Palate Wrecker was originally brewed for the Hamilton’s Tavern 2nd Anniversary celebration. It’s the most complicated West Coast–inspired IPA we have ever brewed—mashing and sparging with hopped wort, in addition to our hop layering regimen for IPA. By popular demand, it is now released for the world to enjoy. ABV. 9.5% IBUS: 100+
Having enjoyed Palate Wrecker both on cask and tap, I was excited to pick up a four-pack to enjoy at home. Immediately upon opening my first bottle the room was filled with citrusy hop aromas, which got me excited to dig in. This big west coast double IPA poured deep gold in color with amber hues along its edges. It was topped with a two finger off white head that dissipated to a layer of foam over the top of the beer and left some nice lacing on my glass. Being less than a month old (at the time) my first whiff let me know that this bottle was nice and fresh. Resinous dank hops were quickly followed by grapefruit and sweet orange notes and a hint of ripe peach. Lurking in the background were a pleasant floral bitterness and some sweet caramel malt.
Those great hop aromas followed seamlessly into the taste with the dankness being upfront; then sweet orange (tangerine), grapefruit zest, and floral hop notes at made up the midpalate, and some carmel malts lent a bit of balance before a big floral bitterness dried out the finish. For the most part Palate Wrecker’s 9.5% abv was hidden well. However, as the beer warmed up there was some chest warming heat after some sips.
As the bitterness built up at the back of my palate ripe peach added a nice brightness and took my mind off the hop resins left behind on my palate. The resiny dank hop notes never overwhelmed the flavor profile, but were there to let you know just how much hops were used in this “palate wrecking” double IPA. One cause for concern was that there was not as much citrus hop character in the taste as in the aroma. When I drank this beer on tap and cask I remembered it having a much juicier citrusy hop character that I was blown away by. Therefore, the less intense west coast citrus hop character in this bottle was a little bit of a let down for me.
In terms of drinkability and mouthfeel, while the bitterness was high it never “wrecked” my palate to the point that my enjoyment of this double IPA was affected. Lastly, this beer was medium bodied and had the right amount of carbonation for its style. Rating: 8/10 (on cask and tap I’d give it a 9/10).