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Review by SAP on 01/03/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 3 9 13 4 7 2008
Pours with a frothy, two finger thick, pale, tan tinged, off-white colored head. The beer is a clear amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma certainly hits the spot for any hop lover with a melange of herbaceous, spicy, fruity, citrusy and yes even dank hop character. Malt, I don't know much about that, though I am sure there might be a hint in the aroma some where, right now I am focusing on the hop aromatics that the malt character is supporting. Vibrant lychee, ripe tangelo peal and bitter grapefruit oil round out the fruity hop aromatics, but in the deep draughts of the aroma it is the herbal hop components that reign. There are turpene rich hop notes, a slight grassy edge, perhaps a hint of chive, but what really jumps out is the essential "hemp" oil components; sticky, dank, resinous, slightly rosemary like, touches of pine tar and a spiciness that almost make my nose itch. Definitely a hop heads beer by the nose.

Lightly sweet up front and then a bracing, richly herbal, bitterness grabs hold of the tongue; this never recedes either as the bitterness lingers on in the palate after the beer has left my mouth. The hop flavors have a fruity, almost oily character that is sensed as a backdrop to the other flavors; tropical fruit, lychee and bitter orange peel. The flavor profile is dominated though by the herbal hop components. Pepper, amply spicy, a touch of sharp rosemary, green turpenes and of course it has a biting, dank, "hemp" oil green flavor to it that lingers on with the bitterness in the finish. This is definitely an aggressively hoppy beer, this can be nice, but somehow this beer seems a bit too one-dimensional, even for a overly hoppy IPA. There is a soft supporting malt character that brings a hint of sweetness as well as a touch of cracker light malt to the flavor, it also supplies a medium'ish body to this brew.

A bit too herbal focused to be great for me; I prefer a nice balance of tropical fruit notes as well as the sticky herbal hop character (the aroma is a bit more balanced than the flavor, though still not quite enough). Still this certainly has appeased my hop fix for the evening.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA

Served In: Pint Glass