Weekend Tap Update – Breaking News Edition.

Troeg's Nugget Nectar (Imperial) Amber AleOften, what separates a fine beer from a truly glorious one is volume.  Intensity.  It’s how well the ingredients come forth, and by how much.  Do they simply show up for the party, or are they the life of it?  It’s comparable to the difference between how you may look just fine in that new, sharp button up shirt you got last Christmas, but in your perfectly matched suit and just loosened enough tie, you end up turning every head when you walk in the room.  The great beers turn heads, and then not only welcome, but savor all the second looks that come their way throughout the night.  There are many flavorful craft beers out there, but some simply nail it better than others.  Upon first sip, they capture your attention.  Then, they hold it in its grasp all evening.  These are the memorable ones. They incite reflection, the likes of which are so enjoyable to sort out, but are also not to be taken lightly.  After all, they’re often centered around why you love great, well crafted beer to begin with.

Often, when it comes to these beers, they also cross the simple boundaries of styles with ease, so let’s get the labels out of the way – useless as they are anyhow.  After all, craft brewers are trying to brew good tasting beer first, and the results often spill over the edge of any style boundaries you can remember.  These are the ones which recite that the color should be this, the aroma should be that, and on and on.  A great beer likely fits into at least one if not three or more of these, splits them, merges them, creates new “styles” perhaps, and then beyond that, really couldn’t make you care less.  A world class craft beer bends such rules like a hundred year old wire fence in a EF4 tornado.  It could be this, it could be that, whatever.  The only thing you’re concerned about is the next sip.  And soon beyond that, whether you should order another.

The flavors within beers such as these provide tasting experiences that make craft fans often close their eyes with each sip.  You want to sort the flavors out, figure out what’s going on in each taste, but the truly great ones quickly move you from a somewhat academic experiment to a purely spiritual experience.  There’s a point during the sip of a great beer that any worry about its style becomes a little pointless.  You start to get a hold of what the beer is offering, think perhaps about what type of hops are capable of doing it, the grain bill maybe, but reach a moment at which the level of flavor just takes over.  It’s similar to how you might at first think about the technique behind some legendary guitar solo, but after a few seconds, you can’t help it – you just tilt your head back, close your eyes, and absorb.

Rumor is that such a beer has taken up residence on tap at Local Roots Restaurant, at least for the time being.  With this particular ale, you could easily go into just how well the caramel like malt sweetness moves in, around, and through the high volume, deliciously puckering, explosion of hop aroma and flavor.  That fence in the tornado is shaking, hanging on for dear life against gust after gust of pithy, juicy red grapefruit.  There is some spice that pokes through a bit of alcohol heat, like the effect of white pepper perhaps, and some pine as well.  But mostly it’s a bit like some mad scientist created some monstrous citrus hybrid of red grapefruit and orange, which has, in a single moment, detonated in your mouth.  All at once, the juice, this nectar, is deliciously shredding the insides of your cheeks with flavor and just enough bitterness.  Imperial Amber Ale, IPA?  Who cares.  Your head is already tilted back, and your eyes are now closed.  Yes, another sip.

Troegs Nugget Nectar, now on draft at Local Roots Restaurant.

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~ by thebeerroad on March 10, 2013.

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