Sunday, August 24, 2014

Green Wolf Dire Wolf

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1159) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 24, 2014
I poured a 22oz bottle into a goblet. There was no freshness date.

Appearance: Opaque black color. Pours to a small, tan, foamy head which mostly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Strong whiskey aroma. Hints of chocolate. A touch of butter.

Taste: Green Wolf is the first (and so far only) microbrewery in all of Schoharie County. They finally opened their doors recently and began selling several beers in bottles. A friend of mine who brews there part-time gave me this bottle. It was certainly intriguing considering it’s a hefty 9.5% ABV imperial porter aged in whiskey barrels. And while it is indeed a good beer, it’s not a great one. The palette is rather simplistic, though the flavors that are here are pretty nice.

Up front I get a rather sweet flavor cocoa powder and coffee, followed by roasted malt. It’s not especially rich or cloying, though there’s plenty of sweetness here. The whiskey barrel character is quite prominent as it definitely upstages the base brew. Not much in the way of hoppy bitterness nor flavor, though the beer doesn’t strike me as unbalanced. I do enjoy this whiskey flavor as it adds some smoky astringency, plus a touch of pepper or spice. There’s also some butter lurking on the finish, but it’s easily overlooked.

Drinkability: For a big brew weighing in at 9.5% ABV, Green Wolf Dire Wolf drinks and tastes like something much lighter. There’s no alcohol taste nor heat, so it doesn’t distract the drinking process at all. The mouthfeel is a tad thin, but it’s comfortable and smooth. It finishes fairly clean, with just a slightly dry aftertaste from the whiskey. For a startup brewery, this is a commendable brew and I definitely foresee it improving over time. 
Grade: 7/10

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