The story goes (or at least, my apocryphal version of it), the Brewery’s Quail Springs IPA just wasn’t cutting it with consumers—it was an English-style IPA rather than the American style Northwest drinkers were used to, and just wasn’t up to par compared to their regular beers—so they began experimenting with a new recipe.
The beer itself is a respectable 6.8% alcohol by volume, but oh-so-drinkable.
Appearance: Chestnut brown with copper penny highlights and a lacey, full head, light tan in color.
Smell: Full of American hops—floral, herbal, citrus, green. Sweet and malty on the nose behind the hops.
Taste: Solidly bitter, with a pungent, twiggy hop character that has touches of pine, resin, and loamy earth. Very tasty, though very mellow in the malty body—it’s rich but soft, hints of caramel and rich brown (burnt, caramelized) sugar notes. Aggressive hopping in the finish reminds you of its IPA roots.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body but very smooth with a cleansing hop presence.
Overall: Excellent, excellent Northwest IPA. Solid as a rock.
On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B+. RateBeer… appears to be down again. (Their Google cache page says 3.51 out of 5, and 85th percentile.)