Midnight Project #3 Oxymoron | Left Hand Brewing Company

Midnight Project #3 OxymoronMidnight Project #3 Oxymoron
91 Ratings
Midnight Project #3 OxymoronMidnight Project #3 Oxymoron

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
India Pale Lager

Added by Mavajo on 08-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oxymoron pours a very clear copper color. Backlighting gives it a slight garnet tint. A creamy, off-white head caps it. It's nearly two fingers tall and recedes slowly. Lacing is definitely sticky, but moderate in terms of volume. Not bad.

The nose is interesting. It kicks off with a sweet, caramel malt scent. They're followed by a rather strong hop aroma. They're floral, and perhaps a bit piney. Very noble-esque. I don't know what the hop bill consists of, but that'd be my guess. There's an interesting mix of spices that emerges late. Alcohol is blended well and isn't too strong. Eh. It's okay. Interesting, but just okay.

The flavor is a little better than the nose. Enough to warrant a score bump. It is very sweet initially. Caramel/toffee flavors are rather strong throughout, but do provide a sturdy, flavorful base. They are complemented by a blend of floral and spicy hops. They do seem noble in character to me, but I don't know that for sure. It's a little bitter, but is balanced to a large degree by the malts. Alcohol is blended pretty well, and isn't much of a factor. It finishes sweet, a little bitter, and very dry.

Oxymoron has a body that's on the light side of medium. Given the substantial amount of malty sweetness, I'm surprised it feels so thin. More body would be good. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's pretty good, but gets a little old. A bomber's probably a little much.

Oxymoron is an interesting concept that is pretty good beer. I've never had an India Pale Lager before. It's alright, but isn't a great success. It's a little too sweet and balanced for my taste. Less malts might be a step in the right direction. It's worth a try, but that's probably about it. Stick with a single bomber.

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Photo of ncfranklin
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle bought in Nashville, TN.

A: Orange to red, murky with a soapy tan head.

S: Just like one would expect from lager/ale mashup beer, trademark lager yeastiness with floral and pine hop.

T: Odd. Quite odd. A bit malty, but still very bitter on the end. No floral or pine quality like a traditional IPA. Grassy takes over on the finish. Nothing really standout flavor, or very likable.

M: Medium body, and quite tingly from the bitterness.

D: I really don't care for this beer at all. I may have let it set in the fridge too long to get any real hop quality out of it, so all I was left with is a subpar lager that's extremely bitter. Would not drink again.

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Photo of tchenery
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice light amberish color (more orange) with a thin lager type head that is slgihtly off white. It is a bit hazy though for a "lager".

Smells very lager like on the first whiff. It has that soft subtle straightforward beery smell. This transforms into a fruity hop profile that plays with the raisiny pale malt aromas as well.

Lager taste profile with a shot in the arm. It's smooth and has that pilsener/lager twang that is almost metallic but it is amped up to a degree that is quite strange. Slightly fruity on the back end and an odd bitterness to it, but most of this beer is malt oriented in flavor. The metallic taste sticks around well after.

Very round and chewy.

It's a good one time thing I guess. Definitely one of those experimental brews that helps you learn about different aspects of beer by performing them to excess.

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Photo of obywan59
4.01/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. Bottled June 18, 2010. A collaboration between Left Hand and Terrapin. They call it a Teutonic India Pale Lager on the label.

Pours a nice light amber color with a 3 1/2 finger chunky white head leaving moderate lacing. Almost transparent with decent amount of carbonation bubbles early on.

Smells like biscuits with honey at first. Very nice. After I started drinking it however, I got more of a funky smell reminiscent of slightly rotted cabbage. More pleasant piney aromas develop as the beer warms. more of a hop presence.

At first, the taste was overbalanced to the bitter side. The bitterness not being all that pleasant. As the beer warmed though, the sweetness rose to balance the bitterness and the taste was much improved.

Moderate mouthfeel. lightly carbonated.

