Written by Tom Becham
I’m reviewing two beers today, and once again trying to step outside my comfort zone. Both reviews involve beers with added citrus in one form or another. Those who know me best know that I frequently say I am of the NFC school of beer: No F**king Citrus. But in truth, that only applies to adding citrus to a beer, post-market. I refer, of course to things such as adding a lime to Corona, or a wedge of orange to Blue Moon. First, if a beer is decent, it doesn’t need embellishment of that sort. Secondly, it seems faintly sacrilegious to me to alter a beer from what the brewer intended it to be.
However, if a beer is specifically brewed with such ingredients, that is a different thing altogether. Aficionados of the Belgian Wit style know that the curacao peel with which it is made really sets it apart. So it is with the following two brews.
First on the block is Lorenzini Double IPA from Maui Brewing…
Anyone who has been with Professor Good Ales from the start of my writing tenure knows I’ve had some very mixed things to say about the products of Maui Brewing. And much of that might have to do with my frame of mind when on Hawaiian vacation. I tend not to appreciate more complex beers at such a time, as everything becomes simplified for me when in the Islands. In any case, I freely admit I may have been less than fair to Maui Brewing.
Particularly when it comes to Lorenzini Double IPA. Lorenzini is relatively weak for the style, at only 7.6% ABV. It pours with a short-lived, fizzy head, and is almost an amber color. That is likely in part due to the addition of blood orange juice. Local Hawaiian citrus has also found its way into the brew kettle, along with Maui cane sugar.
The blood orange is very evident in the aroma, along with fruity hops. Overall the effect of the added ingredients on the flavor is positive. DIPAs tend to be “bittersweet” in their flavor profiles to start, and the bitterness of the blood orange alongside the sweetness of the fruit and sugar just accentuates both qualities of sweet and bitter, while keeping them in perfect balance. The finish is bitter, but short.
Double IPAs are not my preferred style, but I truly enjoyed this one, and could recommend it alongside spicy dishes or for summer drinking. Plus, the shark can-art is just incredibly cool.
Next up is Cahoots Saison from Uinta Brewing’s Crooked Line Series.
I believe the intent of Uinta in making this beer was to produce a Saison/Witbier hybrid, as Cahoots has grapefruit peel, orange peel, grains of paradise and coriander added. By any account, the concept works beautifully.
Cahoots pours with a puffy, cloudy, lingering head, and a dark gold – verging on brown – hue. As befits a true Saison, Cahoots smells of funk and “barnyard” ( or “summer”, as my wife describes it), along with strong notes of citrus.
It is quite sublime on the tongue, too. A very dry, bretty (for beer novices, Brettanomyces is the name of the wild yeast generally used in Saison style beer and frequently in sour styles, as well) bite starts things off, followed by dry graininess and juicy fruit flavor. A floral hop sticks to the back of the tongue and throat, and the finish somehow manages to meld all of the aforementioned flavors.
Cahoots is a limited edition run from Uinta, and somewhat pricey, but if you like Saisons and value a good summer quaffer with maximum flavor, you’ll find it worth the expense. At the risk of sounding like a parrot, the label art on this one is also rather amusing.
Look for more articles more frequently from me in the near future. Beer festival season is coming!
Welcome to the Professor Goodales. On your right you don’t see editors Millie and Ken working hard and playing hide and seek. The War of the Roses has yet to succeed. Hiding here somewhere is the quite invisible ghost of Ye Olde Scribe who had bloody well better submit soon or his friend Ken will hunt him down and slime him with a trub gun. Also on your right you don’t see Maria Devan. She’s too busy sampling beer in her castle up high above Ithaca. But to your left you DO see Tom Becham. That’s T-O-M B-E-C-H-A-M, for the spelling impaired. He lives in Oxnard, CA, no relation to “DependsonwhosOxwasGored, CA.” He’s a great reviewer of beer, relentless avenger on Facebook of annoying office staff and, as far as we know, has yet to be given a staff infection for that avenging status. He’s a really nice guy. Really nice. Some days.