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