Halfway through this beer I never would have thought I would give it a 4.5 for drinkability, what with the secondary aroma of rotting cabbage and the initial unpleasant bitterness, but both flavor and aroma greatly improved as the beer warmed. Aroma went from a 4 or 4.5 down to a 2.5 and back up. Taste went from a sub 3 back to a 4. Like a good movie, bringing you down and then lifting you up in the end.

Maybe that's why they called it Oxymoron. Contradictory aromas. Contradictory tastes. It was a very entertaining beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 6-18-10. Consumed 12-03-10.

A: A flat weathered orange has a frothy 1 finger head that displayed very good retention. Inside a small steady stream of tightly knitted micro-bubbles make their way upward. The lacing is thick and bready with a 90% glass coverage. A lager with a rustic color and well retaining head should garnish some extra merit here.

S: The nose is a mixture of its 6 different kinds of hops. Unfortunately the combination is more of a hodge-podge rather then individual merit. A mixture of wet grass, moist orange-peels and chives are present. Fresh wet pine needles can be detected underneath. Definitely a decent amount of hoppage for a lager style, though muddled for the most part. Half the hops would of made more of an individual distinction.

T: Kinda strange first impression. Spicy citrus with a flowery edge comes through with a good amount of bitterness on the finish. Pine and floral notes with some alcohol warmth and stale grains are also about. The hops are bitter on the swallow but again the hodge-podge contraption and overuse of different varieties moot each other out with a light stale malt support.

M: Light bodied, some stale citrus and alcohol can be had on the tongue. Turns creamy and washy on longer holds with a soft carbonation (aka lacks the lager crispness).

D: When I think of lager, I think cool, refreshing with a distinct crispness, easy on the take. When I think India pale ale I think bitter but also crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day. This beer seems to have captured the assertive bitterness of the ipa but the crisp lager likeness gets lost in the combination making it hardly distinguishable. Aptly named though not aptly suited for repeatability.

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Photo of Ambiorix
3.01/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear copper pour, foamy, rather fast fading light tan head.

S: Bready, slightly sweet caramel malt, slightly floral with little hop character.

T: Caramel malt, very grassy hops, a little too astringent in the finish without any real hop character. Bitter, medicinal aftertatse.

M: A little thick but balanced with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Oxymoron may be an apt moniker, as this brew can't seem to make up its mind as to what it wants to be. It seems neither pilsner-like nor pale ale-like. Not a bad beer, but not one I'll try again.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= A little hazy in color a little bit oranage/copper in collor nice head with some decent lacing.

S= I think the malts kind of overpowered this beer. You could smell the citrus hops but they where faint IMO.

T= Again I think the malts overpowered this beer the hops kind of took a backseat in this beer came out very little in the taste.

M= Medium bodied beer, right amount of carbonation.

D= I was kind of disappointed in this beer but I think I'm just use to "hoppy" beers but it was pretty easy to drink and went down nice.

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Photo of emerge077
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice jewel-tone orange, deep saturated color. Fluffy cap of foam that stays around for a bit. Sticky crest of lacing arcs around the glass, retaining some dimension. A thick ring of foam remains around the edge of the liquid, while a wispy skim floats on the surface.

Sweet malty nose, initially a little skunky from noble hops. Later a swirl brings out dry floral aromatics, a little bit perfumey.

Medium bodied with some bitter citrus peel, and dry weedy notes. Fleeting malt sweetness in the form of crispbread or crackers. Bitter citrus tea. Dry bitterness lingers in the back of the throat, like after eating a raw dandelion. Carbonation is ok, but the jarring dandelion bitterness building in the finish doesn't really jive with the beer as a whole. Something I can finish, but not hoping for a repeat brewing of this one.

Time may have faded this some, unfortunately the stamped date was smudged on all the bottles at the store. "~ 18 10" (can't make out the 1st digit, probably an 8 or 9, judging from the earliest reviews here...making this brew 2-3 months old).

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy, nice orange/copper color, with a 2+ finger, soy milk colored head. Lacing is great.

Aroma is slightly sweet, with some predominant malts. There are some backing hops, mainly citrus or tropical fruits.

This is definitely unique to me, and a bit hard to describe. It's fairly malty, and crisp, with some citrus, and a hint of spice. There is a bit of alcohol lingering on the finish.

Feel is rather creamy, lower in carbonation. Upper light in body.

Pretty average drinkability.

Overall unique, and interesting take on the style, but I've definitely had much better before.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.64/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A golden amber appearance. It definitely looks like an IPA.

S - The malts overwhelm the hops in my opinion.

T - The german malts are very prevalent. Truly a clash of a German lager with an American IPA, and I think the German lager wins the battle as the 6 types of malts overwhelm the hops.

M - Nothing special. The carbonation is not very strong and the beer

D - I like it and could drink it again. It grew on me the more I had of it.

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Photo of claspada
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas are quite lager-tastic. Heavier on the pilsner and biscuit malt with some caramel and some lighter floral and earthy hops.

The taste follows the nose with caramel and lighter specialty grains and some sweet biscuity bread. It is then followed by some grassy hops and finishes with a nice pleasant bitterness. I have to say though there is an odd something I can't pick out which is really preventing me from fully enjoying this beer. There's too much of one kind of malt, but I can't pick it out.

The mouthfeel is medium-to-thick bodied but also crisp and smooth; mid level carbonation.

Overall this a weird beer; I'd enjoy it more if the hop profile was a little more crisp and not just characterized by a lasting bitter. Not bad, but not worth the $10 price tag I paid for it.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer lives up to its name. It is confusing. Its called a teutonic india pale lager, and I guess that is what it taste like.

A- Translucent honey color with a thick foamy head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Confusing. I swear the first smell was hops and the second had no hops only caramel malts. The more I drank it the more dominant the hops were on the nose. Sweet smells of toffee and pine.

T- caramel malts with earthy tones of grass. Hints of citrus. Hoppy finish. Confusing. Is this a pilsner with hops? A pale ale? A lager? An IPA? It taste like all of them.

M- Crisp, toasty, and mellow. Nice light body.

D- Refreshing and confusing. It was a fun brew that lived up to its name.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The tawny colored body was crystal clear, and formed a one finger thick head, while looking very invitingly bubbly. The smell was very hoppy, with the spicy aroma of noble hops predominating, and was followed by a whiff of caramel from the malt. The taste was a cross between a Maibock and a Festbier, as the caramel flavoring of the malt mingled with a spicy hop dryness. Crisp and toasty like a lager should be. A bit on the watery side compared to a proper IPA, but I suppose that this was a result of the cleanup done by the bottom dwelling yeast. The alcohol content did not feel anywhere near 7.2%, and the beer went down very easy. I liked this beer a lot more than I though I would. Quite different than the other Imperial Pilsners I've tasted, and a lot closer to the original inspiration.

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Photo of CBlack85
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Smuttynose big beer balloon glass.

The beer pours a very clear orange/copper color with about two fingers worth of light foamy off white head that recedes quickly and leaves quite a bit of lacing behind.

The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice piney hop presence to maintain balance. Lots of caramel malts and floral & piney hops. Very nice

The taste is not nearly as balanced as the nose. While all of the sweet caramel malts in the aroma are there in the taste, the hops are overly bitter and biting. The beer is medium/light bodied and finishes dry.

Over all the beer is not bad, it is more hop forward than I would expect with a lager, but they do classify it as a "India Pale Lager", in which case it seems to fit the bill.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a very nice golden amber color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is some faint pale malts with some hops. I'm a little underwhelmed by the nose, hopefully the taste is more flavorful.

T- The taste does impress more than the nose. There is some malts up front with a nice dose of bitterness (grapefruit) from the hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I enjoyed this one but it didn't really blow ms away. A decent beer but probably not something I'd buy again. Worth a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a lighter amber color with a 1" head that lasts a bit.

