I received a 12oz bottle in a trade with Ding (thanks!). I poured it into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Deep amber/light orange hue that’s opaque from the haziness.
Forms a huge, white, Belgian-like head that is slow to dissipate and
leaves great lacing on the glass.
Smell: Light candy-like aroma of Sweet Tarts and a hint of flowers.
Taste: I love the tagline for this beer: "Hoppier than a bullfrog with a
stubbed toe." I just wish that were true because hops actually have
some flavor (e.g. citrus, pine), but Red Brick HopLanta is pretty much
just bitterness incarnate. From the moment it hits the tongue until well
after it’s swallowed there’s an intense dry bitterness. It peaks at the
apex of the swig before imparting a bit of orange candy-like flavor or
perhaps orange sherbet.
I’m not sure of the IBUs for this brew, and for a single IPA it could
give some imperial IPAs a run for their money. But hops alone does not a
great IPA make. There’s not a lot of complexity to this palate,
certainly not much malt character to balance out the bitterness. That’s
not to say it’s an off-putting palate entirely. I can find some things
to enjoy here, but the qualities are drowned out in the distraction of
the intense dry bitterness. A beer you pretty much have to drink with a
spicy meal to put it to good use.
Drinkability: I like hops, but when a beer is this beer that it’s
challenging for me to drink I think that says a lot. Red Brick HopLanta
seems to be over carbonated and the head is quite telling. It foams in
the mouth and is bitter in and of itself - it’s not creamy at all. The
mouthfeel is rather intense from the bitterness, though the texture and
weight is fine. The bitter aftertaste is what brings it down. At 6.7%
ABV it’s got a lot of chutzpah, though I don’t think many drinkers will
want to go for multiple servings of this.