Batch #208, Bottle #57. 8% ABV.
Pours a perfect warm honey gold with a white head that starts out firm and gradually retreats to a fine bead. How can I describe the amazingness of this aroma? Pungently and sharply hoppy, with grapefruit rind and apricots and mango all over the place, with a faint herbal mineraliness (like a cross between rosemary and lemongrass) that goes straight into the back of the sinuses, but underneath it all I get a faint bready sweetness not dissimilar to a really good cruller. Never experienced this aroma on a beer before.
Hold on, let my tongue come out of hiding after that first hit... I'm slackjawed and damn near speechless. You've heard of hop bombs? This one should be delivered to the Warren Store at 8:15 in a truck labelled Enola Gay. The initial dank, pungent, leafy, resinous, bitter hop hit gets your attention in a BIG way. The same basic fruits in the aroma, but amped up with a fresh lemongrass herbalness, faint lemon, and a bitterness that goes on and on forever. Yet underneath it all there's this sweet-dry balance of honeylike and slightly toasty malt that manages to make itself known, and brings it somewhat into balance... who am I kidding, the hops are slapping the rows off of that barley. Yet the juicy tropical fruits are all over the place - actually, in that respect it reminds me of the 1999 Chysalis Viognier wine that blew me away with its dry yet fruity palate. As it fades that coarse leafy hoppiness just sits on the tongue like a huge golden opal, the juicy tropical fruits and distant toasty malt fading from the palate. Mouthfeel is sprightly and I'm 1/4 of the way through the bottle and my palate will be useless for the rest of the night. This just in: Waaaaay after the sip is gone, a toasted honey, grapefruit, and lemongrass flavor suddenly appeared like a flashback.
I sit here and stare at the bottle, and think about other beers that I have in the house... and wouldn't really rather have anything else right now. This one's as close to perfect a DIPA as I've ever had. Sean signs every bottle, as well he should as it's a work of freaking art.
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