Total Score: 7.95/10
Feral’s latest offing (which to me is just a shortened version of the word “offering” because, you know, I’m lazy and all that) appears to be a Cascadian Dark Ale in a similar vein as their most superb (and so far my favourite of the style) Karma Chameleon, only that was 10% ABV and this one is 5.9% which begs the question: Why didn’t they bottle the awesome sauce that is Karma Chameleon? Over to you Feral.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Pitch brown/black body with a rather boisterous fluffy 1 inch khaki head that soon drops back to a respectable 1 cm. Some light spider webbing on the side of the glass. Pretty spot on looks-wise. 9/10.
S: Pineapple and guava hop notes stamp their authority on my olfactory senses like that biker in Terminator 2 extinguishing a cigar on Arnie’s chest. Like the beer-drinking Terminator that I am I whiff on unabated. Hints of toffee and chocolate linger on in the background but damn are those hops sexy, too bad malt, another time perhaps. 9/10.
T: The flavour was always going to be a let-down after that superlative hop aroma – those tropical pineapple/guava characters step back from the palate and let espresso malts and sharp herbal hops battle it out over my taste buds, which is a bit of a shame because I was looking forward to more pineapple/guava. Ultimately the herbal hop bitter note carries through to the after taste and slays the dragon that is espresso. 8/10.
M: Mid to light, almost medium, bodied with a sharp, dense carbonation. That carbonation really brings out the bitter notes somewhat. 7/10.
D: Compared to Karma Chameleon this is definitely the lessor brew of the two, however compared to other Black IPAs the balance is almost there but the tropical hop notes were lost from the aroma to the taste, and there needed to be a bit more hop flavours rather than hop bitterness (which all comes down to when the hops were added during the whole fermentation process – my money is on during the boil of the wort rather than a dry hop addition, but unless someone from Feral reads my blog we may never know). Still I did enjoy this and would seek it again on tap. 7/10.
Food match: The Korean classic that is Bulgogi would go a treat with this brew don’t forget a side dish of pajeori 😉