Thursday, 26 July 2012

Flying Dog Brewery Wildeman Farmhouse IPA

Good evening all. Tonight's beer is Wildeman Farmhouse IPA, a Saison/IPA hybrid from Flying Dog Brewery (Maryland, USA). Basically it's a hoppy Saison with a slightly amplified ABV percentage, which conveniently marries two of my favourite beer styles into one awesome package complete with Ralph Steadman artwork- couldn't be more perfect really! Sounds fantastic on paper, so let's see if it works in the glass. Review after the pic....

Wildeman Farmhouse IPA (7.5% ABV) pours a light golden colour with a thick white head that maintains itself on the surface of the beer throughout drinking. In true "Belgian" fashion there's a lovely column of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass to continually support the head, which looks fantastic. The aroma is very interesting and reminiscent of an earthy Belgian IPA, with spicy phenols, light candy sugar, some mustiness and an understated floral hop presence. As with most Belgian IPAs, the hops and yeast aromas create an almost resinous sweetness that predominates at first, but further inhales allow these to be separated. The esters that are typical of a Saison are present but not too overpowering, with the hops toning them down so they don't effervesce as much as would be expected. Some great stuff so far, and exactly what it says on the tin- a hoppy Saison. The taste delivers more of the Belgian yeast qualities, leaving the hops on the sidelines in comparison to the nose. Plenty of spice, some funk and a slight awareness of the malt in the background, finished off with light grapefruit notes from the hops and some residual earthy Saison flavours. No bitterness in the finish, and the aftertaste is composed of grapes and lingering spice. The mouthfeel is thick and the beer is well carbonated, with the Belgian yeast providing the characteristic effervescing carbonation that helps to amplify this sensation, which also compliments the hop character. Overall, this is a very light and drinkable beer with plenty of Saison character and a well-balanced quantity of hops to add a different dimension. This is exactly the sort of beer you'd want to drink outside in the sun, so stock up on some now whilst it's still nice outside. Highly recommended!

Until next time....

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