Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tröegs Blizzard of Hops

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1230) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 2, 2014
There was a time when every IPA was either a pine bomb or a citrus bomb, but in recent years we’re seeing a new trend: the spice bomb. Many modern hops have a versatile character that simultaneously imparts flavors of earth, herbs, and dry spice and brewers seem to be using them a lot these days. That’s certainly the case with Tröegs Blizzard of Hops. It works well as an IPA, though it’s not particularly benefited from its hop choices.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 10/30/14 and cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Pilsner-like complexion with a crystal clear golden body topped by a white, frothy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Spicy/herbal/piney hops on the nose, though a bit mild overall. Has a slight musty character.

Taste: An interesting selection of hops were used in the brewing of this beer (Centennial, Chinook, El Dorado, and Galaxy). Each creates for a distinct flavor character: light citrus peel, some pine needles, but a strong finish of garlic/onion and general earthiness. The base malt is simply pilsner malt and wheat; the latter of which accounts for a slight tartness on the finish. Otherwise the malt is a light, cracker-like flavor, which is a bit of a moot point since the hops are the stars here. I find the overall palette to be enjoyable, but it’s not especially delicious. I appreciate the originality, though.

Drinkability: It’s interesting that this beer looks like a pilsner, as it also drinks like a pilsner. The mouthfeel is noticeably thin for an IPA, but remarkably crisp and well-carbonated. It goes down smooth, though the spicy hops definitely linger on the palate. It doesn’t seem to quite fulfill its 6.4% ABV potential, but there is no “light” quality to this brew whatsoever. 
Grade: 7/10

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