Friday, February 20, 2009

The name of today's beer is cool enough to be the title of the post. I had once joked that it would be the bees-knees if they had beer pop-sickles. A hopsickle, if you will. I'm perfectly happy to drink this in lieu of an actual beer-flavored pop-sickle.

This is the final review in my series of beer from George's recent generosity. Thanks again, George!

Without further ado: Moylan's Brewery Hopsickle!

I will say right off the bat that this is a hop-bomb. No, this is a hop nuke. The relative balance of last week's DIPA review is undone by Hopsickle; beaten, put to shame, and left to cry alone.

Thick off-white lace clung to the glass, and should have served as a warning to my taste buds that had to hang on for dear life as I drank. I was surprised at how long the head stuck around, thinking it would have dissipated as quickly as many DIPAs and TIPAs. The beer itself was a deep amber and hazy as a foggy morning. The density of the haze is indicative of a silly amount of hops.

The aroma was like sticking your nose into a spice rack. Citrus like grapefruit and limes, wild flowers, peppery spice and even some pipe tobacco (not that anyone keeps that in the spice cabinet, but still...). Among the massive hop aromas peeks a hint of sweet malt and the suggestion of a fruity aroma from the alcohol.

My tongue started screaming before I even raised the glass to my lips, but away I went. The hop bitterness was bold but juicy, with lush flavors. It was a forest of herbs and citrus, so much so that the flavors were almost lemon-puckery. It's not that the bitterness is overwhelming. Instead, it approaches the precipice and peeks over, but never takes the leap. This is a big, full-bodied beer, smooth and creamy on the tongue. Though when cold I couldn't get a sense of the alcohol, as the beer warmed a bit I got a nice hint of a peach or pear fruitiness from it.

This beer is huge. If you already have trouble with IPAs, stay away. But if you are a hop-head and want to play a fascinating game of "name that hop," grab a Hopsickle and go to town. I had a bag of pretzels nearby as a palate-cleanser between quaffs, but it's as if I was eating unflavored rice cakes. Didn't make a difference. I enjoyed this beer like someone would enjoy a single malt scotch; huge, challenging flavors to be discovered and enjoyed.


Bob 12:53 PM  

If you already have trouble with IPAs, stay away.

That would be me. Good reviews also tell people what beers wouldn't necessarily suit their tastes.

Nice job.

Sopor 12:55 PM  

AWESOME. I WANT SOME. I will have to be speaking to my trading cohorts in CA to arrange a trade. I know there's plenty of MI gems they will want to get their hands on... if nothing else, this state is good for arranging trades from!

Hop-bombs rock. I find though... that after too many hoppy beers, a malt-forward beer is a VERY welcome change!

George 1:04 PM  

Well, CA is the land of the hop-bomb!

It's fun sending you beers, Smitty, as not only do I get MI beers, but I also get to read wonderful write-ups of the beers that went eastward.

Smitty 2:24 PM  

Bob: thanks. I realize that what may be awesome to me, which pretty much is beer, period, may be horrid for someone else.

Sopor: it is well-worth a trade. And I would trade something significant for this beer. Not just some pale ale. Something much more exotic.

George: that is the highest compliment, coming from you. I admire your writing immensely. Thank you...

Joel 5:55 PM  

Me as well. I am becoming a "no hop zone." Awesome review, per USUAL.

Mike 7:47 PM  

Wow. This sounds very intriguing.

Mike 7:49 PM  

Nice job.

wonderful write-ups

Awesome review, per USUAL.

I second, third, and fourth that sentiment. I think we should dub Smitty the American Michael Jackson.

(Not that Michael Jackson. He is American.)

Smitty 9:20 PM  

High compliments indeed, Mike. Thank you...it makes it a lot of fun to write these reviews, rather than just drink it and keep it to myself.

Thanks everyone...

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