TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yellow gold. Tight, small white bubbles struggle to the surface. Orange marmalade, pine needles, chamomile, hopsack, and peach fuzz aromas. Decadently thick, but itís much fuzzier than it is creamy. Initially gooey with palate-hugging resins and a gentler underlay of juicy hops. Resinous viscosity delays the inevitable hop bludgeon, but thatís not to say the oils havenít already inflicted substantial damage to the taste buds. Sappy sweetness is overwhelming, yet the hops do retain a significant level of juicy brightness. Hops discharge a strapping sting of tannins as they climax, but the bitterness remains secondary to the explosive hop flavors. Merely a light brush of dusty malts. Odd aspirin notes dull the overall brightness and add to the disagreeable mixture of spent tealeaves and a hint of overripe tropical fruit acidity. Finishes oversweet and mushy with a citrus marmalade and honey drenched pale malt fusion as melon seeds and tangerines linger. The aroma suffers from being one-dimensionally hoppy (once again, Amarillo is likely the culprit), and beneath that, thereís some unpleasant meatiness. Flavorwise, Vinnieís done a marvelous job at extracting every drop of hop flavor imagineable, but the resinous goo largely overshadows the brighter hop traits. Soidly done.
joet (2409) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - SEP 21, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Visible resins floating on the top of this ridiculously hoppy IPA, deep golden with light white foam. Iím glad this lacks the extreme compensatory sweetnes of other hop monsters though Iím sure thereís afair bit of sugar here. The body is also spared milk shake thickness while still being substantial. This is excellent. I was happy to grab a second pint -- yes, it was served in pints (mistakenly?) at the brewery though I canít confirm the 11% ABV. Very close to perfection here. Probably the best thing Iíve had this year.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 15, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Shared from a growler courtesy of goldtwins: Pours a clear, deep, rich golden bronze with a thick, frothy, well-lacing white head. Aroma is loaded with tons of citrus and piney hops and decent sugary malty balance. Starts with a mild sticky malty sweetness and tons of bittering hops. Lots of citrusy piney hop flavor and a sticky, bittersweet, warming finish. This seems like itís too young and needs more balance. This reminds me a lot of Founders Devil Dancer. A monster of a beer that is perhaps overhopped if there is such a thing.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 15, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
1/2 Gallon growler. Mild peach color, bordering on orange. Unbelievable hop aroma, loads of fruit, particular grapefruit and orange. The aroma is very vibrant and fresh, but also extremely dry, emphasis of an enormous and ridiculous dry hop, which we all know Vinnie has trademarked. The body is very rich and full, giving not only malt balance, but a variety of rich malt flavors, especially caramel and toffee, along with a light fruit platter. The hop character is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, but in such an unbelievably great way. Wow, such a hop monster, but still balanced in a completely maniacal way.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - SEP 12, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
HUGE thanks to the man Davecooks for sending me a growler. Huge dry hopped aroma. Grassy and floral hops that pretty much cover all the malt. Just the way it should be. Malty flavor that is completely infused with hops and a big bitter finish. Light warming sensation. It could have used just a little more malt in th flavor.
zug4abby (287) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 26, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a nice copper color with a very small head and virtually no lacing. The aroma is all hops with very slight hints of pine. The flavor is similar in addition to the strong hop taste through-out. I still prefer the elder, but it was definitely nice to try this version!
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - AUG 10, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Oh god, what a great beer! Iím enjoying some from my growler right now, I guess I was lucky to get this, I almost went for a different one, but glad I changed my mind. I really havenít encountered a beer that was quite sweet, AND was loaded with hops too! the best balanced beer Iíve had! God, I love this beer.. Canít wait to have more, Iím privileged to have tried it, its that good! I got this from the keg at Hollingshead in Orange at the RR beer tasting.
Heatwaves (54) - Orange, California, USA - JUL 26, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This is the PERFECT beer. I had the pleasure of attending Russian Riverís beer tasting at Hollingshead Deli in Orange last weekend. While I will eventually comment and rate all 13 beers on display, I simply could not wait to report on this nectar of the gods. This beer is suprising through and through. It has the most powerful and delectable aroma of any beer Iíve tried. Like the previous reviewer, I noted intense peach and tropical aromas. In taste, I was surprised that this Triple IPA wasnít super bitter, it was pleasantly balanced with a sweet and creamy mouthfeel. Since I donít consider myself a true íhopheadí, I was shocked that this beer had so much character. Although the alcohol, packs a punch, it is nearly indetectable while savoring the flavor. Honestly, I canít recommend this beer hightly enough. I only had two disappointments: that the keg ran out before I could purchase a growler of it; and that this wonít be available in bottles for at least two years. Other than that... SIMPLY AMAZING!
ClarkVV (4353) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 28, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Numerous, numerous, numerous samples at the ABF on 6/17/2005. A chill-hazed, unfiltered, sparkling copper-gold, with some bright orange/peach tones, small bubbles rising and a large, persistent, thick-looking white head. Lacing is present. Aroma of tropical fruits to the max, sweet crystally/caramelly malts, though more sugars than toasted notes. Sweet, fresh, juicy oranges, honey dough and a very floral bitterness. Full and lasting is the aroma. Flavor begins with a burst of tropical fruits, juicy, fresh, full of flavor and complexity. Peaches, mangoes, pineapples, blood oranges, kiwis, tangerines and only light pininess. Wow. The beer is flawlessly, IMHO, balanced with malt and hops bitterness. In fact, Iíd say thereís much more apparent hops flavor than bitterness. No syrupy, resinous, sharp, acidic bitter notes to make you cringe on the end. The flavors smoothly transition between hops and malt and then back again without you even realizing it. On the finish, I detect more floral notes from the hops, with a mint-like herbal character, subtle earthy green hops notes and just a lip-smacking malt sweetness. Full body, with just a shade of alcohol on the end, giving a touch of belly-warming. Creamy texture, low carbonation; the liquid tickles the tongue and you can almost taste the fuzzy hops which make this beer so delicious. Wow. I donít care for double IPAs, let alone beers that call themselves a triple IPA, but this is just marvelous. A real dedication to balance, unlike some others I know, *cough* Devil Dancer *cough*. Cheers Vinnie, keep em coming!!!
OldGrowth (2935) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - JUN 22, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
4 oz sample @ ABF. Good nose, Pineapple, orange, honey. Tad hazy orangy gold color. Bitter flavors, like the aromas with the ABV giving it a medciny sweet taste. Thick body, creamy oily mouthfeel, bitter harsh finish(in a good way) get a little burn too. Nice big IIPA, I liked it alot. The Hophead in me is a happy camper with this one.