BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 5, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer is branded as a "Belgian IPA," which automatically prompts comparisons to the Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel, and I found this offering from Grumpy Troll to be substantially better. This beer is a great collision of hops and spice; both are present in a pleasing but not over-whelming quantities, and the best parts of both styles are emergent in the flavor of this beer.
Thanks to SurlySober for picking up this growler from Mount Horeb and splitting it with me. Color is a slightly hazy but still very bright dark golden color with decent head, even after two days in the growler. Aroma is predominantly sweet and citrus-y hoppiness, nicely balanced with some tripel-y citrus notes and cloviness. Flavor is a bit peppery and fruity, with nice merging of the fruitiness of the two styles; the tripel has some nice full-fruitiness to it, which is augmented by the sweet citrusiness of the hops. Mouthfeel was a bit sticky, but not overpowering or unexpected. I found this beer to be rather drinkable for a 9% ABV, which surreptitiously snuck into the beer without me noticing. Very good and highly recommended.
heemer77 (5289) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JAN 9, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Finally, a hopped up Belgian style beer that I liked. The body was medium gold. The character I think must come form the yeast. The aroma has lemon scented cleaner with a little pine, however, it is pleasing. There were also roses and a musky perfume. The taste was grapefruit with some dandelions. There was also a little bit of light bread crust.
Ughsmash (7507) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 30, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Grumpy Troll. IPA rating #100, and a fine choice for it! Poured clear brighter golden with a short cap of white head. The aroma picked up sweet pale malts and lighter fruits with peppery spices and lemon zest accents.. very nice balance to it. The flavor was spicy with white pepper and a very complimentary yeast.. had an edge to it.. sweet pale malts and lighter fruits again at the core.. very, very tasty with a spicy finish. Creamy carbonation across the middle of the palate with a good spicy contrast.. long-ish finish. This was great!
DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 1, 2008
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear amber body. Spicy pear aroma and soft pale malt. The flavor really opens up into clean fruity esters. This is the main component over a caramelly base and a balancing hop bitterness. More of a Belgian hoppy amber but still very good.
Skyview (5477) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - OCT 30, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draught at the brewpub in Mt Horeb, Wisconsin. Pours a clear golden pale brew with a thick white head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of fruity bread malt, some sweet pear and apple character with a touch of sugar candy. Taste is medium bodied, light carbonation with fruity flavors of pear and apples. Finish is sweet, malty and fast mild bitterness in the aftertaste. Not as citrusy as the pale ale and not a typical West Coast IPA. But as a cross-breed brew of Belgian strong ale and an IPA, this is still a refreshing beverage.
3fourths (9064) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 1, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2008 Very pungent nose of dry, fruity, sugar-crystalline-coated hops. Pineapple is pungent up front, turning dry and fruity over the middle with a light spicy kick, before mellowing out into a smooth, sweet hop juice. Crisp, tangy and peppery at times, even. Very good.
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - AUG 20, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz bottle. 9.4% ABV. Purchased a couple weeks ago at a liquor store in Mt Horeb, no idea how old the bottle is. Honey, candy, citrus in the nose with a white pepper spiciness. Hazy golden color with a smallish head. Flavors of light fruits (pear), orange peel, black pepper and warming alcohol with a lingering bitterness at the end. I would not have guessed this beer is 9.4%. Very drinkable.
Brigadier (3505) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - SEP 27, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Thirsty Troll Brewfest
This bills itself as an IPA with Belgian influences. I would say that it comes close but it is just a tad more IPA than Belgian. Bell’s Two Hearted might have been the best beer available on the day but this was the best new beer I got to try. It’s going to be around for a few more weeks so head over to Mount Horeb if you can (the upcoming BA Baltic Porter might be a good reason as well).
Aroma / Appearance - The straw colored body was very light even for an IPA. A clean white head floated gracefully on top. Grass, citrus and strong floral notes leave their mark - there is no mistaking that this beer has hops. Candy sugar reveals the Belgian influence, which is complimented by a yeasty foundation.
Flavor / Palate - Sweet tarts and cotton candy fill the mouth on the first sip. Next comes the typical bitterness one expects of an IPA - not too strong but definitely not timid. The mouthfeel is very fluid. It manages to coat every surface of the mouth before fading. A sweet floral aftertaste highlights the experience. I was tempted to just go back for more and stop exploring but the show must go on.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - OCT 13, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2007 Draft at the brewpub. Advertised as 50 IBU’s. Poured a clear light orange color. Head was white and reduced to a thin film. There was some lace on the glass at the end. Citrus dominated aroma with distinct flower blossom and fruity candy accents that held their own. Sweet and fruity on the tongue. Not quite cloyingly sweet, but close. There wasn’t a great deal of hop bitterness. Tasted of orange marmalade with notes of pear and pineapple. There was also a bit of clove. Unfortunately I also detected a touch of soy that was out of place. With the exception of the occasional oddity, this was a pretty good beer.
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - JAN 15, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap, visit over the holidays. I remember thinking while I was drinking/rating that this wasn’t the most memorable beer of the sampler and the few others I enjoyed, but it was clearly well crafted and enjoyable. The first impressions struck me as more ale-like then Belgian, with a grassy, hoppy, citrusy nose and first taste. Finish gets funkier with a bit of spice and orange zest. As a whole I perceived it more pale ale/ipaish than Belgian, but certainly it was enjoyable. I wouldn’t have guessed 9 ABV, felt more like 7. A solid beer.