Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tyranena Scurvy

First things first. I totally dropped the ball on getting you folks more information about the Lac Du Flambeau Brewfest going on Saturday, July 26th (that's this weekend for those of you who, like me, walk around in a haze wondering what day it is). So, if you are in Minocqua, or are looking for some good beer, it's only about 3.5 hours due North from Madison, straight up 51. It starts at 1pm, ends at 5pm and only costs $20. It'll give you a great opportunity to taste some of the beers of the Northwoods. Like Thirsty Pagan Brewery from Superior, WI.

And, of course, Tyranena will be there. Possibly with their Scurvy on-hand. The label of this Brewers Gone Wild series item proclaims it to be an India pale ale brewed with orange peel. "An ample ale exploding with luscious, fruity hops and a citrusy blast of orange zest."

Appearance: clear bronze, with a solid one-finger off-white head
Aroma: the first aroma is of hops, then following with the orange which is surprisingly pronounced; almost like smelling orange juice; a scent of candy (caramel malts?) sweetness lingers
Flavor: definitely an IPA; strong hoppy flavor, with citrus and grassy hops; the strong orange-like aroma doesn't really come through in the taste except, seemingly, in the hops - though it would not surprise me that this citrusyness was a result of the orange peel; I can't tell if my mind is playing tricks on me, but every now and then I get a faint, quick, flavor of the off-white rind found on the inside of an orange peel, it's a sharp bitterness that doesn't seem entirely attributable to hops; there is a light touch with the malts
Body: light bodied with a medium mouthfeel, the hops finish the flavors, but leave a lingering bitterness
Drinkability: the hops on this are strong, but it is quite refreshing; a good summer dinner beer for when you've come in from the 90 degree heat, taken a shower, and settled in for dinner in your thankfully air conditioned home.
Summary: Tyranena, of course, makes great IPAs. Really any opportunity to make one is reason enough to buy one, if you ask me. Indeed, four of Tyranena's last ten Brewer's Gone Wild have been IPAs. But I struggle to really get the point of the orange zest. I think it adds quite a bit of "authenticity" to the aroma - where the hoppy citrusiness is never quite "true" to the oranges and grapefruits that are always referenced. Is this something that Rob was playing with as a research for some less-expensive shortcuts to dry-hopping? I mean, he achieves the effect of dry-hopping with cascade hops without actually having to dry-hop with hops - a process that can be very expensive given today's hop shortage.

So, what's the summary? Well. It's a good beer. Heck, they could even move it to a year-round beer, if they wanted. I could see this selling quite well in 22oz bombers all year round. But, as a "special" release - well - it doesn't really seem to have the "special" to it. Maybe it's just because Tyranena is coming off an amazing, exceedingly strong-flavored, run for the Brewers Gone Wild series: the imperial rye porter, the imperial oatmeal coffee bourbon porter, Hop Whore, and Spank Me Baby Barleywine were all fantastic big beers. Nonetheless, I still think you should grab a four-pack of the Scurvy while it's still available, because it is definitely worth drinkin'. Do you need two four-packs? Well. That's a different story.

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