TAR (2787) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - FEB 16, 2006
Hazy apricot. Lathery dollop of sticky white bubbles. Soft aromatic mixture of sulfur, passion fruit, phenols, peach, and sweaty yeast. Hints of jellied toast. Mouth-filling carbonation, but rather chalky. Sappy and somewhat gooey with hops, initially. Stabilizing punch of fruity esters lends roundness to the pronounced toasted malt spine. Lurking pockets of airiness. Malt richness eventually relinquishes its vividness to the unpolished bitterness. Touches of dryness are scattered about. Soon becomes extremely disharmonious, as notes of crushed aspirin and peach fuzz abuse the palate. The fruitiness, which is overly limp and soggy, only compounds the flaws. Hops are remarkably depthless at this stage. Finishes highly unappealing with minty alcohol paired with an overabundance of leafy acidity and aspirin notes which suppress any salvaging resins that might be left in its wake. There’s nothing about this that distinguishes it from dozens of others in its class. Unimaginative, unrefined, and, worst of all, it’s a soppy mess, rife with hop derived acidity (among numerous other flaws). Not what I expect from Deschutes. A real yawner. glkaiser (1214) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 15, 2006
Copper color....can see half way through the beer, but not quite all the way. Large head, leaves good lacing. Strong grapefruit hoppy fragrance. Very tasty. Heavy sharp hop taste, with a very bitter finish. Another great IPA to add to the list. Sham (1844) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 15, 2006
Hazy amber with a off white, almost tannish head. Sticky lacing. Soapy and citrus hops. A touch of malts backing it up. Hops and malts are blended nicely. The flavor is bitter and full of citrus and pine. Bitter end with a fuzzy mouthfeel. Ratman197 (15376) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - FEB 15, 2006
Bomber poured a hazy copper with a large, lasting amber head. Aromas of Hops, lots o’ hops citrusy and piney all my favorite hops! Palate was medium bodied, dry and resiny. Flavors of Hops piney, citrusy and even earthy!also a hint of carmel with a dry, lingering pleasently bitter finish! An outstanding IPA!!! bb (9789) - Alamo, California, USA - FEB 14, 2006
Bottle. Reddish amber beer with a nice off-white head. Big grapefruit and mango aroma. Nice fruity hop flavor - grapefruit, lots of resins. Underlying malt sweetness. Nice lingering bitterness. Some tannins coming through.
leitrim65 (402) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 13, 2006
This is the type of IPA I love to drink. Good looking amber color with a medium sized ivory head. Strong citrus, grapefruit aroma with notes of malt. Creamy, soft texture up front, with a good balance of citrus hops - mostly grapefruit and orange, pine,and malt flavors. The hop flavors quickly overwhelm and dominate in a long lasting bitter finish. Killer stuff! OldMrCrow (2446) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 12, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2006 From the bottle (2/12/06). Pours a reddish brown with a good-sized off-white head. BückDich (5477) - McCall, Idaho, USA - FEB 8, 2006
The aroma is huge, flowery hops beyond belief, promising an enormous juicy citrus flavor. The flavor makes good on the aroma’s promise; this is a powerful hop-bomb, braced with generous helpings of slightly sweet, chewy caramel malt. The finish is wickedly bitter, not at all metallic or soapy, just kick-you-in-the-teeth bitter.
Deschutes seems to be aiming for a Stone Ruinition killer here; they’ve certainly come through with a serious competitor as a hophead’s IPA. Nonetheless I have a few complaints. The carbonation is more aggressive than I would like, and the malts, while they might need to be rich to back up this blast of hops, seem slightly overdone to the point of dragging this beer toward the too-dark-for-as-hoppy-as-they-are PacNW winter brews that I find so tiresome. Even the hops are on the strongly aggressive side: not painfully so (I’ve never met a beer that I’d describe as such!) , but I wonder whether I’d enjoy it even more if it were a little bit more subtle. As a result, the whole ends up somewhat short of the sum of its parts. Still, I can just imagine that this thing would be a dream come true on cask...
OK, so I tracked this one down on tap at the College Inn in Seattle, and I’m even more impressed. My complaints above go by the wayside; the carbonation is better, the malts are not overdone, but rather they simply assertively back up all those hops, and I don’t find myself wishing the beer was a bit more subtle. This is a real winner.
Oct ’06 The better part of a year after the original release, I broke open my last bottle. The beer has mellowed -- the hops slipping back and a warm rich caramel coming out in the malts, not sweet so much as flavored. Perhaps a hint of oxidation, but this is really a nice beer now as well.
Draught @ Bittercreek Alehouse - Boise, IDacertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 8, 2006
Light hazy mamber, sticky thick head and decent lacing. Nose of fresh zesty citrus hops, light in malt but plenty piney, resinous and sticky in the hop department. The flavor is balanced but a strong bit of carbonation and an offset sweetness level foul up the already light body. Finishes bitter, lasting, but still clean and refreshing. A bit malty and strong with the hops. Above par PNW example of the style.
UPDATED: SEP 14, 2006 Wow. The nose on this thing is amazing. Bowls you over with floral hops, citrus, grape, other sweet fruits. I was afraid to taste it and be let down, but I wasn’t, at least not much. The flavor is very balanced, not as bitter as I had feared. It’s very citrusy, so you gotta like that. Overall, though, my new favorite IPA. 11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - FEB 7, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2006 Bottle. Pours an attractive reddish orange color, very clear. A long lived off-white head forms and leaves sheets of lacing behind. Aroma is pleasantly hoppy, lots of piney and earthy qualities to it. Medium bodied. Just the barest hints of toasted malt are washed away quickly by the hop bitterness. A bit overdone on the hops perhaps, nothing horrendous but definitely qualifying as a hop bomb. Bitterness lasts quite some time in the finish. Decent, palate killer. <P> 2005 release consumed Nov. 2006. Deep bloody copper colored with a long retaining off-white head. Great lacing. Aroma is hoppy with a huge caramel influence, light musty influence. Medium bodied. Lots of caramel malt in aroma and tatste. Piney and earthen hops in flavor. Earthy qualities last in aftertaste. Tasty. Holding up well.