Hazmatt (363) - Virginia, USA - OCT 15, 2007
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler from tap (2 days). Nice light colored, good head and the best hop aroma in recent memory. Cirtusy pungent; very green smelling. Good hop flavor. Great hoppy IPA but a slight hint at overly sweet malt background. Just a touch not dry enough.
OldGrowth (2930) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - JUN 9, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pint @ brewpub and growler later on 4/6/06. Ok nose, soft & sweet. Rye, little honey, citrusy. Cloudy orangy brown color, small head with minor lacing. Bitter flavor, grapefruit, rye and a little toffee caramel if you reach for it. Thick body, creamy oily mouthfeel, bitter finish. Nice, I dig it.
ClarkVV (4334) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 7, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
4/6/2006, not even a day old growler, provided by OldGrowth
Unfiltered, ruddy-raspberry-copper appearance with a well-formed, but utlimately, unsustainable head that is beige. Recedes to a ring, with a smattering of cover and light, blotchy lacework.
Cherry, almond skins, vanilla, hard citrus rinds and rye malts all combine to give a disconcerting aroma. You have the soft, luxurious cherries and vanilla, but then the hard, unripened white grapefruit and spicy rye really turn everything upside down. Fortunately, all notes are welcome, no matter how much disharmony it creates. As it warms, I do note some alcohol in the nose, as the malts seem so lean and dry, as to not be able to soak it up completely, but its passing. Magnum hops provide additional lemon-tea-like notes not altogether unlike Rogue Imperial Pils.
Juicy fruits open up the flavor (lightly so), with very apparent rye adding a very spicy, chewy flavor that ruffles the feathers of the tastebuds. Plenty of grapefruit rind, tons of yeast and earthy, toasty pale and munich malts would, outwardly, seem at odds, but somehow the rye acts as a bridge between the citrus and earth, lending a mitigating, hard, toasty-chewiness. The pale malts do provide some light sugars on the end, and the unfiltered texture makes up for the fact that the body is near bone-dry and quite attenuated. I think the attenuation is right where the brewer intended, though, and it works so well with the flavorful, citric hops. Hop acids are very low, surprisingly (well not that surprising, I always get along with magum and challenger). Alcohol is near nil in the flavor. The non-filtration, low, but engaging carbonation and spicy flavors are key here.
Cottrell (72) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 30, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler filled 4 hours ago. Pours a... murky muddy cidery brown with a thick foamy head. Aroma is sweet spicy and fruity. Light grapefruit, sugary and spicy grain, floral notes and some earthy wood like aromas come through. Flavor starts with some sugary sweetness, rye, and juicy grapefruit, finishing surprisingly mellow, with an earthy and peppery hop bitterness. I love English hops, so a Challenger finished IPA was a nice treat.