Plymouth, MA (USA)
Special for the 2009 Craft Brewers Conference
Preface: The Brewers Association commissioned this beer and it was brewed at Mayflower Brewing Company by brewers from Cambridge Brewing Company and members of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. The label notes that it is 8.5% alcohol by volume, 60 International Bittering Units and had an Original Gravity of 1.072 SG… “The Audacity of Hops Symposium Ale represents New England as an existential bridge to the Continental Motherland and the Western U.S. brewing. It makes the point that we’ve started a few revolutions of our own! An audacious hops charge is balanced by pale, aromatic malts and complex Belgian yeast character.”
Appearance: The crystal clear, golden bronze, highly effervescent brew is topped with a pure white rocky head of medium to large bubbles. The head falls into a fine Belgian lace.
Aroma: The first impression is almost a floral perfume pushed aside by a pronounced toasted grain aroma. The second “nosing” finds more of a balance and by the third return an undertone of unbaked bread appeared. Between lip and sip there was a touch of hop floral.
Mouth feel: There is a lot of body to this beer and there is a creamy carbonation that fills it out even further.
Flavor: The first impression is warmth. Then a grain and toasted grain flavor becomes more pronounced but that heat just will not let up. The second impression brings the hops to the front but that warm caress as it is swallowed is sensually notable. The third swallow brings the malty sweet heavyweight out to battle the hop hero of huge proportions and let the rumble begin…
Finish: My flavor receptors staggered to a neutral corner as the prize fighters left the building in better shape than they found it. Clean and crisp…
Comments: The temperature that this brew was served probably could have been on the colder side. This would have settled down the carbonation and let the fruit develop from a cool place rather than springing out fully developed. This will be tended to calm down the boisterous flavors. However, as it was commissioned by the beer godz I figured I would serve it at 50F. When I finish it I am leaving for a long walk to a long lunch. If this was the brew waiting for me I would be lunching of a thick, rare steak.
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