Friday, December 03, 2010
Hop to it -- Day 3 of the 31 beers of Christmas.
After yesterday's very successful first date with Backwoods Bastard, a wee heavy ale from Founders, I decided to go for something with more pronounced hops this time. Backwoods Bastard was malty, Scotchy, bourbony and caramelly, but not hoppy. I've been impressed with the other beers I've tried from Victory Brewing so I picked up their Hop Devil Ale. From the label: The mythical HopDevil resides in the lore of farmers. Our HopDevil is the real deal. Bold, Spicy and menacingly delicious. He’s the product of distinctive American hops and meticulous craftsmanship. Arising from the heady winds of our hopback and gently tamed with time, this devil makes a great companion!
I don't know what most of that means, but I'm not scared. I can't find any suggestion as to what type of glass to use with this, so I'm going back to my old faithful Green Arrow Toon Tumbler.
SMELL: Still no females in the house, which is just as well as I'd be embarrassed if anybody saw me with my nose deep in this glass audibly sniffing -- okay, snorting, if I was smelling any harder I'd be inhaling this through my nose. I think I detect some pepper and some flowery scents.
APPEARANCE: Very pretty color, I'd call it amber. I have a chart here but I'm too lazy to use it right now. I will check on it later and if it's ruby or something else I'll report back to you. Nice head (again you're on your own for cheap jokes) a good half inch that had some staying power and lots of lace.
TASTE: Okay, yeah, that's hoppy, all right. Here's the thing about hops; you don't taste them right away; at least I don't. They don't make their presence known until you swallow the beer and that's when you notice a bitterness rising from the back of your tongue, filling your mouth and stopping just short of your sinus cavities. (Too bad, if the hops could get to your sinuses they could no doubt clear up congestion.) In most beers hops and malt compete for your taste buds' attention, and it's ideally not too sweet or too bitter. But there are hopheads who really like the bitter taste and prefer to minimize maltiness. (By the way, "hophead" is a word that has completely changed definition during my lifetime; when I was a kid "hophead" referred to a heroin addict.) And of course others who prefer not to hear much from the hops. I don't know what you call these people. I googled "malthead" and only got 13,000 results, none of which seem to refer to people who like a more malty beer, a far cry from the 150,000 for "hophead."
MOUTHFEEL: It's very thin compared to the porter of day one, and my beloved Backwoods Bastard from yesterday.
DRINKABILITY: It's very drinkable, although I don't think I'm a hophead. Not yet anyway. (As a matter of fact, I'm pouring a porter right now, to rinse out some of that bitter aftertaste.)
Tomorrow who knows? I have no idea who reads this blog, but if you have any suggestions or requests as to beers you think I should try, send them my way. If I can find 'em I'll drink 'em.