Sunday, December 13, 2015

NOLA Mecha

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20Chad9976 (1514) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2015
You’d 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.

RATING: 5/10

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