strikes. Itís fine looking (ruby, deep), with a nice head (moderate retention). But what strikes me about it is the way it comes on very full and strong with rounded, floral hops, but finishes extremely dry and almost bitter. It makes for a pleasant combo, and a distinctive DIPA. Another excellent brew from this top-notch brewery.
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - SEP 2, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sample at the brewery. Paired with some blue cheese and salami. Sesame crackers and hummus on the side as well. Pours a rich orange golden color. Nice small head (orb) little fluffy clouds. Maybe its the food but the aroma is heavy hops and balanced malt. Pine and citrus form the hops as descibed come through nicely. Taste is sweeter than expected, but has lots of hops. Mostly hop finish with a little sweet sugary malt. Delicious every day beer.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2007 Name: Captainís Reserve
muddy orange, fine white head, touch of lace,
sweet pine aroma with a nice fruity mango essence,
sweet pine and caramel flavor, nice fruity sweetness, light balancing bitterness,
Name: Captainís Reserve
Mode: hand bottle
Score: 3.5 to 3.7
Words: throwdown 3
same wonderful sweet pine and fruity character, picking up a touch of alcohol, bigger bitterness in the finish but offers a bit more balance without distraction,
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 16/20
kevin62 (267) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 22, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had a sample from a growler ,a sample given from the brewer himself.This beer poured an amber color with huge aromas of hops,pine and citrus.Clean and crisp finish-an absolutely great beer.
johnadam2002 (529) - Hainesport, New Jersey, USA - AUG 12, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Woah! Poured dark amber with off white head. Big aroma of hops and citrus. Big party of hop flavors in your mouth with hints of citrus. One of best IIPA Iíve ever had. Delicious and smooth.
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - AUG 11, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler from scthaden on "the other site" (sorry guys). Frothy head. Nice lacing. Crisp dry finish w/ a big, creamy mouthfeel. More like an American strong than a IIPA. Hop presence is rather subdued. Good nonetheless.
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - AUG 6, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Blind Tiger NYC- One of the best aromas on an i2pa Iíve experienced aside from the dreadnaught. A wonderfuly balanced and huge imperial that would rate higher with a touch more malt. I am very impressed.