Monday, December 30, 2013

Green Flash Palate Wrecker Double IPA

Green Flash Palate Wrecker aka Hamilton's Ale. San Diego, CA. 9.5% Alc. by Vol. "Think About Me!" SB (Whatever that means.)

I haven't bought a lot of Green Flash since they entered our market. Most of the beers had been purchased in Wisconsin first, and it seemed like there was nothing brand new to me since they landed here. Until now, until Palate Wrecker, which I was urged to pick up pronto before it sells out. And I did. And now I'll drink it.

Clear, bright red coloring, milky white head on top, stays small, but stays it does.

Aroma: big, flowery hops presence, plenty of pine, gobs of fruit (gobs, I said, gobs!). Not too bitter, not sweet, either. Nicely balanced, I'd say.

Taste: Now it starts to slay. Intense bitterness boards the palate, with swords brandished, pistols blazing, all it's weapons cocked and ready, in for a conquering. Massive bitterness that lays waste to the tastebuds. Prickly pine and a slathering of citrus, lemon, lime, grapefruit. Intense.

Lean body, nothing to back up the hop attack, but I don't expect such from an self-proclaimed bruiser as this. Malt body takes a back seat to bitter hop punishment. High alcohol lays low at first, then roars on in.

Let's take a break and read the gobbledygook, shall we? Hmmm, it's not on the label. Swear I saw some. Found it, on the 4-pack carrier: "Palate Wrecker was originally brewed for the Hamilton's Tavern 2nd Anniversary Celebration. It's the most complicated West Coast-inspired IPA we have ever brewed--mashing and sparging with hopped wort, in addition to our hop layering regimen for IPA. By popular demand, it is now released for the world to enjoy."--Chuck S-something, Brewmaster (like I'm supposed to be able to read his signature!)

I like this. It's right on the money for what it's trying to do. Oddly, I wasn't impressed when I had the first two bottles. Maybe I just wasn't paying close attention. That can happen sometimes. If you don't really take the time to slow down and appreciate every aspect in the moment, you find yourself thinking, "yeah, yeah, hops, booze, bitterness, la, la, la…"

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