AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20Chad9976 (1514) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2015
think an imperial IPA would be pretty foolproof by this point, but I
still try examples every once in a while that are only okay at best.
Case in point: NOLA Brewing’s “Mecha.” There’s definitely a strong
presence of hops here, but not much in the way of distinctive and
interesting taste. Maybe it’s just an old can, but I’m not really
impressed with this brew.
I poured a 16oz can into a wine glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.49 ($0.22 per ounce).
Appearance: Rusty orange/tan sierra color; body is extremely hazy. Pours
to a thumb-width, tan, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.
Smell: Surprisingly malty with strong caramel and butterscotch presence.
Some lemon lollipop, too (which makes me think it’s old beer).
Taste: I’m inclined to believe Mecha is actually a very good DIPA when
fresh, but this serving has all the indicators of age. Still, what
separates good beer from bad beer is the ability to still taste good
even with a reasonable amount of age on it. The base palette is actually
reminiscent of an English barleywine: caramel, treacle, butterscotch
and perhaps even a hint of chocolate somewhere in the aftertaste (I’ve
actually detected this characteristic in other brews of the style – I
think it might be from slightly toasted malts). As for hops, well, it’s
definitely bitter enough but rather lacking in actual flavor. Only faint
citrus and dank resiny notes. Otherwise, it’s an astringent dry, almost
sharp/biting sensation. Alcohol is present, but doesn’t completely
upstage the palette. Overall, it’s the kind of strong IPA hopheads can
take or leave.
Drinkability: At 8.8% ABV, NOLA Mecha is a pretty strong beer to be
sure. That alcohol does make itself known in the flavor and in the
delivery in the form of warmth. The mouthfeel and body definitely feel
like a strong brew, though. It’s thick, chewy and syrupy. I will say
it’s at least comfortable in the mouth and smooth going down. The hops
and alcohol linger and dry out the tongue. Not sure why this comes in
16oz cans; 12 ounces is all I’d need.