Green Flash Palate Wrecker

I tried Palate Wrecker once when I visited the Green Flash brewery out in San Diego about 4 years ago. I remember I was going through a tasting of their different beers and the guy behind the bar said I should taste this one last. I actually don’t remember if I followed his advice or not because that in itself was telling me this is the best beer we have and you should have it now. Anyway, I found it at Total Wine in McLean and thought I ought to pick it up. I noticed recently that I talk about Green Flash in a number of my posts, but I haven’t reviewed it. I have no good excuse except that I started the blog after I visited the brewery and Green Flash wasn’t available here until more recently. I may need to go back through their line up of beers to decide which one is actually the best, but this one makes a strong showing. I’ve said in a number of posts I think Green Flash is the quintessential west coast IPA. They even have an IPA called “West Coast IPA.” The west coast is where American IPA was developed and came to break from the British IPA and go for the ultra hoppy flavors, finding innovative new ways to extract the flavors from hops. Palate Wrecker is no exception. They use 6 lbs of Cascade, Columbus and Simcoe hops per barrel. That is an incredible amount of hops. I’m a homebrewer and usually make 5 gallons at a time. That is 1/6 of a barrel. Typically for an IPA I might use about 4-6 oz. of hops per batch. That would be at most just under 2 lbs of hops per barrel. Green Flash triples that amount in Palate Wrecker. I would say it is very noticeable. For those who fear bitter, hoppy beer, fear not. There is some bitterness here, but it is a well balanced beer. When I poured it, it came out a pretty dark copper color with lots of fluffy white head. The aromas are powerful piney and resiny hops. The flavor is more in the realm of resin with a little pineapple. Given the high ABV, there was also a bit of maltiness that combined with the pineapple to give almost the depth of a port wine. The flavor was not boozy even though it had a 9.5% ABV. Overall, it was really not a palate wrecker, but a very tasty double IPA. It went very well with some pepperoni pizza. Well done. Four out of five proper pints.

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