Thanks to Alex for the sample that inspired me to grab a bottle of Heavier Handed for myself on the way home. Poured from said 22oz. bomber into a Surly imperial pint glass. 8.1% ABV 84 IBUs
A: Pours out a beautifully crisp and mostly clear mahogany-amber/burnt orange color with a really great 2+ finger head that takes at least 2 minutes to fall into a thick and covering cap, leaving all sorts of sticky rings and dripping sheets of lace as it goes. Thereâ€™s such great glow to the body and the head is almost picture-perfect.
S: The smell is very interesting and a bit of a contradiction to the style at times. What I mean by that is that the oak aging seems to have allowed the hops to age to a point where they are aged and smelling very vegetal and herbal/earthy for the most part with only slight undertones of citrus and freshcut grass. The oak lends a strong melon-like presence with hints of vanilla and toasted french oak. A big backing of thick caramel and toffee/medium-grainy malts lend a nice sweetness for balance much like the regular heavy handed. The hops are still kicking, but with a â€œvintageâ€ quality to them now that has taken over the fresh wet-hop aromas almost entirely. Super unique, Iâ€™ll give it that.
T: The taste actually takes the same base qualities of the aroma and makes them work much better for me. The hops still have an aged quality to them somewhat but are much more lush and citrusy with a freshly cut grass/flowers trait which is quite enjoyable. The oak comes in with the malts around mid-palate, leading the way with big dry, toasty oak notes and a melony aspect which is almost reminiscent of Exponential Hoppiness. Malts are very caramelly-sweet with a more subtle toffee and grainy backbone. The combination of everything together is pretty damn delicious.
M: The mouthfeel is borderline divine, leading with a fuller-medium body and a lower level of softly moderate carbonation that allows the lush, creamy, oily consistency to really shine. Itâ€™s velvety yet bitingâ€¦lush and coatingâ€¦sticky and dry on the finish. So much going on here and the hops are still very much prominent and surprisingly dry and bitter on the finish (which is probably some oak tannins too). No trace of 8+% ABV and it goes down WAY smooth and easily for such an aggressively hopped big-beer.
D: I was left really impressed by this Dos Bros offering, almost to the point where this has become one of my new favorite beers from them. The drinkability is outstanding and the oak aging of a wet-hopped DIPA really worked in the taste and feel (not as much in the smell, but still fairly good there too). For the price, this is a steal and one definitely worthy of checking out for anyone who likes big, aggressive beers with a contrastingly soft and smooth body,
I give this beer 8.4 thumbs up out of a possible 11. Super tasty, drinkable, and creamy-bodied and oh-so unique in so many ways. This is definitely a Dos Bros brew that worked well for me. Very recommended.
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