Life continues on for Pope Crisco de Llamas. Personal tragedy has kept me from turning attention to the blog, for I had to trade the time spent in contemplation of consumables to my mother’s failing health. I don’t know if I will go into more detail here, for the specifics can be found as drunken ramblings on twitter (follow @theIntoxico). The good news is that now I have time to give Intoxico.net the attention it and you deserve.
With the wife getting ready for a new school year guiding young Catholics in writing and literature, I have this Tuesday afternoon free, and a thirst only quenched by popping a top off of a craft beer or two.
Brewed under contract by the Mercury Brewing Company out of Massachusetts, today’s brew du jour is Clown Shoes’ Tramp Stamp, a Belgian style India Pale Ale boasting Chambly yeast, Amarillo and Centennial hops, and a bit of sweet orange peel.
Decanting the 24 ounce bomber into my 4 ounce tulip glass, a burnt orange body appears, capped by a nice, just every so slightly off-white head. Tiny, delicate bubbles of carbon dioxide swim in a semi cloudy body of beer, a cloudiness that gets murkier the more the bottle is emptied, and the yeast bed formed on the bottom of the bottle is agitated. While already visually enticing, the icing on the proverbial cake is a wonderful, tacky lacing.
The nose on the beer is more IPA than Belgian. While there is a definite fruitiness on the back end, front and center is a nice, sap-like, pine essence.
This pine essence, paired with an aggressive bitterness, is most apparent on the palate on the first wash of suds over my taste buds. Initially, from this, I was expecting more IPA than Belgian, which isn’t in itself a bad thing, for I love a great hoppy beer, and my track record enjoying the esters of Belgian and Belgian style beers has historically been hit and miss.
Luckily for me, my taste buds, and those of anyone blessed with a bottle of this beer, the hoppiness was not so extreme as I finished the first snifter of ale. As my mouth acclimates to the tacky brew and hops, the beer’s Belgian aspects really develop to a wonderfully complex play between the citrus and pine aspects of the rhizomes and a nice apple and pear like fruitiness of the yeast.