Russian River brewing. Pliny the Elder.
This one was obtained during my stay in San Francisco. Pours a nice mid golden colour and kicks off one hell of a fresh citrucy hop aroma. Truth be told I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The term double IPA makes you suspect it might take your throat away with furious blasts of bitterness, but turns out it didn't. Pliny is nothing less than a symphony of fresh cascading U.S hops, medium bodied, and just held in balance by chewy rounded malt. Clean and mouth puckeringly dry but without being over the top would be a good description. But its the sheer fresh, floral hoppiness that excells in this beer, and coming all the way from San Francisco I didnt expect it. As I mentioned at the time, this is probably the best American style IPA I have ever tried, Goose Island, Brew Dog Punk IPA, Stone IPA and Jaipur all come close. But far too often they focus on being bold and brash, this seemed truly elegant.
Cantillon Iris 2007.
Cantillon are a very traditional brewery. Or should I say Cantillon are a very traditional brewery who like to experiment allot with their craft. For those of you who don’t know, the signature difference between Iris and other Lambics is that Iris is brewed with unaged hops, whereas other lambics use hops that have been purposely aged. A lambic with perceivable hops I thought, mmm. But when you try it it doesn’t seem dominantly hoppy at all with more of a smattering of pepper herbal hop notes behind the dominant zesty lactic sourness and dry lemony notes of many Lambics I have tried. My advice to anyone with this beer is to keep drinking it, because after a short time your perceptions change a little, and that initial biting sourness seems to fade after the first half a pint or so. After which it transcends into a rather mellow rounded maltiness, gentle hops, and perfectly balancing sourness offsets the two. A very rewarding beer, perfect appetizer and brilliant beer altogether, good job I have the head brewers autograph.