It’s time for a beer review, and I know, I know, it’s not Sunday, and hell it’s not even Monday, but here we are. This week we’re tasting Alameda’s Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA, and I was very excited about this brew. I’ve been spending much of the week working and drinking a wide variety of craft beer, but this one has stayed with me. Before we get into it though, I want to let everyone know that Beer Fusion will be in Ellensburg, WA this Saturday at Iron Horse Brewery. Iron Horse is one of our favorite breweries, and we felt it was time to go pay a visit. If we don’t see you there, there will be a recap of the shenanigans experienced via a write-up. Also, we’ll be having a beer with Natalia the owner, so there’ll be a recap of that conversation as well. I’d being lying if I said I wasn’t excited, but that’s in a couple days we’ve got Yellow Wolf to review! Now, between G and I, Yellow Wolf has two great things going for it - Columbus hops (my favorite) and Amarillo hops (G’s favorite and I really like them too). Also, as you can see in the picture we had G’s little L give us his opinion, and he was a Yellow Wolf fan.
Yellow Wolf comes in at an ABV of 8.2% and 103 IBUs. The interesting thing about this beer is that there is no profile of this beer on Alameda’s website. The head of this beer is a strong thick and white that sticks around for a good while. Full head for sure. The look of this beer is a deep golden color that has a great cloudy clarity, and it grips the glass well. This is how an IPA should look. Head - 10, Look - 15. G found the smell to be Amarillo and lemon, and I’d agree that the Amarillo does come through the aroma very strongly, but so do the other hops. This beer has a hop-centric aroma, but what I found interesting was how much of the smell had lemon/lime sour notes. The smell was a little off from what I’d expect this beer to be, but my preconceived notions aside, this beer smells tasty. Smell - 23.
As I sit and read G’s notes on this beer I can’t help but laugh, and this is why - G wrote in the “Palate” category a very simple explanation of how this brew hit his palate, “yum!”. And, I agree this is a “yum” beer. The initial flavor is smooth and full with a surprisingly mellow hoppiness, but strong citrus presence. The aftertaste isn’t very bitter. The aftertaste hits crisp and gradually bitters and dries. For a beer that is 103 IBUs, I’m surprised at the drinkability and crispness. Palate - 9, Aftertaste - 9. The overall flavor is surprisingly full of lemon/lime. The bitterness isn’t intense, but it’s there and aids the overall flavor. I’m very surprised how well the sweet and sourness of the lemon/lime mix works perfectly with this beer. The flavor is simple, yet precise, and unique for a PNW style Imperial IPA. It’s safe to say I was surprised. Flavor - 28
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know how much I like uniqueness. I like beers to challenge my expectation of a style or beer itself. I’m not one to disregard an ale, because it’s different, but I will if it doesn’t taste great. This is a beer that made me step outside of what I expect a moderate ABV and high IBU IPA to taste like. I didn’t get the fuzzy tongue, and I didn’t get the high ABV bite, but what I got was a beer that was able to give me complex flavor and that made me question my own expectations of the NW Imperial IPA style. This is my first beer by Alameda, and they hit a home run. There’s very few Imperial IPAs that I feel I’d like to drink all day, and the same applies to G, and this beer is one of those rare beers. Normally, I recommend you to pick the beer up, but I’m going to say - please pick this beer up if you like IPAs, and if you don’t like it I’d be shocked to hear about it. In fact, I want to know if you don’t like this beer, because I’d be fascinated to know why. With all of that said, with an Overall Flavor of 46/50 the Beer Fusion gives Alameda’s Yellow Wolf...
On a final and closing note, you’ve probably noticed that IPAs have dominated the reviews lately, and I think it’s time for a change. Next week’s beer review will most likely be associated with the Iron Horse trip, but I think it’s time to put IPAs in the back seat and have a look at some other great craft beer styles. So, if you are getting tired of all the IPAs, no worries, they’ll be taken a hiatus for a bit. Cheers!