Tangerine Dream: Stone’s Enjoy by 5.30.16 Tangerine

On the docket:  22 oz. bottle Stone’s Enjoy by 5/30/16 Tangerine.  Date:  3/24/16.

Poured into:  Wine & Whiskey Country Belgian snifter

A:  Bold aroma of tangerine at first sniff.  After a minute or two, you can also detect a small amount of mango or papaya.  Simple but elegant.

S:  Crystal-bright honey gold body, and a bone collar of dense foam on top.  The head builds, the recedes quickly to a closely hugging ring of suds and a wash of microscopic bubbles in the center.  Tiny bubbles drift to the top of the glass.  Big bands of lacing.

T:  After an initial blast of tangerine and citrus hoppiness, the malt emerges as white-bread crust and just a touch of caramel and molasses.  Brief sweetness.  The hops come in again at the end providing fruitiness and bitterness with an added pine.

F:  Fine carbonation, medium-plus body.  Oily and slick on the palate.  Long, drying and bitter finish.  Despite the 9%+ abv, no real sign of the alcohol via flavor or aroma.

O:  Aggressively hopped and flavorful.  Excellent aroma and just enough sweetness from the malt to provide a counterbalance.  However, the hops and bitterness win out.  Neat variation on the popular “drink it while its fresh” series by Stone.

Pairing suggestions:  Heavy, triple-cream cheese, fruit salad, Pasta primavera/alfredo, tangerine or orange sherbet.

Cloudy with a Chance of Dry-Hopping: Omnipollo’s Fatamorgana

On the docket:  22 oz. bottle of Omnipollo’s Fatamorgana

poured into:  Innis & Gunn stemmed craft glass

S:  Hazy, lemon-gold body with a frothy white head.  Great retention, and thin, consistent rings of lacing.  It recedes to a gentle wash of suds on top, and though translucent and not transparent, carbonation activity is easily observed.  Also, there is a thin layer of yeast in the base of the bottle, so pour carefully.

A:  At first impression, one gets a  bright lemon citrus and pine front.  Added to this is just the slightest twinge of funk, barely there, hiding in the background.  Could it be the yeast or the wheat?  The malt aroma is very muted, but clean and water-cracker like.

T:  Up front, it’s a big dose of lemon and grapefruit bitterness.  A sweet malt note shows up briefly mid-palate, but the finish gives way to a roar of more hops.  Dry, bitter, clean, brisk… and a touch floral on the end.  This is a Double IPA through and through, with flavor squarely in the hop department.

F:  Medium-light, with fine carbonation and a rather long finish of pine and citrus.  A tad fluffy and creamy.

O:  Interesting take on the Double IPA style, with the addition of wheat and oats.  Easy to drink, dangerous at 8%, no perceived alcohol from either aroma or taste.

Suggested food pairing:  used as base in vinaigrette dressing over arugula and walnut salad, steamed lobster and shellfish, lemon tart, and mild, creamy cheese

Swim with the Big Fish: Ballast Point’s Watermelon Dorado DIPA

Ballast_Point_Watermelon_Dorado

On the docket:  12 oz. bottle of Ballast Point Watermelon Dorado DIPA

A: Sweetness and a full waft of watermelon. It’s pleasing to inhale, and smells authentic. clean malt also present, but the fruit aroma certainly overpowers the hops.

S: Golden orange with a thick, persistent beige head. Carbonation activity visible, small bubbles lazily making their way to the top of the glass. Head is thick and creamy, receding slowly. Lacing is regular and bandy.

T: A befuddling blend of watermelon, bitterness, and a touch of malty richness compete for attention. This is exactly what you think it is, a DIPA with watermelon added. There’s definitely traces of both the flesh and a touch of the white almost-rind you encounter if you’re not careful when taking a knife to a wedge. As it approaches room temperature, the hops are more identifiable, countering the fruit with a dose of pine resin.

F: Medium body, with the hallmark oiliness of a DIPA. Though it ends fairly hoppy and bitter, the watermelon carries all the way through to the finish, manifesting itself as a muted version of a watermelon flavored gummy candy (not necessarily a bad thing). Some dryness, just a touch of sweetness.

O: As far as DIPAs go, I’ll stick to traditional renditions. However, if you want a change of pace from your normal routine, pick this up and give it a try.

Suggested food pairing: Um…. spicy Thai food? Easily one of the hardest beers I’ve had to determine a food pairing for- one sip and you might understand why.

Hop’solute Certainty: Fegley’s “TIPA”

On the docket:  Allentown Brew Work’s Hop’solutely

Poured into:  12 oz. draft offering at the bar/brewery poured into an ABW snifter

S:  Crystal clear burnished orange/amber body under a beige head that quickly recedes into a soapy island on top.

A:  I got quite a few tropical aromas including mango, guava, melon (my wife said grapefruit) plus a hint of heat and a caramel and toffee sweetness.  This brute is also dry-hopped with Amarillo and Chinook hops, what a treat to the nose.

T:  Wow!  An aggressive bitter hop assault of pine and dryness, and oh… did I say bitter?  I’ll chalk this up to the Cascade, CTZ, Summit, Amarillo, and Chinook hop bill.  After your senses recover, you can also get a nice sweet caramel to counter the hops from the Caramel malt, and even a touch of fruitcake-y sweetness.

F:  Oily, slick, and coating.  There’s a prickly carbonation that helps to scrub the palate, easing you into the next sip of this 11.5% abv behemoth.  It ends with a bone-dry finish that enables you to go back for more.

O:  Crazy, fun, fresh offering at the location.  Drink with care and a smile.  Reminiscent of an American Barleywine or Strong Ale, because technically, there is no such thing as a “triple IPA” and that’s fine by me.  I’ve read other reviews that give this beer such a hard time.  Try it fresh from the tap at the Allentown location, you might think about it differently.

S:  4  A:  4.5  T:  4.25  F:  4  O:  4

Suggested food pairing:  Pasta Primavera, buffalo wings with bleu cheese, carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting