Breakside Brewery The Pathfinder (Vintage 2018) – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.7% ABV | 78 IBU

Breakside Brewery The Pathfinder (Vintage 2018) American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.7% ABV | 78 IBU (C$17.99 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Feb-2018, reviewed 12-Apr-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with two fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: juniper, botanicals, caramel, lemon zest, light resiny pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Oh, I like that! The aroma in particular is loads of fun, with intense gin botanicals leading the way over some more traditional IPA notes of citrus and pine. The flavour on the tongue isn’t quite as much fun, but it’s extremely interesting how it’s almost completely disassociated from the aroma, with a malty caramel leading the way there. The way this is made is also extremely interesting, with a combination of gin barrel aged beer being blended back with fresh DIPA. Reminiscent, in fact, of Gueuze. (Procedurally, I mean, not in aroma, flavour, or, well, anything else, really. Still, a seriously complex way to do a beer, and it’s paid off in spades here, giving an intense barrel character to a lighter-bodied, approachable beer.) All in all, it’s an awful lot like a Lemon Gin Collins – a drink I haven’t had for about 30 years (god, I’m old!) but now want ever so intensely. Stupid expensive. Stupid worth it. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze

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