As I mentioned last night, I have a feeling my reviews are going to get shorter as my free-time shrinks as well. I hit another road block today as I was invited to beta test a new Star Wars game that I have been following since literally October of 2008. Whatever remaining free time I once had will now be sucked into this game. Oh well, such is life.
Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey
Left Hand is based out of Longmont, Colorado. I’m certain I’ve reviewed a few things from them so I’ll press on past the boring details. This beer is classified as an India Pale Ale and has an ABV of 7%. I bet you are wondering how the name “400 Pound Monkey” came about? Well so was I, so I had to do a bit of research on the topic. Apparently back in 2007 there was an article submitted to the Brewers Association detailing what makes a quality American IPA. One of the quotes from that article was “Any monkey can put 400 pounds of hops in the kettle. Not everyone can make a great-tasting, well-balanced beer that you can have four or five of.” That’s where this name was born. We’ll see if they live up to that quote.
This beer pours a hazy rusty orange with LOTS of sediment floating in it. I didn’t think this was bottle conditioned and therefore did not take care when pouring it. Judging by the amount of stuff floating in it, I’m guessing this is unfiltered. Perfectly OK for an IPA it’s just always disconcerting when you see a beer with this kind of appearance. Tall white foamy head as well.
The aroma is a little dusty, strong hops and malts with a fairly grainy sense about it as well. There is a touch of lemon on the nose with more and more dry grains.
The flavor is hoppy sweet, with a dry bitter resiny flavor afterwards. The aftertaste is not that great to be honest. It’s a bit sweet, a bit bitter, and a whole lot old. This may be an old bottle now that I think about it. Let’s go see if there is an indicator on the bottle. Hmm, bottled on April 7th, 2011. That would put this beer at 4 months, 2 weeks and 2 days old. In IPA terms, that’s an eternity. Hop flavor and aroma disappear within a very quick timeframe. It sucks that this is an old bottle because it probably tastes completely different when it’s fresh. The sad part is, there is no way of telling who to blame for this. Do we blame the retailer for sitting on cases and putting old beer on the shelves? Do we blame the distributor for not expediting the more perishable of beers to the retailers? Do we blame the brewer for making a crappy beer? Do we blame the consumer for sitting on the beer? (K that’s a no because I bought it last week.) No way of knowing, but all that considered, I still have a subpar beer in my hand, and that’s all I have to go on. Unimpressed.