At long last, faithful followers, my tongue has returned! (My liver, on the other hand, is still wondering what the fuck is going on).
Glad to see you're enjoying the blog, Eric.
Without further adieu, the beer review:
As my loyal readers have likely learned from recent reviews, I have become increasingly interested in IPAs. Although I initially dismissed them as too intense for my tastes, the extremely hop-centered style has slowly grown on me; now, I actually find myself craving that unique taste of citrus and pine from time to time. Hops are in the same biological family as Cannabis, which may explain their potent aroma. Some have even said that smoking dried hops results in euphoria similar to that provided by Cannabis, but I think I'll stick with drinking them.
Today's IPA comes from Heavy Seas, an imprint of Clipper City Brewing Company. They divide their beers into three nautical-themed fleets; this one is from the Pyrate Fleet and is called "Loose Cannon
- Hop^3 IPA". Apparently, the name comes from the fact that each barrel is brewed with over 3 pounds
of hops along with the fact that those hops are incorporated in three different ways: in the kettle, in the hop back, and finally through dry-hopping. If you don't understand any of that fancy-pantsed brewing terminology, then don't worry: the most important thing is the beer itself, so let's get to it!
Brewed By:Heavy Seas
(Clipper City Brewing Co.)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Style- American IPA
Poured from a 12oz brown bottle indicating December 2010 as the best-by date.Appearance-
4.5 out of 5. This beer appears to be straight out a pirate's chest-- bright burnished gold with bubbles streaming up from the bottom to form a creamy two-finger head that sticks around for quite a while. It becomes a little orange as it warms. It is also remarkably clear for a bottle-conditioned beer; the small amount of live yeast left in the bottle is not at all visible in the glass.Smell-
4.5 out of 5. The smell of grapefruit overcame my nose as soon as I cracked open the bottle; after pouring it, more scents became apparent, such as bitter pine, lemon rind, and a hint of sea salt, which is fitting considering the brand. There is also a touch of sweet malt in the nose, which is incredible considering the strength of the other scents. This is the kind of smell that makes me want to dive into the glass as fast as possible.Taste-
4.5 out of 5. At 7.25% alcohol and such a heavy-handed amount of hops, I expected the kind of intense American IPA that could strip the varnish off my hardwood floors, yet Loose Cannon has a surprisingly mild taste. Well, no IPA is mild by its very definition, but it's a lot less aggressive than I thought it would be, which isn't necessarily a negative quality. The initial taste is one of citrus and pine, so no surprise there; however, the sweet light malt does an admirable job of showing through. I don't usually expect much malt in my IPAs, so it's an added bonus to an already great beer. This is the kind of beer that stimulates your entire tongue-- sweet malt on the front, sea salt on the sides, and wonderfully bitter hops on the back of the tongue. The aftertaste is made of grapefruit and win.Mouthfeel-
4.5 out of 5. Tangy, crisp, and dry with a fairly full body and tons of tingles from the bubbly carbonation.Drinkability-
5 out of 5. Loose Cannon gets a full five stars for being so easily imbibed for such an ostensibly strong beer. This one officially made it onto my "dangerous" list since the above-average alcohol content is almost entirely disguised. It should definitely be left out of the fridge for about ten to fifteen minutes before opening and pouring to let the warmth develop its full flavor profile. This is the kind of beer that would go great with a strong cheese; much better than some of those paltry half-assed wine and cheese pairings out there.
Overall, an A.