FreshHawk (596) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 17, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2011 Bottle.
A - Deep bronze color with an average sized, foamy, smooth white head. Pretty good retention with a small, foamy lace left.
S - Strange hop profile with slight floral and citrus aroma. A lot of wheat and malt. Slightly off flavor. Maybe a phenol type of characteristic? Just odd, and not particularly good.
T - Similar to the aroma in that the flavor is just off. A strong soapy kind of flavor. Some grassy/hay like hops. Very faint citrus. Strong caramel malt, in that the hops are hidden, especially for an IPA. Odd flavor profile with flavors that just don’t work together.
M - Mouthfeel is where this beer does a good job. Medium body and great carbonation level. Smooth and creamy and very easy to drink.
D - Given that the flavor profile just seems off, this beer isn’t overly drinkable. Mouthfeel is nice and it helps, but not enough to make up for the flavor. I was told it was around 70-75 IBU, but I would not guess that it was anywhere near 70 IBU.
Notes: Just did not work out, not enough hop flavor, and the flavor that is there does not work well. The flavors are just off, too green. Not really worth the $5 for a bomber. CanIHave4Beers (4241) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - DEC 15, 2010
Sampled at the Release Party. I figured since the shindig was actually on my route home from work, and considering all the decent ratings pastime pale ale has been getting as of late, stopping in wouldn’t be a huge waste of my time. Pours from draught a deep orange with a small but ever-present head, markedly clear with a fairly low rate of carbonation. The aroma is weird right up front, very akin to the smell of a dairy farm, which gives way to a sweet floral notes and some noticeable caramel. There is a resiny and sort of indistinct hop aroma about it almost like a generic hop aroma if that means anything. Maybe too many varietals? I honestly don’t know how you would get a beer to smell like this, so who knows why it’s odd? The flavor is similar, and riddled with the same sorts of troubles the first batches out of the brewery had. There is certainly a noticeable chorine character and some sort of dishwater messiness. There are plenty of hops in the flavor, and it’s really quite green all together. The beer touts it’s use of all Iowa grown hops, which while admirable the hops flavor is very haphazard all together, somewhat harsh with a bit of fruitiness. I made the comment to my wife that it seemed like a "hop train wreck". I’ve had one too many "fresh hop" flops from homebrewers in recent years, and this tastes exactly like one of those. There is some sweet caramel in the background, and I imagine once those hops fade out this is going to be a caramel bomb... obviously this isn’t the intent of the brewer, but at $6 a bomber, you can bet plenty of this will sit on the shelves. The palate is really nicely full and the light carbonation lends to a damn near perfect mouthfeel on it though.