Archive for the 'Green Flash' category
Happy New Year! For this installment of SevenPack Beer Blog, I’m practically cleaning out the fridge, which doesn’t happen often here at SevenPack Central. Tonight I’m drinking from a bottle of the Green Flash Grand Cru. To be honest, I’ve rarely been very impressed with Green Flash’s offerings, so that’s why this one has been in the fridge so long. However, I also love a good Grand Cru, so I’ve got high hopes…
This Grand Cru pours a very dark and debrisious(?) brown color that just barely lets in some light when held up to a light. The head on this is caramel and very dense, thickening to a couple of fingers before slowly dissipating. The aroma here is very nice – lots of grain and nuttiness with some light hints of licorice spice. It is rather pungent, but in a good way. In the mouth, this beer is surely flavorful, although I can’t say that this is entirely a good thing. The beer’s first sensation is spicy with a light burn. This spiciness quickly becomes sweet in a slightly cloying manner on the center of the tongue, but only for an instant. After this, the beer settles in to something that is more nutty and grainy, and this flavor stays fairly consistent through the mouth. However, around the periphery of the mouth, the cloying sweetness seems to persist as two distinct flavor profiles develop around different parts of the tongue. Towards the back of the mouth, while the sweetness maintains around the sides of the tongue, a light bitterness develops, and this bitterness persists into the aftertaste, offering a lightly peanut-y flavor that doesn’t exactly complement the syrupy sweetness that sits everywhere else. Honestly, this isn’t bad, but it’s not quite my cup of tea. That being said, it’s not hard for me to imagine someone else liking this quite a lot. It has a big flavor profile, and distinct sections of flavor through the mouth. Assuming you like all of these flavors and how they coexist, then this might be a winner. In my case, the flavors seem a bit harsh and don’t play well together, so I’m not digging it. But, I’ve found some of this harshness in other Green Flash beers, so it could be a trademark of sorts. If you’re into a more abrasive flavor, then maybe this is for you!
Unfortunately, tonight I ran into a case of the ‘bad 6-packs’. I bought a few tasty bottles of a local brew that I especially love, and I was psyched to crack open a couple. But, woe is me, it appears said brewery may be having some issues, as every beer in the 6-pack was undrinkable, forcing me to tumble them all down the drain. What better way to drown your sorrows than to open something so wild, so CRAZY, that I couldn’t possibly keep dwelling on some sour ales? Well, that’s what Le Freak promises to be. It’s a hybrid of a west coast IPA and a Belgian tripel. I don’t really know what to expect. Did I mention it’s called “Le Freak”?
So, this one pours a very cloudy medium golden color that seems just chock full of dense debris. The head on this is very thick and soapy, full of chunky big bubbles. In the nose, the aroma is interesting in that it contains lots of hop and that tripel candy sweetness. However, it isn’t TOO crazy, just a surprising combination. Most of what we get here is the hop, though, so you really need to look for that sweetness. In the mouth, this gets a little wild. Initially in the mouth, there really is a lot of hop. And, true to the west coast, it’s all fresh and floral and very aromatic. So, up to here it’s just a big IPA. However, about the middle of the tongue, that candi sugar kicks in, and we get a totally misplaced combination of very bitter and very sweet. It’s an interesting thing. It isn’t bad, it isn’t great, it’s just bizarre. These are two flavors that, even in other similar hybrid brews, I’ve never seen displayed with such individual strength that played in such contrast – it really tastes like you made an IPA/tripel suicide and took a big swig. This sweetness quickly is displaced again by that floral hop bitterness as it hits the aftertaste, travels up into the nose, and sticks around for quite some time after the swallow. Even in the aftertaste, though, there is still a vague interplay of the sweetness around the roof of the mouth, like a little doormouse running through the big house of hop. I am noticing, however, that, as the beer warms, the hop gains strength and the candi sugar loses oomph. So, while some sweetness sticks around, the hop definitely takes centerstage after the first 15 minutes has passed. So, for the real boxing match, tune in while this beer is still quite cold. Altogether, this is definitely worth a try. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a daily drinker, at least not for me. But, it’s the best job of such a hybrid I’ve yet tasted. It’s tasty and very interesting, and it is certainly enough to take my mind off of the aforementioned bad brews…
Okay, dudes, it’s another tripel. I don’t really have any witticisms about Green Flash, as it’s a relatively new brewery to me. However, I can tell you that I really dug their IIPa, and I’m pretty excited about all their other beers, including a barleywine ale that I believe I have sitting in the fridge.
This one pours a relatively clear dark golden color. The aroma here is fairly muted for a tripel, with a light sweetness that is exceptionally rich, almost caramel-like. In the mouth, this is a tad more typical of a tripel. It displays the candi sugar flavor you expect with just a hint of citrus. However, this richness rears its head again, and again almost caramel-like. It adds a layer that I don’t really expect of a tripel. it’s almost as if these guys traded in the extra citrus bite and tangy sweetness for a darker and richer sweetness. It’s actually a rather good beer, and it has a great mouthfeel, but it is a bit different than most tripels I typically drink, and I drink a lot of tripels. I won’t say that I’d choose this over other offerings on the shelf (like the Anderson Valley Brother David’s Tripel), but I will say that it’s good. If you find the bite of typical tripels a bit to tangy or cloying, then this might be a nice compromise for you. It’s kinda like a ‘dark’ tripel, if you can imagine…
The Green Flash is a new brewery to both myself and Matt. I’ve never heard of ‘em, they’re from San Diego, and apparently they just recently began distribution into Virginia. Whether or not that means they’re a new brewery or not, I dunno. I tend not to put too much effort into researching these breweries pre-review so that my reviews aren’t tainted with propaganda from the website. Maybe I’ll know more after I finish this review and head on over to the Green Flash website to check ‘em out. What I DO know is that it’s hard to beat a big bottle of IIPA for $4.99, especially if it’s a good IIPA. So, obviously, I had to try it.
This beer pours a lighter-than-expect-but-still-a-bit-cloudy golden color with a quickly dissipating stark white head. The aroma of this beer is absolutely fabulous – maybe one of the best IIPA aromas I’ve found. It’s very, very green and fresh and smells like a handful of hops – all flowery and sweet with citrus hints. This beer also tastes really good. Again, it’s just a very green tasting IIPA. According to the label, this is a “San Diego-style IPA” – while I’ve never heard of such a style, I’m willing to give it credence if we can see a few more IPAs like this on the market. This is super-hopped and high-gravity and the mouthfeel is almost sticky with fresh hops. There is a substantial hop burn on the tip of the tongue that heads into a bitter and citrusy hop flavor on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter and slightly acidic. It’s a big IPA with a lot of bite, and the flavor morphs consistently through the mouth. If I had a singular complaint about this beer, it would be that it is sometimes a bit too acidic, so it can be a bit much when you’re tackling a big bottle all alone. However, this is a small complaint, and this acidity generally lends to the overall fresh taste of the beer. All things considered, I would consider this a great IPA for anyone who loves a really fresh tasting beer – the most recent IPA I’ve had that would rival this flavor is from the folks at Ska Brewing Co. – both excellent beers and beers I’d love to have again, especially at their price point.