Nose is hoppy and strong. Simcoe hops is definitively present. Hints of citrus and pine.
Mouth is sour, malty and piney, finishes bitter with a sour after taste.
The jury is still out on this one. I haven’t been inclined to pick this up in at the booze store yet so all I’ve had it as is from the taps. This was had at Good Dog Bar on 15th Street, near the corner of 15th and Locust in Philly. Good Dog is an amazing bar. It’s decidedly hipster in appearance but not in attitude. It’s a corner bar with an easy atmosphere and great food. Especially the Good Dog Burger! The staff is awesome and while the service gets spotty at busy times, there is never a sad face or a bad day in the place. So this establishment is highly recommended for any beer nut. They have a nice selection on tap and it changes regularly with the seasonal stuff. So any time you go, you are likely to get a nice selection of stuff from local to Philly brewers and elsewhere.
That said, when I had this brew, it was at the end of Philly Beer Week. The brew was released in time for Philly Beer Week so it made it’s debut at Philly Beer Week. I don’t know if it was leftover or not but it was distinctly stale. This is very uncharacteristic for anything from Weyerbacher and I’m wondering if this was not a dirty tap causing the issues. So with that in mind, take my words with a grain of salt for now. I promise to all of you and Weyerbacher this is not the end for this brew and I will give it a fair shake at a later date.
So this had a hoppy nose. Very hoppy. Even Weyerbacher says it’s an unbalanced brew in the style of a California Pale Ale. In other words they were mimicking the trendy styles in California. Those trendy styles…yeah, you can keep them. I’ve always found trendy styles to be flashes in the pan of sorts and they are “ZOMG! THIS IS GREAT!” for a short while until the next flavor of the day rolls along for every wannabe beer snob to gush over. This though, it has some staying power. Weyerbacher says it’s “delightfully unbalanced” and it is but unlike quite a few others *cough*Stone*cough* it’s not stomach turning, overly bitter. It doesn’t make you cringe with hops and it isn’t overly sour either. That’s probably due to the Simcoe hops they use. The same in the Simcoe Double IPA I raved about elsewhere on this site.
This is a strong brew for an IPA though. It’s got kick in more than just strength but taste as well. It’s hoppy nose adds to that. But unlike many IPA’s, this has a malty finish that is slightly sour. The kind of sour you get from a trappist ale where the yeast is adding to the flavor. The after taste is typical IPA bitterness. But it’s dominated by piney and citrusy accents that are hallmarks of Simcoe hops. The Centennial, Cascade and Columbus are all there too with the typical signature aroma of heavy, northwestern U.S. hops varieties that give American IPAs their unique style.
With all of that, I have to say I was disappointed with this. I was expecting more. It was flat and not as robust as I’m used to from Weyerbacher. I’ve run in to this before on like a Wednesday or Thursday night before the taps at the local watering hole have been cleaned from the previous week in prep for the weekend. So for now, I’m giving this a tentative 6 out of 10. I think it’s better though. There’s too much complexity here to just dismiss this. Also, knowing Weyerbacher brews like I do, I can’t see this being such an uninspiring brew. So the jury is still out and the next time I see this on tap or I can find it at the store, I’ll revisit this. For now, don’t be afraid of this brew. It’s going to be one of those polarizing brews whether it stays at the 6 I’m giving it or it bumps up to the 8 or higher I have a feeling it probably deserves.
By the way, for you animal lovers out there, this is a great beer! Here’s why, Weyerbacher donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every drop of Last Chance IPA to small, regional animal rescue operations. These shelters offer dogs, cats and other pets their last chance to find a new home. Hence the name “Last Chance IPA”.