Location: San Diego, CA
Style: Belgian Style Pale Ale
A.B.V. – 7%
Price: – $3.00/ bottle
First things first.
This is a Weird. Ass. Beer.
I had very little hopes for this one when I picked it up. Yes, it’s from a pretty well known craft brewery, and yes it’s on a lot of people’s lists as far as a good one to try. Call me shallow, but it didn’t have a flashy name so I was skeptical – and I should have been. The first drink of this beer was completely unexpected, and frankly a little off-putting. I wanted to like it, because I want to like every beer that I try. I really, really do. This one was definitely difficult.
The first flavors I got were that licorice-y, clove-y taste that comes from a good Belgian beer, but it was immediately overpowered by what I would characterize as menthol throat spray, and let me tell you, that ain’t a beer I want to try twice. It was just so bizarre and unexpected that I found myself dreading those flavors again each time I drank, and it kind of threw off the whole experience for me.
Halfway through, things got better; the beer warmed up, and I warmed up to it. The menthol flavors went away, and what I was left with was a quite hoppy, complex and challenging brew that left me convinced I should stop drinking it, while simultaneously daring me to take another sip. It’s definitely not a daily drinker for me, but it’s a beer that everyone should experience. Knowing that it’s bottle conditioned (brewed in the bottle) and intended to be an American twist on an Abbey style ale, I’m willing to give it another go… sometime very far in the future. The best way to describe the flavor would be if an Abbey Ale and a Pale Ale had a kid, and that kid was kidnapped by bears and raised in the wilderness, only to be found again, given a shower, and crammed into this bottle.