Commercial description: Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made with 3 malts and 1 hop. Its light amber color and slightly spicy malt character are derived from the use of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt respectively. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Summit hops are used exclusively in the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma but it doesn’t end there. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows the 10% ABV monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs already present. This beer will greet you with a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle and finish with a brisk, clean bitterness.
Gorgeous deep orange with golden tones. Upon the pour, a two-finger off-white head develops and quickly dissipates into small rocky islands of foam. No doubt the high ABV is responsible for the lack of staying power.
Complex and extremely floral bouquet of lavender and jasmine at first, with a pineapple, apricot, and honey sweetness in the middle, and finishing with piney, resiny hops at the end. Also has a weedy, hemp-like quality.
The taste delivers the promise of the nose. Tropical fruit quality lands the first punch in the form of mango and pineapple. Grapefruit, blood oranges and perhaps a hint of lemon as well. The generous malt backbone is sticky sweet with caramel. It helps balances out the intense notes of wet and juicy hops nicely.
The mouthfeel is medium-bodied Bitter and piney up front with creamy, slightly sweet middle and long bitter finish. I found the carbonation level spot-on. Just a warning…it’s extremely drinkable but at an ABV of 10% it will catch up with you.
OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)
Refreshingly drinkable and doesn’t wreak havoc on the palate even though the hop profile is so intense. I would not hesitate to put it in the company of Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Bell’s Hopslam, and Avery’s Maharaja. This has to be the best combination of thick, piney, syrupy, resiny hops combined with a crisp, clean, fresh floral aroma. And extra points to Oskar Blues for the homage to the Mel Brooks masterpiece, Blazing Saddles. Every can is ring with the phrase, “Give the GUBNA a Harrumph. Harrumph.” Unfortunately, Oskar Blues is not distributed in Ohio at this time. Luckily, our neighbors to the east in Pittsburgh have plenty on hand 🙂
FINAL SCORE (46/50)