Saturday, January 11, 2014

The rest of the American craft beers

Following from my last post about bottled American craft beers, brought to me as gifts by Scott, Elli and Hugh last year, here (without further elaboration or digression) are my tasting notes:

Avery Brewing Co., duganA IPA: this powerful pale ale from Boulder, Colorado, modest at 8.5% abv, is a slightly cloudy orange color with a lively but thin head of foam (recurring enthusiastically if you swirl the glass a little) and a biscuity aroma of both fruit and caramel. It's tangy with a berry flavor on the tip of the tongue, then rapidly spreading sour pith, like unripe orange or kumquat; a lovely mix of citrus notes sizzles all the way back in the mouth—some lime flesh, grapefruit pith and unwashed zest, with crushed pits in the back for that wince-making intense bitterness. Overall this beer comes with hints of buttered yeasty bread, malt cake or ovaltine, but all washed a bit to the rear by the rich, raw hoppiness, blended and complex to give the subtle IPA tones, plus that little something extra for the undiluted American double-drop intensity. A lingering wood-smoked meatiness in detectable in the aftertaste. Nice, though, and while too strong for a session ale, if you drink it at the pace of wine with something light to eat like omelette or stir-fry, it would go down very nicely of an evening. Clearly a lot of thought went into the production and presentation of this beer; it's just a shame that the label had to be so fetishistically objectifying and exoticizing, because otherwise it would have been worth keep as a monument to a fine drink.