Squatters/Utah Brewers Cooperative in Salt Lake City, Utah. Let me congratulate these guys for winning two golds (and maybe more, I just scanned the award list) at this year's GABF, including one in the Session category for Provo Girl! Nice job! Like Provo Girl, this beer today came as a sample provided to me by the brewery. Thank you, again.
There is a pretty scary looking farmer type in overalls with an enormous pitch fork on the front label. He seemingly has just harvested the largest hop flower in history and looks ready to go back for more. His beard reminds me of how a stereotypical Amish guy might be depicted. (I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I have plenty of experience speeding past horse and buggy contraptions.) Perhaps a lot of people from Utah are Amish too. Hmmm. The back has a little note from the Brew Crew: "Big hop, big malt, big beer. A monster of a beer with intense hop aroma and 75 IBU's."
Really nice color. Caramel, lightly fruity aroma with a touch of pine. Bitter hoppy flavors to start. Some caramel and toffee and fruit flavors try to sweeten and balance the initial bitterness but come up a bit short. Pine and grass and plenty of citrus rind really work their mojo.
Now, I just gave you half a dozen or more impressions I had about the flavors, but the truth is that I really had to use my imagination. Most of the flavors ran together in a muddled profile. However, one flavor not mentioned yet really does stand out throughout the entire experience. There is a medicinal and minty bitterness that centers around citrus rinds that is even further brought out by the 9% alcohol. The alcohol is warm and bitey but really makes this unpleasant bitter take control of the beer. That bitter focal point made me not enjoy this beer very much. Carbonation is good. I think I'd stick with Provo Girl and see if I could get my hands on that other Gold winner I saw before ever returning to this one. Not awful but not great.