Here we are. A Friday night in a summer that is drawing to a close - at least up here in Canada. Time to get out some summer bombs out of the stash.
First up is far southwestern New York's Southern Tier's Hoppe, an imperial pale ale. Wow. A drier 10% imperial extra pale ale. Not an imperial IPA. An imperial EPA - got it? Something a little different that Southern Tier calls its ale of simple composition. It's very nice. A lightly peached amber ale with an off white rim and foam. Cream at the outset resolving to a fairly dry finish without the tell tale Imperial Double IPA bag of sweets to get you from A to B. Still rich and candied, mind you - just not so sweet. Lots of malt: sultana, whole kumquat, musk melon, maybe yellow plum with something between French bread and a shortcake biscuit. Subtle and big - which sounds dumb, yet is only half-dumb. The finish is arugula, white pepper but mainly honey. Perfect love from the BAers. Hmmm...what next?
How about Pennsylvania's Sly Fox Odyssey? An Imperial IPA but one with a definitely if slightly lighter body than the STEPA...you are keeping up with the acronyms, right? Darker, with a nice medium amber body and a tan head that keeps at about a quarter inch. Definite Sunmaid Raisin raisin flavour, the flavour that launched a million lunch boxes. Also some British ale aspects...not far off Wells Bombardier, though brighter. Plus a big grape juicy core and its big weedy hops are green but less tea astringent - a little bit of the MacDonald green label unfiltered tobacco. Again, very nice. Sadly, this is my first and only Sly Fox (despite their amazing breadth of creations) that I have on hand. The other bought on my recent road trip committed beer-a-cide, leaping from a shelf the other night, only to be found alone, cracked and emptied on the concrete floor the next morning. Again with the absolute BAer love. So...now what...
Last, Michigan's Founders Centennial IPA. A plain amber ale under plain white foam. On the nose, freesia and marigold florals. A fabulous celebration of hops as flowers. Creamy and even soda-pop-ish where the other bigger bombs are hot, heavy and sticky. The malt is under the thick June ditch weedy green and hot over top of malt is that is pure peach juicy. A real treat and a beer that could really destroy some BBQ ribs. Sadly 1% of all BAers are not loving this one. Fools.
That is it. Time to pay a little more attention to the ballgame. It is, after all, Friday night.