Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wachusett Larry Imperial IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1190) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 2, 2014
It seems like most breweries try to make their double/imperial IPAs as light in body as possible. There aren’t that many that take the big body/sticky mouthfeel approach anymore. Wachusett Larry Imperial IPA is an example of the latter style, and a pretty good one at that. Plenty of hop presence here, but an equally strong maltiness, too. If you want a “well balanced” imperial IPA, this is it.

I poured a 12oz can into a goblet. It was canned on 8/8/14 and cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque shade of burnt umber, some carbonation visible. Pours to a two-finger, off-white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Surprisingly sweet and malty with notes of caramel and vanilla. Citrus juice concentrate and dank resin aromas are also present, though mild overall.

Taste: Usually the first thing I notice about a beer like this is the hop presence, but in the case of Wachusett Larry Imperial IPA the sweet malt character jumped out at me. It’s quite rich with notes of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. Of course, the hops are quite prominent as well. However, they create for a sticky, syrupy sensation of dank bitterness, rather than juicy or fruity character. It’s more like orange juice concentrate than actual O.J. At 85 IBUs it is indeed quite bitter, but nothing extreme. It’s actually rather mild compared to some other, more popular examples of this style.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, it’s no surprise there’s a minor presence of alcohol. Thankfully, it accentuates the sweet malty notes by giving it a slightly rum-like flavor and keeps the body thick and chewy. The mouthfeel is in no way crisp – it hits the tongue with a thud and slowly oozes across while leaving a bitter, resiny aftertaste. Wachusett Larry Imperial IPA is practically a barleywine, and it should be handled as such. 
Grade: 8/10

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