Wifey and I have a good friend visiting this weekend from Chicago, which of course means lots of drunken adventures around D.C. Last night we hit one of our favorite bars for happy hour, one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, and wound up heading to one our new favorite spots, Old Dominion Brewhouse.
Beyond featuring all of Old Dominion’s beers and skeeball, they also serve the beer tower, a four-foot tall monstrosity best described as an ass-kicking waiting to happen. Suffice to say, we all required breakfast sandwiches this morning.
Now that I’ve sufficiently recovered, it’s time to get down to reviewing. I’m polishing off the final brew from my last beer store run, Maui Brewing Company’s Big Swell IPA. I had originally intended to also review their Coconut Porter, but it was pretty meh and I just drank them all without writing it up 🙂
Maui uses the word “hoppy” three times in a ten-word description, so I’m pretty sure this is going to be quite hoppy. Big Swell pours a fairly light amber color, crystal clear, with just a dusting of foam on top. It’s also got a citrusy, sweet hopped aroma.
Just like the beer’s artwork, I was expecting to be hit with a tidal wave of hops, but it was surprisingly smooth and balanced. The taste starts out a bit sweet, goes seriously floral and citrusy through the middle, and ends on a looooong bitter end note. There’s a lot of mouthfeel here, and the flavor really hangs around after each sip.
While this is a seriously hoppy brew, it’s not overwhelming, and could really be a nice middle step for casual IPA drinkers who want to take a step toward the stanky side of the spectrum. Another plus, it’s got an eminently manageable 6.3% ABV. If you can find it, buy it!