|Fresh Snifter Pour|
From what I've read this is the second in the series of the Sony collaboration, a follow up to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew. I had not heard one peep of this brew prior to arriving. I am a music fanatic and was very pleased with Bitches Brew. Being a Miles Davis nut I was like a pig in shit when this one finally came out. Finding out that there's another in the series? Hell yeah. It's on. I feel like I've struck gold. I was quite excited that it was on draft at the brew pub. We were able to leave with two 750ml bottles to take home. We were told that this is a production batch and that we will see it in stores.
|Full bottle shot|
When we first arrived it was not yet tapped. About an hour in to our visit the bartender told us that it was on an ready to pour. One please! He poured a fresh one in to a snifter for me. It appears light hazy copper with big off white fluffy head and sticky lacing. The aroma is of sweet sticky non-bitter hop notes, not much else surprisingly.
The flavor is surprisingly mild with earthy hop notes up front. It has a sweet and lemon juicy feel to it. Creamy sweet middle with some grapefruit and bitter lemon notes, with a fading bitter finish. This is not the hop bomb I expected. It feels medium to light-medium bodied and only a hint of alcohol warmth. Very enjoyable and not very heavy on the palate.
Overall I'd have to say that Hellhound is a very good representation of the imperial IPA style. Much more fruity than I expected. This is an excellent alternative to the 90 min IPA if you don't want the overwhelming bitter bops and alcohol feel. This clocks in at a slightly higher ABV than the 90 but you wouldn't know it at all. I really do enjoy (the side effects of) high gravity and high ABV brews, but sometimes it's just not practical or convenient to enjoy them. This one will sneak up on you. It's incredibly easy to drink for 10% alcohol by volume. A full pint will have you feeling warm and fuzzy.
In my opinion, success in brewing is achieved when all ingredients are represented in flavor and aroma and the alcohol content is well hidden. This one is very close to being perfect for me. The aroma was a tad underwhelming. If it the smell matched the flavor profile they'd have hit a home run. Instead, they hit a triple which subsequently got two runs in.
So, I've got two big bottles to bring home to Baltimore to share. Who want's to come over for a tasting?
I'll be completing a full write up of the brew pub exclusives Noble Rot, Ta Henket, Fungus Tea'Mungus and Black & Red sometime later this week when we get home. Check my Twitter posts (@AleThoughts) for pictures and a few tasting notes.
Here are some close ups of the bottle label.