I have a wood burning stove at my house which keeps the living room toasty during the cool winter months. In order to keep said stove fueled, I regularly head out to the backyard with my trusty double bladed axe to cut up some logs. Well, in case you have never experienced the phenomenon of splitting and then burning Cedar logs you are missing out. The smell is amazing!
My time spent chopping cedar logs gave me a great backdrop for trying this beer. Cigar City ages this glorious IPA on Spanish cedar which really lends an additional layer of complexity to an already well crafted brew. You see, cedar has a definite piney, sprucey, sappy quality to it that sometimes stings the nostrils (when freshly cut). I’m not exactly sure how different the Spanish variation is from what I chopped up, but this beer abounds with these nuances. The wood components played a great supporting role to the hops as it seemed the bitterness, spiciness, and earthiness were heightened with the cedar aging. Both hops and cedar blended extremely well adding a deepened layer of resins and stickiness. The aroma had a “pop” to it.
This bottle conditioned ale had a great lemon meringue-like head that floated atop an orange brew. I savored the aroma for a while finding its citrus notes (pineapple, peach, pear, some apple) and woodsy qualities hid the 7.5% abv rather nicely. Taking a decent sized sip the rush of glorious hoppy bitterness filled my palate. Bold, bright, and sappy the resins stuck to my tongue. Most IPAs have a caramel malt think happening in the middle of the sip, but this one was different…hops all the way through.
I was having a buttery/creamy dish and the hops helped to cut right through in a palate cleaning way leaving behind a sticky hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of moderate which I attributed to the unfiltered nature and the hops.
A very enjoyable brew with depth!