Salute – Tasting Notes
Hello Hello Hello-
Here we are at another installment of pre-release tasting notes, and I honestly couldn’t be any more excited. You see, usually when we produce a new beer we go heavy on how much beer we put into our 22oz bombers. As such, there’s normally plenty to go around (one 20 barrel batch of our beer will net out 3,000+ bottles, just for some perspective). However, with this beer we decided to go heavy into kegs. The reason being it is of utmost importance for this beer to be consumed fresh. That deserves repeating.
IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT THIS BEER BE CONSUMED FRESH.
Sorry to yell at you. I do it out of love, I swear. And I’ve been drinking… so there’s that.
No seriously though.
DO NOT CELLAR AN IPA.
Unless it’s like a 120 minute or something with an assload of malt. West coast style IPAs (like Salute), only get worse with time. Hell, the lion’s share of IPAs do. So don’t get cute and tuck these kinds of beer into your cellar, I promise you hop character fades very quickly — and when the essence of a style of beer is predicated on its presence… well you get the idea. Just drink the shit already. Jeeze, you’re so stubborn.
Ok, anyway, I don’t remember where I was going with that… oh ok, yea. We produced a very limited number of bombers for this beer, so I’ve actually had to ration myself out only a few for personal consumption. But tonight is tasting notes night, so, Woo!
Ok, off we go. Here’s the beer, in all its hopped up glory:
As a side note (I know, another tangent, just what you wanted, right?) for all of you who think the glassware-for-particular-styles-of-beer argument is bullshit. You’re wrong.
I’ve conducted side by side tastings before to test the glassware thing, but nothing has been more definitive than a super dry hopped IPA like Salute. After pouring the 2 beers out, one into the pint glass and one into the tulip, it was clear as day that the tulip showcased the aroma of this beer with an intensity that if I had to quantify, I’d put at probably 10x magnitude. It’s no joke people. I’m not saying go out and buy a different glass for every beer you’ll ever consume. But there is a very tangible distinction here, and I challenge the naysayers to do a side by side comparison.
Alright, tasting notes. That’s what we’re here for, right?
Appearance: Salute pours a rich golden color with a pure white head which upon first pour sticks around for a few, but then recedes into a thin layer of bubbles, with a slightly thicker population around the rim.
Aroma: Now we get down to brass tacks. The aroma here is just plain ol’ lovely. I just swirled mine for a little boosting charge of aromatics and — sweet baby Jesus, yum. I get a lot of sweetness in the nose, all very tropical and soft. Think papaya, mango, maybe even a little bit of pineapple or passion fruit. That’s the backdrop of the nose- soft sweetness. Swirling through that however is this almost intoxicating (ha, get it, cause it’s booze?) interplay of pine and what I can really only describe as dankness. Just a twinge, but it’s there. It’s so very complex and, to me, exactly what I love in a big IPA.
Taste: It’s really hard to groove on the nose of this beer for very long without wanting to take a sip. The aromas just kind of beg you to partake, so I shall. This beer nears 100 theoretical IBUs. As such, you’d expect it to kick the crap out of your pallet and send you home to suck on ice cubes. Not here though. The beer starts with that same sort of tropical sweetness you get in the nose. It’s very soft and easy on the tongue — really enjoyable. Somewhere around mid-pallet the grapefruit/pine/dank taste creeps in, just in time to keep the beer from being cloying or juice-like. The finish is probably the only point in this beer where the bitterness really becomes evident, lingering with a grapefruit pith kind of feel, drying you out ever so slightly, begging you to take another sip. And so I shall.
Mouth feel: Make no mistake, this beer is bone, bone, bone-bone-bone dry. Any perceived sweetness is a result of the hops used, and has no real malt implication. This beer finished more dry than many of our Belgians which was perfect because if it hadn’t, the sweetness from the hops might be overwhelming. As it stands the beer has just enough body (not much) to allow all the hops to shine through but not seem watery. The carbonation is middle of the road, especially because I’ve been constantly swirling this thing to release more aromatics. It’s like a sickness, I can’t stop.
Drinkability: DANGEROUS. A lot of other double/imperial IPAs are bitter enough to kind of make you sip them and pace yourself. At 8.5% and with such a smooth bitterness, this beer is dangerously drinkable. You’ve been warned.
Overall: This beer is the shit.
Sorry I know that seems cocky or whatever, coming from the brewer, but I’m so incredibly happy with this beer that I don’t care. It should be hitting shelves in a day or two — go grab one and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Cheers guys, I’m gonna go enjoy the rest of this,