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Review by SAP on 06/20/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
78 3 10 15 4 7 2009
A solid pour produces a three finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves some light lacing on the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a nice copper color that shows a brilliantly clear, gold tinged, copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of pungent hops and spicy clove phenolics as well as some children’s aspirin like notes as it warms up. The hops are a bit more herbal focused because of the Belgian yeast influence but still manage a healthy note of tropical fruit, lychee, tangerine zest and some sharper essential citrus oil notes. Other hop notes of pine are also here as well as some pale malt toastiness and some cracker malt.

A light malt sweetness and a biting bitterness greet me as the beer first hits my palate. Through the middle and finish the beer picks up herbal hop notes as well as some spicy, lingering fermentation notes of pepper and clove. The combination of fruity hops and fermentation esters makes me think of juicy-fruit bubble gum. The tropical fruit flavors definitely play a prominent role here with notes of lychee, grapefruit zest that is lightly sweetened and some kumquat zest notes. The spicy phenolics in this beer tend to accentuate the sharpness of the finish along with the biting hop bitterness, though this isn’t overly bitter for an IPA, just aggressive. As the beer warms up the spicy phenolics take on some turpene like character as it lightly numbs the tongue. This beer has a light fullness to the body that places it well within the IPA range, though I guess you could say it was on the heavy side for a light bodied Belgian brew, though it is still quaffable enough that I easily polish off the 22oz bottle. The extra body does bring along with it some more malt sweetness that helps accentuate the fruity hop flavors. The malt plays a supporting, but noticeable role here as it supplies a backbone of cracker / biscuit type malt notes that are noticeable throughout the flavor profile.

Definitely an enjoyable brew, of course I seem to have developed quite a taste for a solid mix of Belgian yeast derived flavors and aggressive hops. I could definitely see this as being a touch harsh in its mix of phenolics and hops for some people, but I can’t get enough.

Served In: Tulip