Catalyst | Backlash Beer Company

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Very Good
46 Ratings

Brewed by:
Backlash Beer Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Uprising! Series 1/3

Added by Maxwell on 07-07-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by BeerResearcher:
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.6oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date but the label suggests it be "enjoyed young"
This golden honey amber, 8.5% ABV single Amarillo hop Double IPA comes roaring (more like flowing) out of Holyoke, MA.
You brace yourself for a taste bud wrenching hop smackdown, but instead, we find a very pleasing juicy grapefruit bitterness, with a slight metallic tang and a mild peppery spiciness. The malt body is full, yet the light malt sweetness creates an evenly balanced flavor profile. This DIPA goes down smooth and fluid rather than rasping its way down like so many of this style. My Euro-lager-biased mother-in-law really enjoyed it. She was expecting the worst, but was pleasantly surprised.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jondeelee
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Catalyst opens to a full-bodied hop aroma, pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind dominating, but with a nice supporting cast of lemon zest, pine resin, and sugary rosewater, as well as just a touch of dandelion stem and anise. The sweeter focus of the hops meshes well with a massive shot of orange fruit esters, as well as only slightly lesser shovelfuls of berry, cherry, and peach, with a hint of mango for a tropical feel. Huge brown sugars, as well as a candi sugar feel, combine with the fruit esters to form Jolly Rancher hard candy overtones. Whole wheat bread, biscuit, and Grape Nuts cereal from the malts provide an earthy base, but are largely drowned out by sugars and sweet hops. As a whole, the nose is very nice, and while it does lean extremely heavily toward sweet, avoids being cloying due to the small touches of pine and puckerish fruit zest. Still, the sweetness can be a bit overwhelming, and the beer feels like it needed additional countering to prevent such an out of balance feel.

On the tongue, the beer does prove more hoppy than the nose let on, the opening salvo of dandelion stem, pine resin, grapefruit rind, lemon oil, and anise from the hops a relief. There’s still a bit of pink grapefruit in here, as well as a touch of rosewater, so the hops aren’t fully bitter. A strong orange, berry, cherry, and peach (with, again, light mango) fruit ester sampling helps temper the bitterness, assisted by brown sugar. Toast crust, biscuit, and whole wheat bread add earthiness. The beer does have a very strong bitter plant stem overtone that, pessimistically, moves toward raw onion scape, and can be a bit distracting. The aftertaste is a continuation of the bitter hops, the sugars having largely died off, and lingers on the tongue for a very long time. Mouthfeel is a dry medium, and carbonation is medium-high, fizzing up quite a bit on the tongue and lending a champagne feel.

Overall, there’s certainly a massive hop presence in here, the 90 IBUs showing themselves in full force, and hopheads should give this one a try. However, the beer ultimately feels out of balance because of the extreme nature of the hops, and the extreme bitterness (the part that moves toward onion scape) can be off-putting.

 2,243 characters

Photo of Dmetal
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JSBILK
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Kmlund
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of garrisonp
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Massbmx
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 7/30/13 at Pour Farm Tavern in New Bedford, MA, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, caramelized malts and floral hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with strong flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is a bit week for the style but it creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid 2IPA to drink for a while.

 755 characters

Photo of msween21
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of adjunctlager
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of Remdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of dsm45
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of sprat1960
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cooper in color with a golden tint; hazy. Absolutely GIGANTIC, thick foamy head with a whip-cream like texture; the foam persisted forever and left tons of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Nice light hoppy aroma; made me want to drink the beer. Starts off slightly citrusy/acidic then moved on to an absolutely delicious light hoppy taste - just right. Tasted very fresh; very refreshing. Light to medium body; lots of nice light carbonation with a slightly dry finish. Overall an excellent IPA; would enjoy drinking it again.

 534 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of smcolw
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Small but lasting head. Leaves a blanket of lace. Golden amber color with plenty of haze.

Very mild aroma for a DIPA. Some citrus and some pale malt.

