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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
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look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Tarnished copper penny that became sparkling tangerine when the pint glass was held up to the brewpub's sun-drenched front windows. The cap was an immensely creamy, golden beige colored slice of foam that had the texture of whipped marshmallow. Finely stippled lace became thin rings and then thick rings as the beer fell with drinking. Thanks to head and lace, this was one of the best looking brews that I've even seen at this Rock Bottom (recurring theme alert).
The nose was so out-of-this-universe incredible that it's hard to come up with appropriate superlatives. Let's just call it... superlative. Even a casual sniff was met with a big blast of tropical fruitiness that I identified as Simcoe hops even before learning of the ingredients. Ahtanum was used as well.
Belgo IPA is a perfect example of dry hopping done absolutely right. Since the aroma was a dead ringer for the flavor profile (minus the caramel maltiness), I'll let the description of the taste speak for both. Regarding the West Des Moines Rock Bottom: best... smelling... beer... ever.
This highly hopped ale is actually as much American IPA as Belgian IPA. The hops are American and the yeast is the same kick-ass strain of Ardennes yeast that wdmrock has used in several of his recent hoppy ales. All of which have been outstanding, by the way.
The color was my first clue that caramel/crystal-like malts were used (Belgian Caravienne and Special B). Ordinarily, I don't care for caramel malt in my IPAs, Belgian or otherwise, but this is no ordinary IPA. The contrast between sticky toffee pudding sweetness and tropical fruit zesty bitterness was simply sublime. Specifics included candied pineapple, juicy mango, sweet orange and tart lemon. Man oh man, I love me some Simcoe hops. Especially when the kettles were crammed full of them, as they obviously were here.
Sweet and bitter... bitter and sweet... what a diabolically delicious combination. No candi sugar was used, amazingly enough. That just shows how packed with malt this sucker is. The mouthfeel (wait for it...) is one of the best that I've ever experienced at WDMRB. It was medium-full, luxuriously lush and lightly sticky on the back end. The absolute perfect amount of softly sparkly carbonation didn't hurt.
Eric (wdmrock) has always been a talented brewer, but he's on a roll of epic proportions lately. One sniff and one sip was all it took for me to come to the following conclusion: all attributes considered, Belgo IPA is the finest beer he has ever created.
Serving type: on-tap
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 4508 University Ave, West Des Moines
04-15-2009 23:23:33 |
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