Palate Wrecker | Green Flash Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Palate WreckerPalate Wrecker
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
4,166 Ratings
Palate WreckerPalate Wrecker
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States
greenflashbrew.com

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed to celebrate Hamilton's Second Anniversary

Added by seaoflament on 10-04-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,827
Reviews:
769
Ratings:
4,166
pDev:
10.34%
 
 
Wants:
219
Gots:
724
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,166 |  Reviews: 769
Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 8/1/2017. Pours fairly crystal clear medium orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, light pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus rind/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, mango, lemon/orange peel, citrus rind, pepper, pine, honey, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and no lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from lingering bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/sticky/resinous, and slightly slick balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9.5%. Overall this is an outstanding DIPA! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV, and despite the drying bitter/resinous finish. Very dank and juicy on hops; nice malt backbone, but never too sweet or heavy. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,893 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 01/08/13. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; Green Flash has yet to really impress me and I've heard mixed reviews about this one. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. I've never had this before.

Served straight from the fridge but not quite as cold as the fridge usually renders beers. We'll call it sufficiently chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of nice cream and decent thickness, and great retention (~6 minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent textbook copper. Vibrant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Par for the style, but the head is impressive for the ABV. Other than that, there's nothing unique or special here. Indistinguishable from most other beers in the style.

Sm: Pale malts, floral hops, heavy hop oil, and light hop nectar. Shockingly light; not subtle, just light. Reading the label, I'm pleased to see they describe it as "complicated." Not complex - complicated. A touch of inadvertent honesty, perhaps? It's not fresh (in spite of being a mere 3 weeks old), but it does come off as pleasant.

T: Okay...unnecessarily heavy hop bitterness is overwhelmingly dominant. A hint of buried hop nectar, a hint of very buried citrus. Corrupted oily hops really attack the palate in a most unpleasant manner. Even the pale malt body is drowned out by the assault. Sweet jesus, that is really really imbalanced. I'm forced to appreciate it; it's sort of a master class on how not to brew an IPA. Grapefruit. No yeast character - and surprisingly no alcohol - comes through. Lacks complexity. There's no subtlety here at all.

Mf: Scratchy, oily, and coarse. It's as pleasant as it sounds. Overcarbonated. Too thick for the lack of flavour. Not at all refreshing. Horrible palate presence.

Dr: This is exactly how you shouldn't go about approaching the style. It lacks the key element: balance. This represents precisely what is wrong with IPAs - especially when executed by American breweries: it's not a dicksizing competition with hop content or IBUs. A good IPA has masterful balance and is refreshing. This is neither. Drinkable, if low quality. It's more difficult to drink than your typical DIPA. Though it does hide its ABV alright. A huge disappointment from Green Flash. Maybe the brewers could drive over to Alpine and learn a thing or two about balance. Is Silva Stout as highly hyped and yet as poorly brewed as this is?

Low C-

 2,669 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Resisting the notion that balance has any place in IPA- standard American varieties, imperial varieties or otherwise, Pale Wrecker pushes hop bitterness and flavor to the hilt while suppressing sweetness and body to a hardly-recognizable status. The hop dominance shreds the palate and puts on quite a bitter display.

Burnt orange in color, the deep yet clearly amber ale has much brighter clarity than I expect from highly hopped ales. Capped by a slightly off-white foam stance, the froth shows stubborn persistence and laces the glass moderately with pocketed islands interspersed about the glass.

No mistake about it! Hops are all over the nose. Grapefruit, orange peel, pine needles, fresh-cut grass, chive, and light apricot share the rim of the snifter with only the slightest caramel-dipped sense of malt sweetness in support of the hops. And at 9.5% abv, the alcohols provide a light rosy tint to the hop complexities.

