Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I absolutely loved Sixth Circle, the recent collaborative sour IPA that Devil's Backbone brewed with Parkway. I decided to pick up a few of DB's other 2017 collabs. Some of these bottles may have been a little too old to be ideal, but none of them were ancient.

DB collaborated with Golden Road on No Problemo, a Mexican take on a Schwarzbier. This doesn’t have the slight smoke I expect in a dark lager, but I actually like this more than most dark lagers, so that's not a complaint. It pours copper brown with average foam. Aroma is some caramel, some herbal tea, a little pepper. I get a little of the chocolate on the flavor. The pepper subtly kicks in on the finish and ends up being the thing I like best about this beer.

This one doesn’t really work as well for me, but if you like sweet, southern-style iced tea, you might enjoy this more than I did. Crystall Brett, a Belgian that Devil's Backbone brewed with Three Notch'd, reminds me of sweet tea more than anything else. It pours fairly clear dark orange with a little bit of head. The aroma is typical of a Brett beer. That mildly funky Brett thing is here on the aroma. But The taste is sweet, floral, herbal, and very much like orange pekoe tea with too much sweetener. More of an artificial sweetener than real sugar. This one isn't really my kind of thing but I can imagine that others would enjoy it very much.

Cross Eyed Stranger is a DIPA collaboration between Devil's Backbone and Ocelot. It’s big, it’s different, and I like that. But there is something here that doesn’t quite hit me right. It pours cloudy lemon yellow with average foam. The aroma is pine, salt, some of the malt is there, too. The flavor is strong on the front with the pine resin character coming through, but the finish is slightly minty and a little medicinal. It isn't bad, but it's not for me. The rest of the beers in this set were better.

DB and Breckenridge call Agave Double Pils an Imperial Pilsner. I don't know if I've ever used those two words in the same sentence. First, the negative... this beer is a little too sweet. But even through the sweetness, a fairly big ABV (7%) is the dominant note. The sweetness and the ABV make it almost impossible for me to search for and try to discern specifically pilsner qualities. But pilsners are usually too damn delicate for me anyway. Once I stopped trying to be a half-ass pilsner reviewer I ended up liking this beer. It pours fairly clear yellow with average head. The aroma is the sweetness from the agave and a fairly typical American lager, corn kind of quality. The flavor hits hard with the agave up front and then the alcohol is all over the finish. I don’t know that I would want this regularly, but this bottle made me happy.

Yakima Hop Fight is a DIPA collab, DB and Four Peaks. It's clear amber/orange with a brief head and a lot of carbonation. The aroma is sweet, primarily. Corn, some spice and sugar, a little bit of squash and other vegetable notes. Flavor is bitter and citrusy on the front of the tongue. The sweet maltiness from the aroma pops up again on the finish. This is a down the middle DIPA, but there is nothing wrong with a down the middle DIPA. I could drink this again.

Glitter Bomb is a sour that Devil's Backbone brewed with Ten Barrel. Pours a very light clear yellow with heavy carbonation and a little head. The aroma is grape musk and hops. The label doesn’t say it’s a brett beer but it reminds me a little bit of brett beers. The favor is piercing and tart. A little bit of the grape juice comes through. On occasion this wouldn’t be a bad summer beer.

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