Highly carbonated with a neutral to below average body. Solid pale malt start but it succumbs to strong bitter hop quickly. Low alcohol flavor given the content. The aftertaste is long and peppery, but I'm impressed how the malt stands up to it.

 399 characters

Photo of DruRho
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, hazy, goldenrod coloring with a film, light, small bubbled, bright white head of about a half an inch. Aromas of tangerine and grapefruit first, with a light biscuit backbone and some fresh cut grass highlights. Flavors are light and effervescent on the forward tongue, with a bitter, sharp, resiny hops presence. Citrus profiles come in heavy, with grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, and lemon peel. Tangy caramel highlights, with a biscuit backbone, and some more grassy characteristics. Very citrus centered profile on this one. Tangy and citrusy aftertaste, rich and slightly acidic. The finish is crisp, clean, and slightly drying. Tasty brew, but it does pucker and dry a bit as you go, which makes it a great hot weather beer.

 797 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Catalyst pours a hazy golden yellow with some orange hues blended in. On top, a medium sized, creamy white head forms. The head slowly dissolves leaving a coating of lace on the glass.

The aroma has lots of citrus, mainly grapefruit and orange. A touch of lemon and a little bready malt is also present. The citrus notes tend to fade away after a short while.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, creamy with an effervescent fizz. The flavor is bitter and mainly citrus hops with enough malt sweetness for balance. Orange and grapefruit citrus, lemon peel, light fruit (tangerine?) dominate, but in the background there's some caramel malt sweetness to tame the hops. It finishes bitter and a touch grassy. The citrus hops and bitterness lingers on the palate when gone.

Definitely a tasty beer that hides it's 8.5% abv well. It could use a touch more sweetness to smooth out the bitter edges.

 918 characters

Photo of GermanSpy
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of aorloski
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of cw577enfield
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Maxwell
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden, shimmering yellow with light hues of orange. It pours with a great head of gently creamy bubbles that slowly works away to a soap bubble head. In body the beer is crystal clear and clean with just the lightest haze. On the nose, this beer is a beautiful bouquet of citric fruits. Grapefruit is the main player, giving prickly citric goodness to the nose while touches of lemon and very light lime notes and a lighter note of apple skins. Beneath the hops is a nice light sweet malt flavoring is also there. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter and sweet with a beautiful balance that rests properly on the bitter side. In flavor, the beer begins as bitter grapefruit with touches of medicinal hops and a light prickling pine. The flavor slowly introduces sweet bready malt, though it is light, adding a balance to the bitter hops. On the finish, especially as the beer warms, alcohol heat comes through alongside medicinal bitters and light grapefruit. Aftertaste rings with bitter grapefruit and medicinal bitters. In the mouth, the beer feels smooth, and medium in body with a creamy carbonation that lightly prickles the tongue and feels slightly biting from the bitters. The mouth is left dry and begging for more beer to wet it again. Overall, this is a nice bitter IPA. Truthfully, I only really like Amarillo hops when mixed with other hops. On its own it has some nice complexity and but really is not my flavor profile. This beer is good, but not my favorite.

 1,494 characters

Photo of ms11781
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Mahtzy
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great follow-up to Salute. Poured a beautiful darker gold in a tulip glass. Nice full, white head that dissipated slowly into a thinner layer of bubbles. Excellent head retention.

The aroma punches you in the face with citrus (my favorite beer smell) and grapefruit.

The first sip is well carbonated, bringing the grapefruit flavor to the front. As it crosses over the palate, the malt flavor comes through but washes away leaving a wonderful bitterness lingering on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is full and refreshing but quickly fades to a bit of a mouth-puckering dryness (in a good way).

Overall, an outstanding beer for those of us who love a big, hoppy IPA. Not as malty as a Pliny or Heady. The hops are definitely the feature here, which is what I like. The Uprising! concept is a great idea, using the same grain bill over three beers and changing up the hops. Its a great way to learn how individual hops affect a beer. If you were expecting another Salute, you didn't get it but you got a different beer, just as flavorful and interesting.

 1,055 characters

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Catalyst from Backlash Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 46 ratings