IPA WEEK kicks off with a bang, this old hoppy gem from Vermont. I know what your worries are “WILL THIS ENTIRE WEEK BE FOCUSED ON VERMONT AND CALIFORNIA?” I can assuage your concerns, we will jump around the map, never you fear. This beer is sold at a Farmer’s Market and in 2 other stores in Vermont and…that’s about it. Hopheads near and far blast their oils when they get their hands on this one, so let’s see if it rustles any cones in today’s review.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV
A: This has a nice radiant glow and the malts have been assembled with loving care. I would imagine this is a step with Beatrice up through the rings into hop heaven. The lacing is as generous as Good Will and hands out sticky dank doilies to all the 7th graders. It is indeed a very pretty beer and alluring to even the most adverse to hop character.
S: The nose is vindicating for the old stigma of “balanced” East coast IPAs as it is more unbalanced than an Arizona State fashion student. There’s a huge tangelo, tangerine, grapefruit and deep citrus rind. You get a nice pine needle on the back end, but it stays in its place and lets the adults talk in peace.
T: The citrus character is sadly more tame than the nose would suggest, bait and switch harder than Piranha 3DD. There’s a bit of orange zest and sticky hop oils but it turns and kicks your aserose and starts grinding your pine cones like a high school prom. I love the pineapple but the whole maple leaf and grassy resolution leaves something to be desired in the third act.
M: The mouthfeel is watery and light, exactly as it should be. There’s a bit of a filling and drying from the aggressive hops, but this isn’t my first alpha acid rodeo and I can ultimately mutton bust this lil hop wrangler pretty easily.
D: This is exceptionally drinkable, amazing for the style but ultimately falls short of the crowded “best of” list. To be fair, any double IPA offering will be hard pressed to shoulder the ranks with Citra, Ephraim, etc. I really like it, I really dislike trading for it since there is so little of it. Again, it’s scaled economies so if you live in VT and have ready access to this, grease up your hop hole and slide this one in.
Narrative: The traveling apothecary show was going poorly for the Brackensons. Stop after stop they would set up their charlatan charade and plant members of the family to be cured in the audience, per usual. In the year 2012, this kind of snake oil salesmanship took a certain panache and aplomb to trick the discerning customers of backwoods Vermont. The Econolinevan idled as Chauncy packed a bunch of tiny green cones into a medicinal bottle and scrawled some high handed panacea aspects upon it. “Come one come on all, try here and only here, the cure of SPAM in your inbox, cure for mortgage refinance woes, GOUT, and other afflictions!” Father Briggs called into his megaphone and brought up his planted cousin from the crowd. She took a deep pull of the sticky resinous liquid and was instantly cured of all afflictions, imagined or otherwise. Those chicanerous old Brackensons went and accidentally stumbled upon a vinuous grassy potation that could solve all kinds of dilemmas. Now if they could only find a hop pun that was not already used by a ton of other mediocre companies, they would be set.