Flavors follow a similar path as the malts struggle to make a mark over the onslaught of hop flavor that strikes the early palate. Citrusy goodness of red and white grapefruit (both pulp and pith), orange peels, light tropical apricot and mango roundness, and herbal grass, chive, and rose all take turns giving new impressions to the taste buds with each sip. But with hardly any rebuttal from malt flavor, the beer hurries into a deeply gripping bitterness from hops and solvent-like alcohol and light metal taste.

Incredibly dry from start to finish, especially for an imperial IPA, the beer ignores any stage-setting from malt structures and quickly sheds its carbonated creaminess and zestiness- instead favoring a dive into resinous bitterness with moderate stemmy astringency and a moderately unsettled solvent alcohol bitterness that both assists the hop bitterness and deters from it at the same time.

Palate Wrecker lives up to its name as it gets a bitter/astringent boost from both hop techniques in brewing and from alcohol. It's fun to explore what's familiar and what's unique in the bitter complexes in this heavily hop-tilted ale.

 2,081 characters

Photo of oline73
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger and a half of fluffy off white head. The head hangs around very well and leaves nice lacing. This is a really good looking beer.

Smell: West coast IPA hop profile is the first thing I'm picking up. Citrus peel and pine notes from the hop bitterness. Just a touch of malt sweetness, but it's almost lost in the hops.

Taste: There is a nice malt sweetness in the background, but the hops are the reason we're all here. Bitter citrus peel hops, just a mild note of pine as well. The finish is crushingly bitter, but very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: This is a fantastic DIPA. It was much better than I expected. Huge fan and I would definitely have another.

 813 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2nd or 3rd time drinking this, poured the 16 oz. bottle in a small 10 oz. stemmed tulip glass.

Glistening deep saturated orange, creamy dense foam, long lasting and glass-coating. Webs of intricate lacing form inside the glass.

Toasted caramel, citrus peel, pungent hop resins.

Flavors are similar, big caramel and toasty malts, smooth and buttery. Moderate hop bitterness, slick and resiny. Buttery diacetyl is present but not overly distracting. Full bodied with lower carbonation and some sticky caramel sweetness. It has an English feel, much like Schells Burton Ale. Dry bitterness lingers, reminding that it's in fact a double IPA...

 644 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a two-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, grapefruit, mango and bubblegum. Some caramel aromas.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel, citrus, grapefruit and bread crust. Spicy bitterness adds balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a strong alcohol warmth and a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty DIPA. Another great brew from Green Flash.

 484 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a modest head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Grapefruit pith and quite a bit of caramel

Taste: Caramel malt, for a brief second, and then the hops take over bringing citrus pith initially; after the swallow, I get some onions and a return of the sugars that makes for a sweet, though balanced, finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Was really hoping for more from this beer as I love almost everything that Green Flash produces; not bad, but the onions and sweetness on the finish reduce its appeal to me

 599 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a solid large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma is dominated by citrus and pine noted originating from the C-hops. Taste is also dominated loads of citrus and pine notes with a bitter finish. Malt is present though hard to decipher through al the hops with some light residual sugar. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. There is no denying that this a hop bomb though I prefer when they veered toward floral then bitterness.

 522 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep golden orange in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some burnt orange + copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy off-white head that very slowly reduces to a large patch of very thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrus/orange rind hops along with some much lighter notes of pine hops and just a hint of caramel malts.

T: Light amounts of caramel malt sweetness initially but that is quickly overtaken by the flavors of the hops - citrus/orange rind and Light hints of alcohol are present in the finish along with the moderate to strong amounts of bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: As the name would indicate, this is a seriously hop heavy beer and slightly out of balance (tons of bitterness compared with just a light hint of sweetness). This is not the easiest of beers to drink both from the hop intensity and the not so hidden alcohol. Not sure I would have another of these but glad to have tried it.

 1,191 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of paulish
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of smithj4
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of vfgccp
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - White head with great retention and nice lace. Crystal clear, beautiful rich copper amber body.

S - Intense fresh west coast hop aroma; grapefruit, orange zest, and green plant stems.

T - The profile drips with a dense, thick, resiny bitterness. Pine sap, honey, and malt give away to an intense, lingering, grapefruit pith finish.

M - Medium/light body with a bitterness that thickens on your palate.

O - Outrageous. One of my favorite DIPAs on the market.

 465 characters

Photo of mothman
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jgunther71
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Green Flash Palate Wrecker
12 oz. bottle, freshness dated "03/29/13"
$5.50 @ The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, PA

"Palate Wrecker" pours a mostly clear orange-amber body beneath a creamy head of off-white/light-khaki foam. The head retention is fair, and it leaves some nice spots and splashes of lacing about the glass.

The aroma is bold, delivering copious notes of citrus, tropical fruit, sap/resin, and soft pine/spruce that's not unlike a damp forest floor beneath tall evergreens. There's a hint of light floral-alcohol, and a delicate drip of sharp mint as well. Whatever malt that's there, it doesn't quite come through clearly, but rather acts as support for the hops.

Not surprisingly, the malt acts as support for the hops in the flavor as well. This beer is all about hops. Pacific northwest hops to be specific, and probably some high-alpha varieties as well. It's initially citrusy and pineapple-like. The citrus is like rind-like (chalky and raspy), although there are elements of grapefruit juice, and some citron and limon to it as well. I'm not sure what other fruits I might be getting, but I'm thinking tangerine, apple, and papaya. Following that you'll find the evergreens that could be pine, spruce or poplar - or even a blend - depending on where you're at in the glass. Each subsequent sip brings out more pine and sap as it builds on your palate. So note - this is not a beer to drink quickly if you want to find its complexity as it will indeed ruin your palate within the first twelve sips. The first sips will be fruity and citrusy. The next will be piney, and increasingly resinous and bitter. Following that you'll find a bit of malt, and some grass. Throughout all of that the bitterness builds to the point that you reach a threshold, and apart from the bitterness sticking at the back of your throat it hardly seems as bitter as it was on your second or third sip. By mid-glass the 9.5% alcohol by volume will have taken effect, and that throws you a bit as well. Thankfully, even though it's present throughout, it doesn't throw any harshness other than what's expected. And in all honesty, answer me this: if a beer as aggressively hopped and bitter as this was just 5% would you really want to drink it? No, I didn't think so (nor am I even sure that that's a possibility as you really need the malt and alcohol to hold the hop bitterness and flavor).

This is pretty much a special occasion beer because once you drink it you're done. Every beer you have afterward will taste different than you remember. Even food that you have will be somewhat skewed. It's an exercise in going all out. And there's a certain joy in that, but at the same time it's definitely un-balanced. It has to be. It can't be anything else. It's completely balanced towards the hop resins, for both bitterness and flavor. So how to review it number-wise? I'm not sure. I'm just going to go hedonistically and see what happens. Cheers!

 2,942 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a glass snifter.

A: Pours a dark copper color with a slight yeast haze; likewise, the bottom of the bottle remains coated with a thin layer of sediment. The brew is topped with a one finger off-white that has limited retention, but it leaves lots of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Very hop-forward, with suggestions of grapefruit rind, orange juice, and grapefruit juice; rather earthy and floral too. The rich and complex aromas of multiple hop varieties largely mask even the alcohol esters.

T: Some sweetness is there but this is very much a bitter brew, and the bitterness seems to build with repeated tasting. There is less citrus here than in the nose.

M: Full body; Medium+ carbonation; a bit harsh and acidic, presumably from the high hop load and ABV.

O: As warned, this strongly flavored beer assaults the senses and leaves a long-lasting bitter aftertaste with hints of grapefruit and pine. Quite bitter even among DIPAs. A less balanced alternative to brews like Hopslam, Stone Ruination or Hop Stoopid, all of which I definitely prefer to this strong and challenging beverage.

 1,123 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of REVZEB
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Palate Wrecker from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 4,166 ratings