DesertDevil (647) - Arizona, USA - FEB 15, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draft at the Hungry Monk. Pours a clear golden orange with a foamy, craggy white head. Hoppy aroma of pungent grapefruit, lemon, slight pine, and dry alfalfa. Lighter taste than expected with a moderate tropical fruit blend (some mango and pineapple juice), a mild grassy note, and not nearly as much bitterness as I expected after the nose. Light-to medium body; crisp, clean finish with just some slight bitterness. A solid pale.
arminjewell (8622) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 8, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour on tap at the brewery, clear yellow pour with white head, aroma brought big tropical fruits, a guava, peach, pineapple type of note with some slight vanilla, spice into some cracker and biscuit malts. Taste is a mix of grass and spice into big guava, passionfruit like notes, some hints of orange in there, going into biscuit, bread, slight earth, finishing bitter.
FlacoAlto (3849) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 14, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A steady pour from the growler into my New Belgium globe glass produces a two-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a pale amber color that shows a bright, clear, straw-gold hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of tropical fruit notes backed by almost candy / jam like concentrated fruit notes and then a light herbal / peppery hop character. Specific notes of guava, kumquat zest, definite lychee, and some sort of floral-tropical-peach like note are then anchored by sweet marmalade notes. The malt character plays a distant supporting role with suggestions of cracker like pale malt and perhaps a touch of dried straw like grain character. The aroma is nicely hop expressive and it gets a bit more herbaceous and peppery as the beer warms up.
Dry tasting and light bodied, but the hop character is expressive enough that it adds a perceived sweetness due to all the fruit character from the hops. The finish has a peppery, herbaceous, dry, sort of lingering grassy-herbal note, and a firm, but smooth bitterness to it. The fruit flavors are not quite as sweet seeming as in the nose, but still play a big role here with flavors of guava, kumquat zest, ripe tangelo zest, ample lychee, and peach dum-dum lollipops. The hop fruit character is really quite pungent here, and as the beer warms the herbal character becomes more pungent, a bit more herbaceous, and even dank in quality; the peppery note really picks up a lot of complexity and starts to remind you of a certain hop cousin. The malt character plays a clearly supporting role here; subtle notes of soda cracker like grain, and a hint of chewy pale malt bread character are noticeable if you are looking for it.
I always like seeing these types of series; the fact that it is finally a local brewery doing this and I can get the beers super fresh is just that much more cool. Having never had a straight calypso beer, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this is definitely a hop I like. I really like the clean, pale malt base that this beer has; it was chosen to cleanly display the hops, but it is also my preferred malt bill for Pale Ales, as I really like them hop focused.