Sunday, November 25, 2007

Three Floyd's Harvest Ale

Beer: Three Floyd's Harvest Ale
Brewery Location: Munster, IN
Beer Style: American IPA
Serving Style: Bomber
ABV: 6.5%

I've really been looking forward to this since I learned it was out in bottles this year. They have been making it for several years, but I do believe this is the first year that it was ever bottled. I picked up a bottle at The Hop Shop the other night.

Harvest Ale is an ale that is made using "wet" hops. That means the hops are undried when added to the beer. The undried hops preserves more natural hop resins and fragrant oils. According to the bottle it states "from vine to brewhouse in one day." I am curious where these hops are coming from in that time frame. FFF's usually has some interesting artwork on the bottles, but this one is personally one of my least favorites, but don't hold that against the beer.

The beer pours a beautiful copper/orange color into my pint glass. This has a nice color for the fall season. There isn't much head to speak of for this beer. I poured in a very unaggressive manner, so that may have something to do with it. It does leave a nice swirl of lacing that stayed for most of the beer and left ample lacing on my glass. The aromatics on this beer are top notch. You can easily pick up the citrus hop resin scent on this as you are pouring it. The nose is just really nice to smell for a bit. I can pick up a bit of bready malt also coming through, but doesn't have much of a chance against the hops. The taste matches the nose very well. Pine, citrus, and grapefruit flavors are the first things that hit my taste buds, but the heavy malted backbone brings flavors of biscuits coming in. The caramel character comes to life as the beer warms. Good complex flavors going on with this beer and it is still well balanced the entire time. There isn't much carbination on this beer and the beer finishes almost creamy, but still somehow finishes a little oily as well. The drinkability is solid on this beer and would go well on about any occasion.

This has been my favorite thus far of the wet hop beers. The Sierra Nevada is a little more gentle on the palate and is also well made and well balanced. This beer is 100% a FFF's creation and would be enjoyed by a hop head. If you are not much of a hop head and still want to try the wet hop beers I would go with the Sierra Nevada over this, but if you love IPA's I give this one the nudge over SN.


Jim said...

My father-in-law had Goose Island Harvest Ale waiting for me at the Thanksgiving table this year. I feel that Goose Island is a hit or miss brewery, but this one was definitely a hit. Brewed in the ESB style--impressive stuff. Nice Cascade hop aroma with a somewhat sweet, malty back.

I'll have to try Sierra Nevada and Three Floyds Harvest Ales soon.

Matt said...

I would love to try some of that. I've read some good things on it. I am a big fan of the harvest ales. I've only really gotten into them this year, but I do wish it was possible to offer this all year long.

Mike said...

your description kind of reminds me of 90 minute... close, or completely off?

Matt said...

You are not far off really.

I never really looked at both of those until now.

The 90 min is more complex with some other flavors coming in, but with the amount of cascades that went to each of them thats about right.

I would like to see the grain bill for each of these.

Matt said...

I've been thinking about it and this makes sense to me. 90 min is so smooth and well made. This isn't a great anology but it's the best I can do right now.

90 min is like trying to kill a fly with a fly swatter. It's the right tool for the job.

Broodoo is like trying to kill that fly with a sledgehammer. It will accomplishes the job but it's a bit more in your face about things.

joe said...

This is their best beer Three Floyd's has released in a long time. It's too bad it's not in sixers and/or more reasonably priced.