Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweet Child of Vine (Fulton Beer, Minneapolis, MN)

Being my first trip to Fulton, there was no way that I could go home without a growler of the IPA--so I did.  It it would be hard to pass up a beer so cleverly called Sweet Child of Vine.  Just a cool name when so many IPA variations have been exhausted.

Second pour builds a thick, creamy head the color of a dirty snowdrift over an amber marmalade ale.  I've always thought that this is more of a workhorse IPA--not that pretty in the glass, but gets the job done.  Assertive, grassy hops in the nose that's a punch in the face of Simcoe and Glacier (according to Fulton) and a smooth caramel maltiness following up behind to console my  bruised taste buds.  Taste follow the nose into a grassy bite that leaves no mistake that this is an IPA.  Sweet, full bodied IPA that's almost chewy.

On the level, this is not my favorite IPA; however, I can see how it could be someone's favorite IPA.  My draft on site was the best I've tasted of Sweet Child, a notch better than samples elsewhere and this growler.  Well brewed and packing a punch, Sweet Child is definitely an ode to the hop vine.

Some advice.  Drink this one slow and sip hard at the peak.  Distracted by other endeavors while sipping the second glass, the warmth opens up the beer more than a bit.  The harshness in the nose and taste mellows, and the sweetness grows in complexity with an underlying taste somewhere between burnt brown sugar and black strap molasses.  With heavy lace on a beer clean glass, this IPA is growing on me by the pint.

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