Saturday, March 2, 2013

Great Lakes Brewing - Alchemy Hour Double IPA

From Great Lakes Brewing:

"On the West Coast, surfers have a  term for that perfect time of day, when the waves are breaking just right and it feels like you can ride forever. They call it Alchemy Hour. In Cleveland, our surfers have to work a little harder to find a perfect swell. Dressed in wetsuits, up at dawn, they camp out on the shores of Lake Erie in near-freezing temperatures, waiting for the ultimate wave. Crazy? Yes. Extreme? Definitely. Alchemy Hour Double IPA pays tribute to the North Coast’s unlikely surf bums and the ancient quest for liquid gold, wherever it may live: on the ocean, in a lake, in a bottle"

Also, on the bottle it mention that is hopped with mosaic hops which is really exciting to me because I am curious to see how they stand out.  This One Goes To 11 from Bells was really enjoyable but I don't think it showcased that hop very well but I could be wrong.

Before I start with the review I just want to apologize for any of the readers that may have been waiting for the newest review to be put up.  I had a cold and my nose was running and my taste buds just felt off so I didn't want to review something on a poor palate.  So if you are reading this now then thanks for not giving up hope! Here we go!

Out of the bottle it pours a golden color.  Not a reddish gold or a yellowish gold, it look like gold in the glass and it is awesome.  It produced a 1.5 finger head that dissipated fairly quickly but is leaving a really nice ring around the glass and even has left lacing on the part of the glass that the head was hitting.  This beer is super, super clear.  I held it up to my computer screen and I would be able to read the writing on my screen if I could read upside down.  A really awesome looking beer and I could not be more excited right now.

Peachy and mango aromas jump up out of the glass for me and then a little kick of grapefruit and citrus the clear that out of the nose.  Maybe a bit of a bready character in there as well but it is just huge tropical fruits and a nice amount of grapefruit and citrus.  The aroma of the fruits seem really ripe and give off a sweet aroma to them which is welcome, for me at least.  I enjoy a sweeter double ipa.  Not from a heavy dose of malts but from an abundance of hop varieties that I really enjoy and this delivers.  This is as well balanced as I can hope for with a big double IPA; very small malty notes but big character from the hops that mesh well together.  Not to sound cliche but I could honestly smell this beer for a good hour before even taking a drink.

Wow that is really nice.  Everything is just....there.  I'm not getting any one fruit specifically, like peach or grapefruit, but I'm getting what I think they would all taste like together.  This doesn't attack you with bitterness on the front of the palate, no, instead you get a smooth wave of flavor.  It starts a bit sweet from the front of the palate and by the time it hits mid-palate you really start to get the hop character and all those fruit notes in the aroma come together as one.  The bitterness hits on the finish and lingers for a moment but this is a different kind of bitterness.  Often times a grapefruit type of bitterness hits on the finish and this one is no different, however, this isn't just like a grapefruit bitterness.  It actually tastes like a bitter grapefruit on the finish, to the point where I would almost want to ask if they brewed this was citrus fruits.  Right before the bitterness hits there is a nice kind of sugary sweetness.  Not overwhelming and not extremely noticeable but the extreme of sweet and bitter is really nice on the back end.  Great stuff. Really, great stuff.

People have talked about this being a good substitute for Hopslam because it is also brewed with honey but I would gladly take this over hopslam.  The mouthfeel on it is the same but I much prefer the flavor profile in this beer to hopslam.  I can't find one flaw in it and that cold either be that my palate is so refreshed after being sick for so long or this is just an incredible beer.  I definitely recommend picking this up if you are in the Midwest and Great Lakes is distributed in your area.  If you can't get this in your area then definitely trade for it.  Of all the IPA's I have said to trade for in past reviews, this one takes the cake.

Cheers ladies and gentlemen!

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