*** This post was written last January but we never actually got around to posting it. Fortunately, this beer is a seasonal release and only available October – January, so it works out that we are actually posting this review now. One point for procrastination. Now, to the review ***
Ali and I spent Christmas week down in Jersey celebrating with her family. It was a glorious time, mostly filled with eating ridiculous amounts of good food. I’ll tell you what…her family can cook. I have no doubt that in a couple years I will be 300 pounds simply from spending holidays with them.
Anyways, one of the good parts about visiting and staying with Ali’s parents is that her father enjoys a good beer (not to mention, he homebrews beer as well). And I know every time I visit, there will be a new and delicious beer for me to try. Enter in Schlafly Tasmanian IPA. I had never seen a beer by Schlafly before (based in Missouri), let alone ever heard of the brewery. So I figured, why not give it a try? It says “IPA” on the bottle, and we all know I love IPAs, so it must be fate. And it was delicious. Fortunately I was able to bring a bottle home when we came back to Boston and I specifically saved it for a beer blog. According to The Schlafly Tap Room website, their beer is not available in Massachusetts…hopefully that changes in the future.
-appearance: orange/yellow/gold color poured into a glass. Perfectly clear liquid with little signs of carbonation, save for the one finger off-white head on the top of the beer. Foam quickly fizzles out to a small ring, leaving impressive amounts of lacing on the glass.
-smell: fruity and citrusy hops fill the nose – pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, mango, orange, lemon. Certainly smells like an IPA brewed with more citrusy hops than piney/bitter hops. Very minimal malt presence in the aroma.
-taste: the flavor follows the nose, with fruity and juicy flavors up front. Throughout there is some associated bitterness, but it is done in a way to play off of the citrus flavors. Everything is nicely balanced. Much like the smell, there is little malt in the flavor. The taste is a showcase of Australian hops and the citrus/fruity aspects they can bring to a beer.
-overall: I could envision this beer becoming a staple in my drinking rotation if it were available in Boston. It was incredibly smooth and easy to drink and did a nice job of highlighting the various characteristics of hops – how they can be fruity and juicy while at the same time delivering the right amount of bitterness to balance everything out. If you happen to come across it at a liquor store, pick it up and give it a try (and send me some).