March 12, 2012

Backlash Declaration

Backlash Declaration - Belgian Style IPA (2011/2012)
Brewed and Bottled by Backlash Beer Co., in Holyoke, MA. USA.
Batch #1, Bottled Dec 2011
22 fl. oz. / $7.99 USD / 7.2% ABV

About: "Declaration is a Belgian Style IPA which packs a hop presence we’ve never seen in this style before.There is a massive hops profile from our heavy-handed dosing of American hops, yet still enough room for our Belgian yeast to make an appearance. Dark golden in color and light in body, Declaration will dry you out and make you want more with each sip. In fact, Declaration may just be one of the hoppiest Belgian style beers ever - but don’t take our word for it."

Thoughts: I wasn't planning on buying this as it wasn't on my list of future beer reviews, but when I saw it, man, I just couldn't pass it up! This bottle had a wax dripping over the cap and this really cool brass knuckle stamp mark indented right on top of the cap. It was so neat looking... shame I had to destroy it to get the bottle open. But the sacrifice must be made!

Declaration poured a darker hazy amber color with a slightly off-white one-finger head full of small bubbles and froth. Carbonation bubbles from the center of my glass are rising up at an alarming speed. The head was very slow to die down.

This beer smells majorly like Belgian yeast. As I lean in and out towards my glass that's all I'm getting. And it smells Strong!

Well, the hops really do flow in once you get your first gulp. I'll try again in a second to see what I'm picking up, but first off I got straight up Belgian yeast. Second gulp, a bit bigger this time, and I find that this is blended very well. The flavors of hops and yeast are strong and the dominating factor, but it's not overbearing or atrocious. It's actually quite mellow. Unexpected with the brass knuckles on the label.

This is really drinkable. There's a wet, drenched woody aftertaste that's a little bit grassy.

Alright, just poured the rest of the bottle into the glass and now I'm seeing some dark speckles along the bottom that resemble black pepper flakes. I remember not too long ago back when that used to freak me out a bit. Now? When I see the stuff I get giddy like a cheeky little ginger. It gets a little spicy around the end once it's all poured in. I've got to say that I've never really had such a Belgian IPA that I enjoyed this much. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to this brew, as if my saying that implies that this beer is weak. It's certainly not, but it's not ferocious at all. It's actually quite nice... for a beer with a picture of knuckles on it, that is.

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