This week’s edition of Tuesday Tastings features a beer from each of the contiguous 48 states that border the Pacific Ocean. (And yes, had I planned ahead better, I would have made this a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Alas.)
Three Creeks Brewing Hoodoo Voodoo IPA
Of course I’ve had Sisters, Oregon-based Three Creeks’ IPA more than a few times—but this was the first one I had that came in a can. Indeed, Three Creeks is now canning several of their beers, as part of their production brewery expansion, and besides IPA they also have Knotty Blonde and FivePine Chocolate Porter in cans.
Hoodoo Voodoo is 6.2% abv and 82 IBUs, and is named after the nearby Hoodoo Ski Resort (itself named after the geologic formation) as well as a play on the folk magic sense of the term. It’s a solid, classic northwest IPA. They say:
This big NW IPA might just put a spell on you! With a burnt, golden-orange color, 6 malts and 4 hops varieties, this beer is enchanting. The up-front hammering of NW hops swirls around with the sweet malt body of one mouthful at a time, producing a light and crisp finish with just a hint of dryness that leaves you wanting more.
Appearance: Deep amber, darker than normal for (what you expect in) an IPA, with a fluffy putty-colored head. Nut brown highlights. (If you didn’t know better, you might think this was a brown ale.)
Smell: Resinous, viney hops, caramel malt, that classic mildly citrus aromas of northwest hops.
Taste: Big and bitter and full of resin right up front, the malt is lighter and drier that expected based on appearance and aroma. There’s still some malt toffee character but the hop stickiness is first and foremost. It’s herbal, clean, and minty.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, finished dry and bitter—not quite coating-the-tongue, but close.
Overall: Darker than I look for in an IPA, but old-school northwest IPA, with great bitter hop character.
Do you speak Boontling? I sure don’t. But I do enjoy Anderson Valley’s beers quite a bit, and their pumpkin beers especially. Pinchy Jeek Barl is the bourbon barrel aged version of (I believe) their Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale, a 7% abv beer that is:
Aged for 6 months in Wild Turkey® barrels, this bourbon barrel-aged pumpkin ale is pleasantly creamy with a silky body and sweet caramel flavor. The aging process imparts notes of coconut, vanilla, and oak to compliment the tang of the spices and a hint of hops, all wrapped in a smooth, round finish.
I picked it up in Washington last year from Full Throttle Bottles, during Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Beer Fest.
Appearance: Molasses-brown with a cola-amber color at the fringes when held to the light; fizzy light tan head emphasizes this cola impression.
Smell: Very sweet, with vanilla, corn syrup, maple, spices leaning towards nutmeg and maybe anise. Pumpkin pie drenched in chocolate with a splash of bourbon.
Taste: Sweetish cola note, like a bourbon and Coke. Hints of roasty malts with vanilla woodiness that complements the sweetness well. Robust, spices are muted from the barrel aging, but still present. Rich, leathery.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied but goes a touch thin and woody/tannic in the finish, with a bit of spice.
Overall: Nice sipper, interesting and tasty flavors have been developed here—though not much actual “pumpkin.”
Airways Brewing Pre-Flight Pilsner
Airways Brewing is located in Kent, Washington, and is celebrating their 5th anniversary this month, on the 28th. The airplane theme comes from brewer Alex Dittmar’s longtime employment with Alaska Air before starting the brewery.
Pre-Flight Pilsner is 5% abv and targets the traditional style:
Our take on a pre-prohibition style pilsner; fuller in body with a distinct, spicy hop presence. Next time you get that middle seat on a cross-country red-eye, this may keep you from clobbering that kid who keeps kicking the back of your seat.
Strangely enough, I started writing this post before I realized I apparently don’t have any written tasting notes for this beer, which is odd—since I took the time to take a picture of the beer in my usual manner.
I can tell you it was a darker gold than strictly typical for a Pilsner, and it had a nice hop spiciness to it (from the Saaz hops they use) both in the aroma and the flavor. The other impression I remember from this is that it seemed a bit heavy-handed for a Pils—not crisp and dry enough to my tastes. But a good effort and an enjoyable tipple.