18th Street Brewing Rise of the Angels Double IPA w/Grapefruit Zest (7.7% ABV)
Pour: Pint can into a snifter
Appearance: It pours surprisingly dark for an IPA. Kind of a brownish-gold/dull copper color, almost like a weak iced tea. Hardly any head – maybe a quarter inch of fizzy white head that dissipates pretty quickly. Good edging, no lacing,
Aroma: Hardly any – faint citrus and a sweet floral note.
Taste: Subtly sweet and very clean. A bit of sweet maltiness up front, grapefruit zest in the middle, sweet and a bit flowery in the finish. Mostly sweet in the aftertaste, with just a bit of grapefruit tartness underneath.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and completely flat. Kind of dry on the finish – whatever hops they used in this, they weren’t an oily variety.
So just when I thought I had exhausted the supply of 18th Street Brewing beers at my local, a new one pops up on the shelf and they draaaaag me back in. Unlike Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part III, though, I’m actually pretty pleased by this development. If you’ve read any of my other reviews of the Gary/Hammond-based brewery’s beers, then you know that I’ve been a fan of everything I’ve tried of theirs thus far.
I’ll admit to being at least slightly hesitant, however, to try Rise of the Angels, because of the whole grapefruit zest thing. As a general rule, I don’t like fruit beers. However, grapefruit zest in an IPA didn’t sound like too radical a move. If the brewer used citrusy hops in the brew (like the Centennial hops that Bell’s uses in Two-Hearted), it could actually make for a nice complement to the beer’s hop profile. That’s not exactly what’s happening here, though. Instead of going the citrus route, Rise of the Angels has more of a sweet and flowery hop profile. There’s some grapefruit tartness in the middle and aftertaste, but this is a much subtler beer on the whole: fairly balanced and a bit on the dry side. Totally drinkable and well balanced by any objective standard, but probably my least favorite beer I’ve had from them. Still, I do think it compares very favorably to something like Sun King’s Grapefruit Jungle, and given a choice between the two I’d likely pick Rise of the Angels. So add another one to the win column for 18th Street – that’s four for four thus far, and I have a can of Candi Crushable in my hand as I’m typing this, so check back in a few weeks to see if they can make it five for five (spoiler: I’m on my second CC, and they’re totally five for five).