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Saturday, October 6th 2012

Wolf Among Weeds
(Golden Road Brewing)

Finally, our first review of a beer from LA’s newest canning craft brewery and the first release in their "Custom IPA" series. Wolf Among Weeds comes to us under the brewing leadership of a distinguished trio with prior experience at the likes of Oskar Blues, Speakeasy, and Dogfish Head. Only 500 cases of this extra special brew hit the market, so we feel privileged and excited to give this one a try!

From the Golden Road site:

"This beer is a balanced showcase of the majestic hop specie, in Latin, Humulus Lupulus, which translates “Wolf Among Weeds”. It is the first beer to be canned in our Custom IPA series, which celebrates California’s enthusiasm for hop-forward IPAs. At 8%, Wolf will sneak up on you from behind the fresh pine sap and tropical fruit notes mirrored in its aroma and flavor profile."

Here we go...

Pour – enticing deep amber color suggests a bigger malt bill and is reminiscent of some of our favorite DIPAs. Head retention is very good. Promising start!

Aroma – sweet malts, a hint of toffee, piercing pine and smooth tropical fruit notes. Looks good, smells good. Let’s get it tasted already!

Taste – first thought is this is a very well-balanced beer, especially after the appearance and aroma set us up to expect some degree of palate punishment. Medium toffee flavor in the sweet grain start, a mild splash of complex hop bitterness in the middle and just a touch of warming in the back of the throat at the otherwise dangerously clean finish.

Overall – Our sample was canned two months before our tasting, and perhaps as the result of its age we concluded this is a balanced American IPA that registers just tick in favor of the malty end of the scale. After trying (and failing) to figure out the hop varieties by taste alone, we switched from sips to gulps, which released more hop flavors and bitterness, at least on our palates. It still didn’t help us decode the unique and complex hop profile, but it did help them to stand out a little better against the delicious caramel malts. We’d definitely have this one again and share it with friends as a great example of how different hop combinations create completely different tasting ales that fall under the American IPA category.

Notes - Golden Road plans to stick with the IPA style for their upcoming “seasonal" releases.  At last report the next release in their Custom IPA series will be their Burning Bush Smoked IPA - a smoked IPA. We are intrigued to say the least.

Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Wolf Among Weeds
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Golden Road Brewing
Los Angeles, California  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Two Row, Caramel 70 Lovibond
Hops: Cascade, Galena, Simcoe, Warrior, Zythos
ABV: 8.0%
IBUs: 70
Date: October 6th, 2012

Posted by Trent

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