Weird Beard Amarillo Belgian IPA, 7.5% abv
'Allo. If you're at all familiar with this slightly tipsy little corner of Tumblr you'll be aware of my fondness for the former homebrewers at London's Weird Beard craft brewery. Seriously guys I kinda cock my head to the side, smile, scrunch up my nose and go “ahhhh” whenever anybody mentions 'em. And so the thought of trying an Amarillo hopped IPA brewed with Belgian yeast and based on one of their old homebrew recipes made me do a little dance of joy before clicking the 'order right now for an entirely random delivery date by our nationwide relay team of street urchins' option at Ales by Mail. Yeah, objectivity can suck a fat one.
The hazy orange pour is topped with a lasting and fluffy, cotton wool like head. I lean in and inhale, the aroma is huge and hoppy, it’s like snorting fresh pressed tangerine juice. A sip and those gorgeous Amarillo hops are all up in my face, an explosion of sweet and juicy orangey/tangeriney awesomeness! There’s more to it of course, with hints of lemon, peach, mango and guava all joining the party, but the citrus the belle of this ball. That slightly musty Belgian yeast is obvious and welcoming, a smile inducing addition that gives this beer a personality separate from the usual crowd of fine, American hopped IPA’s. A subtle biscuity maltiness is keeping a check on things but isn’t pushing it’s weight around, just chillin’ and watching the fruity hop flavours have their fun on the dancefloor your taste buds have become. The bitterness makes a fashionably late entrance and hangs around lookin’ cool, ‘til long after the others have staggered home.
I love this beer, in fact it’s one of my favorite yet by these guys. A refreshing and eminently quaffable brew that does a great job of hiding it’s alcohol, it’s sweet, fruity and juicy, with an unmistakable Belgian twist and a dry, bitter finish. The medium carbonation and body give it a smooth, soft mouthfeel with just the right amount of zing. I’d buy a load more if I hadn’t already blown my beer budget for the month. But then, the month’s almost over… Cheers!