I think it is really important for breweries to continuously experiment with new beers. The best way to do that is one-off seasonal brews. The brewer can play with a recipe then brew a batch and listen to the feedback from customers. Many times these beers undergo a few iterations and later become brewery staples. One brewery that continues to experiment with new ideas is The Somerville Brewing Company, aka Slumbrew. Their one-off beer this winter was Snow Angel, a double IPA brewed with a mixture of American hop varieties.
Slumbrew Snow Angel pours a cloudy amber/orange with a mild off-white head. The smell is a pungent blend of everything you love about American hops, tons of citrus fruit with some pine and floral notes mixed in. The hops start the flavor profile too, with touches of grapefruit, lemon, orange and tropical fruit. This is followed by significant malt flavors, led by caramel and brown sugar. There is a bit of residual sweetness in the beer, not really what you’d expect from a double IPA. There is also some bitterness and a little bit of fruity ester flavor from the yeast. The body is medium towards full, with a thick mouthfeel. It’s a pretty big beer at 9.0% ABV, and a little of the alcohol comes through in the flavor. The beer finishes with some malt sweetness and a little residual bitterness on the tongue. This is a solid beer. I think with a couple of minor tweaks it could be spectacular. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Slumbrew reviews: