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Palate Wrecker | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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

Style: American Double / 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 727 | Ratings: 4,035
Photo of Act25
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this brewer. Consider this an experiment and not a regular beer for me.

A: crystal clear, burnt orange, bright clarity. Pleasant white head that lasts and laces. modest pinpoint carbonation
S: All citrus, pine, sharp hops. Acute, bright, tight, not much malts.
T: Follows the smell, but more complex, and nuanced, dank, herbal, pine and grass add to the citrus brass.
MF: Sharp, tingle, bitter. But interesting, kind of like a liquore, cointreau or a brandy. Good in that way. Good to let warm and drink like a brandy.

More of an after dinner brandy that an IPA. Interesting to let warm and let flatten. Good both at cellar temp and warm. Odd one.

Too much? Yes! but well done, and interesting. Yes! I am nursing with some chocolates and late night reading.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a decent amount of head and shows pretty good retention. The head is a very light beige that is almost off-white while the body is a medium to dark amber which appears as a medium amber in the light. A good amount of lacing has been left behind.

Nose- Starts with a blast of hops that range from musty to grapefruit to more generic citrus notes. Some pine and resin. Some tropical fruits. A bit of honey. The glass shows a little more caramel but even this seems to get covered over by the aromatic and fruity hops. While I know that the fruity hops won't carry over to the flavor profile, here's hoping...

Taste- Has a hint of sweetness and then just launches a full out assault of bitter hops. Very deep grapefruit, pine and resin, lots of earwax. It's like licking bark. Some sweetness tries to peak through but the bittering hops are pretty boisterous in this one. I'm not surprised by any of this or the strong burnt caramel presence that is only deepened by the extreme grapefruit and matchstick notes. Five years ago, I would have loved this beer. Now, I can't stand a beer like this. Not that it isn't good; it's a pretty solid beer and accomplishes its aims. Does have enough milder fruitiness about it to sustain it. I do catch some orange, some hints of honey and floral notes. It's a really good beer when it isn't being so goddamn abrasive and clearly shows why it's ranked as high as it is.

Mouthfeel- Pretty heavy, this moves it into American Barleywine range. A little more than medium bodied with a thick, syrup texture that has a bit of zip. While structurally sound, even the mouthfeel seems abrasive.

Drinkability- This one is not easy. For a second it is, but this quickly turns. It's brash, it's abrasive. It still has enough of a malt backbone to keep this in check while your palate does indeed get wrecked. If you're into that kind of thing, 3.49 ain't that bad. For me, it's way too much.

Overall- Solid beer for me but I understand the love. This beer is not bullshit- this is one of the most devastatingly hopped beers I've ever had. I used to like that but now, a beer like this is a chore. It is alcoholic enough to make me briefly forget all that though. Worth a try but it is pretty much what it says it is.

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Photo of alanamato
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is deliciously wonderful and lives every bit up to it's name. It has just the right balance of 'WOW' and 'OUCH' with a finishing 'DAMN'. Can't wait to crack another and get wrecked again.

West Coast definitely jarred something loose with this one.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$3.49 single that Brandon at Fairway Sav-Mor got for me (why thank you, kind sir!)

Appearance: A beautiful orange/amber color with a nice haze. Semi-aggressive pour resulted in a perfect pour with two fingers of head floating on top... soapy and creamy in texture. Awesome lacing. Phenomenal looking beer.

Smell: Holy hell, that's the stuff. Huge amount of dankness with an overall aggressive hop aroma. A slightly dirty character to it as well. A lot of that earthy pine aroma, with underlying fruitiness and maltiness.

Taste: Hm, juuust a little hoppy, eh? Wow. So many hop flavors on this one from the pine resin stickiness, lemon zest flavor and bitterness, tropical fruits, and just a really nice amount of malt that really accents the beer nicely. Yes, accents -- there's a decently sweet malt profile, but this is most definitely a hop head's sort of brew, as it's got a face smacking amount of bitterness on the finish. Perfect choice when you just want a bold, gigantic, bitter brew.

Feel: A nice medium body with medium carbonation that works wonders on this beer. Not too thick to drink like some sort of medicine, and the carbonation's not too high as to help make the bitterness overwhelming.

Palate Wrecker is right. Stone has their Ruination, which is supposedly palate wrecking, but I thought that beer was pleasantly balanced -- this is a different beast. This beer isn't quite balanced, but it doesn't look to be. It's showcasing the hops the best way Green Flash knows how, and this is a masterfully crafted beer. I prefer this to their West Coast IPA by quite a margin, and would consider this to now be one of my all-time favorite DIPAs.

The ONLY reason I won't give this one a higher rating is because as great as it is, the bitterness would probably stop me from drinking a lot of this before the ABV caught up to me. Regardless, legendary brew.

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Photo of TheFizzinator
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looking a beautiful deep orange/bronze mixture with a nice frothy head. The smell, tropical fruits ahoy! There is a touch of spiciness and onion in the nose as well. Not off putting in the slightest, it actually smells quite wonderful. This thing is practically a Quad IPA if such a thing were true. So the initial and sustained bitterness is not exactly a secret with this beer called Palate Wrecker. The onion hits harder on the taste and fills around the bitterness and burst of tropical fruits. The mouth is actually kind of smooth and creamy but with a huge dry finish. Medium carbonation in play.

It's a huge hop bomb that does what the name implies. I think I need to lie down now.

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Photo of dar482
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a golden orange color.

The aroma has floral, dankness, pine, orange, grapefruit, along with a sweet bready malt.

The beer comes strong and is aggressively bitter. There is lots of floral hops, a tinge of garlic flavor, but throughout the beer is very green and leafy, almost like used up tea leaves. It almost tastes of a cooked leafy vegetable. It's not a bright green flavor, but substantial and leafy. There's a dankness with a big bready malt that is not very sweet. The finish keeps going one with "greeness" and pine.

A well made beer that hides its alcohol quite well. Unlike a fruity West Coast style of DIPA, this plays on those green and pine hop flavors. Even if it's not one's preference, this is a great beer to have around.

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Photo of Steamer
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber with a cream colored head.I can smell the hops 2 feet away - pine needles and lemon zest. Amazingly smooth; a pleasant hops bitterness settles in on the palate after a while, but there is also a distinctive grapefruit tartness - outstanding. Hardly any hint of the alcohol; surprising considering the high ABV. Leaves the mouth dry and wanting more. The name kept me from trying this one before as I'm not usually a fan of extreme hops. I'm glad I tried it because, even though it may be quite hopped up, it is exceptionally well-crafted and blended.

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty amber orange with a half finger of slightly off-white carbonation.

Huge aroma of bitter hop resins, citrus and pine.

Citrus and intensely bitter hop resins.

Medium-bodied, low carbonation, bitter.

Overall, true to its name this is one bitter mother.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear and orange amber with a fat creamy head of off white orange tinged foam that sits there all day and never really falls completely. Refreshes with each tip of the glass and leaves lovely lace.

Nose is BIG! Big pine, big grapefruit citrus with pithy tartness. Some orange peel to brighten and to sweet that and maybe even some tropical back notes. The malt is like an icy little bit of sugar on the nose. There is just a faint touch of onion on the nose but it is not prominent and not off putting.

Taste is even BIGGER! Huge pine needles, tart and wonderfully pithy grapefruit. Sweet, sweet orange and a malt that is unsung but it must be there. The mouthfeel is sticky from the tip of the tongue to the back palate. Coats the whole mouth with a nice sticky resin and allows all those flavors to reside. That faint little bit of onion is a touch spicy on the palate and gives this depth. It finishes with a substantial bitter. The bitter starts mid palate and gets stronger by the time it finishes. It lingers in the aftertaste with all the other flavors. Dry crisp and no alcohol on the palate.

Wonderful! Everything you expected from a beer name Palate Wrecker.

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Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass
A: Orange color with a one-finger head
S: Grapefruit, pine resin, light malt
T: Hoppy. Pine first, then grapefruit then generic malt flavors. Very bitter, very hoppy, slightly one dimensional
M: Bitter and hoppy
O: Even though I love hoppy beers, the beer's name does hold true, the hops are almost a bit too much for my palate. Take that as a bit of a warning but overall it's still a solid well-made beer

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Photo of lochef81
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Damn this is good! Pours a deep red copper color with a long lasting Off white head. The aroma is pure hoppy bitterness. Fresh and clean. Pine, citrus, and grass. It sips clean and refreshing. Coats the mouth just right with a beautiful hop resin that lasts well longer than this ale will. The flavor explodes in the mouth with a burst of fresh bitter hops. All the aroma notes shine through. This is an awesome imperial ipa for those hop heads outthere. May even blow hop slam out of the water.

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to a snifter, best by 6/11/14

Pours a clear dark golden orange with two fingers of foam. Very mild carbonation, great retention and lacing. Ideal looking beer

Smells of strong hops- the main profile being floral. Behind that some earthy citrus- lemon and grapefruit with notes of pine. A sweet bready malt makes up the backbone, finishing with a touch of alcohol.

Taste is with the nose, strong upfront floral hops with strong notes of citrus, again strong lemon with some pine. The malt isn't as bready or sweet on the palate as it is in the aroma, still definitely there. Also finishes with a splash of booze

Feel is a medium body with a dry finish. Most noticeable thing here is the bitterness, which stays around for quite a while. No where near 1000 ibu, but the closest thing I've had that really made my tongue quiver

Overall delivers exactly what it promises. Has everything an ipa should, drops like a hammer

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Green Flash Palate Wrecker
From 1/22/14 tasting notes...

Enjoyed on draft at Benno's in West Allis, WI. This was a 10 oz tapper. Served chilled...

A) This was an amber brew, with a small white head. The head stuck around for the duration, and there were a few rings of lace clinging to the glass. Nice...

S) Indeed, the hops is strong in the aroma. Sticky pine and citrus rind primarily. Light floral and tropical fruit as well.

T) Kaboom... It's a hop bomb... Pine, grapefruit, orange peel. Strong lingering bitterness is in store for you. I don't think perfect balance in the flavor department was the intention here, although the malt base does provide some sweetness. Additionally, the alcohol is well hidden. I wouldn't have guessed this is a 9.5% ABV.

M) Medium bodied with peppy carbonation. My palate was coated in sticky hop bitterness. Finishes dry with some citrus rind and pine.

O) A must try for hop heads... Did it leave my palate scorched and destroyed for the remainder of my visit to Benno's? Well, not exactly, but I did eat two corn dogs, and some chips before enjoying my next brew. Glad to recommend...

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with stillmatic2232.

Pours a dark orange, with a one inch head, and good lacing down the glass.

Smells quite herbal and earthy, lots of pine, and some citrus. No malt aromas at all.

The taste follows suit. This bottle is slightly old, so some sweet malt flavors are shining a little bit, but it's still quite the hop bomb you'd expect. Lots of earthy pine and grapefruit flavors, sweet but spicy. Very dank and herbal. Searing bitterness.

Medium bodied, crisp mouthfeel, miraculously stays dry. Low carbonation.

Incredibly hoppy beer from Green Flash, but what do you expect from these guys? Manages to stay drinkable, despite the barrage of flavors.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 06/03/14. That's a long ways off. Tasted 21 January 2014.

Pours very clear dark orange. One finger of yellowish head. Good retention, solid lacing. Not much visible carbonation. Nice color.

Smell is a blast of pine, well backed by potent caramely sweetness. One of the most powerfully piney IPAs I've encountered, and fantastic.

Taste is excellent. It's robust, a bit sweet before the piney bitterness kicks. No joke about wrecking your palate - the hop bitterness in this will do some damage to the taste buds. Lasting, too.

Feel is really good. Full-bodied, sticky, and persistent, but with enough carbonation to keep things stirred up. Excellent.

I really like this beer. It's like a West Coast IPA jacked up a big notch. Super piney, super bitter, and outstanding.

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Photo of threeviews
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (Best By: 05-27-14) into a 13oz, Defiant Brewery etched tulip/balloon glass.

A- Pours a clear copper/amber color with a 1.5 finger, eggshell white, soapy head which sticks around for quite awhile...beautiful lacing as the brew is consumed.

S- Pungent dank hops: bitter citrus, pine resin, sweet tropical fruit and some booze.

T- Pine at the front of the palate followed by citrus flesh and and then bitter citrus rind. In contrast, I don't feel this is as an extreme DIPA as mentioned in previous reviews. Hop forward? Yes, absolutely...but not astringent as some might report.

M- A fairly slick (honey-like) mouthfeel. Chico/American/California ale yeast provides mild carbonation and allows the hop oils to have adequate time to absorb into the palate. A substantial malt backbone supports the hops nicely.

O- Despite the disparagement with ABV, Palate Wrecker is overtly reminiscent of Stone's Ruination IPA than anything else. If you have a penchant for bitter brews...this might be your weapon of choice. For the price, however, I will take Stone's Ruination without a thought. This is my 4th Green Flash brew and although I enjoy Palate Wrecker, I will prefer their Green Bullet, as it is much more unique. If/When Green Flash' satellite brewery in Virginia Beach, VA launches, I hope that brews like Palate Wrecker will be more affordable in the East Coast....until then, I will take Stone's Ruination IPA. (4Pack - $13.59)

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Photo of JaredM
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Very clear with a steady stream of bubbles coming up but no head to speak of. Nice tangerine color.

S: Oh my this smells delicious. An incredibly pungent aroma of citrusy hops that makes my mouth water. So many delicious tropical fruits in the smell - grapefruit, peach, apricot, etc.

T: Wow do those hops ever present themselves up front in the taste and surprisingly, there is a follow up of malt right after which gives the beer some backbone. Insanely bitter finish that truly does wreck the palate.

M: Very light and smooth mouthfeel. Little carbonation on the palate.

O: This is a fun beer to drink. There is so much going on that it's hard to wrap your head around it. It does not feel like 9.5% ABV, more like 7.5% or so. Takes awhile for your palate to get use to this beer. Wonderfully refreshing and complex all at the same time. Highly recommended.

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Photo of scotorum
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 5/27/14. Optimistic, aren't they? Well, not necessarily, read on!

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick

a: Clear copper with an inch tall offwhite head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Moderate pine.

t: Heavy caramel malt forward followed quickly by a solid hop bite which intensifies to yes nearly palate wrecking extent. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue. High ABV is covered by the one-two punch of heavy caramel malt and strong pine hops.

m: Moderate to heavy, heavier than the clear liquid would suggest. Very smooth.

o: Loving the intensity of both malt and hops here! It is subtitled "Hamilton's Ale," so I'm wondering if the heavy caramel malt is basically something like a Scotch ale base, which would make this an Imperial Scotch Ale. If so it works wonderfully well! This is one of my new favorite Imperial IPAs, too bad it's so damned expensive, I paid over $4 for this one. But I appreciate what the Green Flashers must have had to do to put all this into it, and will gladly pay the price for this occasional treat.

UPDATE 3/4/14: Found a fourpack for $14 in Connecticut, so $3.50@ is a little better. Having the first bottle from that now, (Best By 6/27/14) and it generally confirms my earlier review, except I'm not getting as much of my beloved caramel malt aroma or flavor as reported before, and not as much as in the Shipyard XXXX I had last night. Also reducing the rating on mouthfeel from 4.5-4. But it's still so good, I'm surprised it's almost gone already. With luck and the creek don't rise, this will be a favorite top-hoppy seasonal of yours truly for years to come.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear amber not much carbonation, two finger white head that leaves some lacing.

S-Lots of pine, earthy, dirt. More pine. Harsh (in a good way) hops. Some malt to balance it out.

T-Like the nose, a lot of pine, earthy notes and dirt. Some orange/citrus notes. Then a good deal of bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, leaves a strong hop bite on your tongue.

O-At the end of the day it is too harsh and not balanced enough. Yes it packs a hop bunch but the balance isn't there.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber/orange and translucent with a foamy white head.

S: Grapefruit peel, orange, lots of citrus in the nose and maybe some nectary mango and some pine and other floral notes in nose.

T: Taste is basically the same, that is to say, delicious.

M: Full bodied and not smooth but drinkable, not harsh.

O: An excellent Imperial IPA, one of my favorites from the San Diego area.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottle says best by 06/03/14.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing on the glass.

Smell: A very ripe, dank, and juicy hop forward aroma with a big scent of earthy and citrus hops. Big scent of citrus hops upfront with hints of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, lemon, and melon. Big presence of earthy and floral hops. Hints of grass and spicy pine resin. Backing presence of malt with hints of sweet caramel, cracker, grains, and yeast. A very good tropical aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a sharp, bitter, juicy, and spicy hop dominated taste with big notes of citrus and earthy hops. Huge spicy and dank earthy pine resin taste along with some grassy hops. Big citrus hop taste with notes of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, pineapple, apricot, tangerine, lemon, and melon. Hops are pretty sharp and bitter. Background presence of malt with notes of sweet caramel, grains, cracker, and yeast. A very good juicy taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very juicy, chewy, and oily. Finishes very dry. Booze is hardly noticeable with the onslaught of hops.

Overall: A very good imperial West Coast style IPA. Lives up to its name with a very bitter and juicy mix of hop flavors.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark gold to light amber in color with a white head
S-piney hop taste and grapefruit
T-The name is fitter, Strong pine resin flavor that stayed with you til the end. It seems pine resin is stuck in your mouth
M-medium body, and medium carbonation
O- if you like hops this is the beer for you

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty dank, but this is one that probably shouldn't be bottled. I've had it in that format a few times, and never felt it lived up to the name, and this is no exception. Resinous, malt sugars, moderate bitterness. The bottles are just not really notable, even buying them from a cooler at a bottle shop with high turn-over, like I did with the bomber from The Bier Stein in Eugene.

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Photo of hardy008
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with a small off white head, with very good retention and spotty lacing. Has a strong aroma with grapefruit, pine, citrus zest, onion, and caramel. Smells like there is should be a lot of malt sweetness.

There is a good amount of sweetness and hop bitterness in the taste, with caramel, grapefruit, citrus zest, pine, onion, and oranges. Tastes about as sweet as I thought it would, based on the aroma.

Medium bodied with modest carbonation. Leaves a sticky sweet feeling in the mouth after each sip. Resinous with a dry finish. The alcohol is well disguised for a 9.50 % abv beer. Well worth trying if you get the chance.

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into pint glass.

A: Amber orange that is slightly cloudy. Not much visible carbonation. Thin one finger head that vanishes quickly. Good splotchy lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Massive sticky pine, cedar, and spruce aromas with some floral, caramel, and grapefruit in the background.

T: Dank, bitter hop flavor, super sticky resin, tobacco, chewy biscuits, toasted / charred marshmallow.

M: Medium to med heavy bodied ale. Those hops certainly do dominate and create a bitter burn on the tongue, fortunately that is to my liking, but can see where others might find that overwhelming. There is just enough sweetness to keep this from completely burning the tongue.

O: A challenging beer even for the avid hop head. I enjoyed it, but taking down more than one pint truly wrecks your ability to taste anything else.

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Palate Wrecker from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 4,035 ratings.
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