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Peter LaFrance

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Taste of Brew Free or Die I.P.A.

21st Amendment Brewery
Cold Spring, MN (USA)

Preface: Yesterday I had the chance to meet Nico Freccia, one of the founding fathers of 21st Amendment Brewery, Restaurant and Bar. The initial meeting place was an Indian restaurant on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. When I got to the address Renee Davidson, the brewery representative was there in a “Hell or High Water” watermelon hat… another story. She told me that they had found a “bar” around the corner that might be better. The “bar” was Blue Smoke. (That was like saying that they had decided on a local restaurant and chose Les Halles.) I can only assume that Mr. Freccia made the best of a marketing opportunity. The follow are my tasting notes from this morning…

Appearance: The copper/bronze brew has a slight chill haze and is well carbonated. The head is a rocky, long-lasting rich head of small to medium bubbles. The Belgian lace is slow to form and fall.

Aroma: First aromatic impression is more hop than malt, with the hops coming in as green rather than metallic. The second take on the aromatics brings a grassy and fresh grain accent to the initial green hops. The third dip into the aromatics is such a combination of the first to sensations that it is hard to distinguish where the individual notes leave off and the contrasting or complementary note begins.

Mouth feel: What we have here is a mouth-feel that is almost obese.

Flavor: Between lip and sip there is not a hint of what is to follow. After the initial refreshing sensation the mouth fills with a rush of hops and an undertone of roasted malts. The second taste reveals more of the malts under a still rather emphatic bitter sensation. By the third sip the malt has come forward but the truly bitter hops push it aside. This is a multi hopped brew and the result is a hop flavor that starts out grassy and finishes by drying out the sweet flavors from the malt.

Finish: This is a long finishing brew and that is a good thing. The time it takes to fully appreciate this I.P.A. is the time it takes for the flavors of a sip to finally fade.

Comments: The appearance and flavors of this I.P.A. are on style. The fact that it is in a can makes it even more interesting. The fact is that there is no good reason that full-flavored crafted brews cannot be canned.

21st Amendment Brewery: http://www.21st-amendment.com/

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