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Review by SAP on 08/13/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 8 14 5 10 2008
A healthy pour into my New Belgium globe goblet produces a three finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves nice lacing patterns on the sides of my glass and has a nice, tight texture to it. The beer is a reddish amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, red stained, full copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma has a nice fresh hoppiness to it that makes me think of pine and a light herbal note somewhat similar to sticky hemp. The herbal hop notes lay on top of citrus hop notes reminiscent of lemon zest, grapefruit zest and bitter orange peel. If you dig for it, some malt aromatics of lightly toasted, crushed saltine crackers mixes with a light lemon note.

The first sip of this has a sharp, herbal, hop bitterness that greets my mouth from the get go and lingers through to a long finish. The beer has a light fullness to it with a malt heft, but it has enough hop character that any sweet malt is hard to notice. Sharp citrus flavors mix with notes of pine and a green, sometimes astringent, fresh hop character that provides quite a bit of bite to this beer. While the malt sweetness is not overly noticeable it does help to accentuate the citrus hop flavors in this beer that provide flavors of grapefruit, some light lychee and a nice bergamot effect. As the beer warms a bit some cracker like malt becomes noticeable as does a touch of caramelized grain character and some toasty malt flavors.

This is an eminently quaffable brew, in fact so quaffable that I never got around to taking notes on the 2007 release six pack that I bought. Three bottles into my 2008 purchase and I figure it is time. It is quite a rare that I buy a sixer of anything (being a homebrewer I have that luxury). Certainly a beer that is better than a sum of its parts would suggest. It is reminiscent of Celebration, which I will always have a very biased soft spot for.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Served In: Bottle