Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Taste Test: Green Flash Palate Wrecker

So I was shopping at Beer Cartel a few weeks back, looking for something super-duper hoppy. I'd tried the Mikkeller 1000 IBU, I'd tried the Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, and I wanted something different. After chatting with the staff for a bit, I settled on a beer: Green Flash Brewing Co.'s Palate Wrecker

Standard looking bottle... Hides the intensity of what's inside
The bottle looks fairly unassuming, although it's quite heavy for it's size, but the side of the label is where it gets interesting, with the brewers making the bold claim that the  beer is '149 IBU'. For the uninitiated, the International Bitterness Units scale is a way of measuring just how bitter a beer is. For reference, Toohey's Extra Dry rates about 15 IBU, and VB is around 26. The scale is technically limited to 100, but due to the way taste works, it's a little hard to fully quantify these things... So claims such as the 149 above get to stand, as long as the beer is suitably bitter.

The initial pour is a vibrant, cloudy orange colour with a slightly yellowed, lingering head

Pictured: Me needing a new camera
The aroma is of intense, grassy hops, with a backbone of earthy spice. It's hard to overstate how strong the smell is, it's like sticking your nose into a bowl full of hop pellets. Any malty aromatics are completely overshadowed by the hoppy goodness.

The initial taste is a light, sweet citrus on the tip of the tongue, which develops into a biscuity, crystal malt body, then rapidly hits you with a big wallop of hoppy bitterness, which lingers for a long time. And as much as it's definitely intensely bitter, I feel as though the Mikkeller may have the upper hand in the 'Hoppiest Beer I've Tried' stakes.

See here: My camera did some weird trippy focusing, then made a gif out of it?
The body of the beer is very full, almost syrupy, like a lot of strongly bitter beers tend to be, and carbonation was almost non-existant.

Overall, I'd say this was an enjoyable, super-hoppy ale, with a surprising amount of malt flavour showing despite the lack of anything but hops in the aromatics. Not a beer you'd give to someone who's recently into craft brews, but definitely overall a tasty experience. 7.5/10

Green Flash Palate Wrecker is available from Beer Cartel in Artarmon, Sydney

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