Smell: light caramel sweetness and a bit of floral hop bitterness are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: decent malt profile here as caramel, red apples, a bit of earthiness, and a moderate bitterness create a nice flavored lager.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: this beer went down smoothly and can be consumed pretty quickly. Somewhat refreshing too.

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Photo of Pencible
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear dark gold with moderate off-white head.
S: It smelled like strong grapefruit and pine hops balanced with lots of earthy malt and bready yeast.
T: It tasted like it smelled, with lots of grapefruit and pine hops mixed together with earthy malt and bready yeast. It had a mostly bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Kind of weak body.
D: This was a strange blend of powerful American hops like you would find in an IPA, along with lots of lager malts and yeast. The end result was confusing more than it was enjoyable. It wasn't difficult to drink, but it really didn't do much for me either.

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Photo of generalnotsew
2.96/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours very dark amber typical of most IPA's weak head at first but it did finally grow to a decent size. Smell is faint bitter sweet corn malts. Not strong but it is a nice clean smell. Taste is fairly odd. Quite a pungent sweetness upfront with a strange out of place kind of bitterness following up. Carbonation and mouthfeel is quite weak. Very oily and thin. Can't say I could drink a lot of it but it isn't that bad. I usually love my bitterness but it really does seem oddly out of place here.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Giving this a fair try as best I can given it's non-traditional interpretation of style. Poured a honeyed golden color with minimal white head. Nose was on the lighter side with some Hawaiian sweet bread and peach pit. Bitterness and dryness dominate the palate though, with a whiff of malt sweetness in there somewhere. Finishes dry. More body than what I was expecting. Nothing spectacular to enjoy here though, in any aspect of appreciation.

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Photo of bernardus1212
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served this one up after work. Poured into a ommegang footed-pilsener glass. Nice Cooper color, very clear as well. Thin white head that dissolved pretty quick. Nose is fun, Hoppy citrus alittle floral with some toasty malts and a bit of sweetness.Taste is very light. I guess they called this an Oxymoron for a reason. Pale ale in the beginning with toasty lager at the end. Not much different to a Sam Adams to be honest. EH. I guess so

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Photo of billab914
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. It poured a bright and clear copper color with a thin off-white head barely covering the top of the beer. It actually looks a lot like an Oktoberfest style beer. The head settled out after a few minutes but left some decent lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows a crisp, malty, graininess to it with a bit of caramel. Some earthy, almost peppery hoppiness comes through as well.

The taste also shows a lot of the crisp, grainy, flavors up front. They start to turn into a sweeter, caramel, maltiness towards the finish. A good amount of the earthy, German hop flavors come through and leave a moderate bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being slightly above average. Drinkability is decent, it showed off some nice flavors of the German ingredients. It almost felt like a hopped up Oktoberfest beer. It was interesting but it seemed a bit over the top at times. It went down pretty easy though and was pretty good tasting overall.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 08/18/2010.

22oz. bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Oxymoron is a crystal clear golden orange with thick creamy head. Good retention and some lace left behind.

Aroma is nice and a citrusy, bright hops, fresh.

Flavor is a little strange as it seems to have the hoppiness of an IPA but the lager yeast (if that's what I'm tasting) doesn't really meld. Maybe it's just a strange malt bill but it has too much caramel, bready, pudding-like sweetness that the hops don't even really balance it out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and low in carbonation.

Overall not a fantastic beer but different. I think the latter is really what they were going for here. Unusual, different, but not that good.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike.

Beer is orange / amber with mild haze and white head that leaves lacing on the glass.

Hop bomb citrus ale, I had this pegged as an IPA but this is another one of the IPL, India Pale Lagers, not as good as humulus but still quite good.

Beer is light to medium in body and quite bitter. The hop flavors are a little lacking the mid palate and the connectivity of the palate is off. Since this is a lager, I would aim for more a keller creaminess with the strong hop presence. That would be an awesome way to do it IMO. This beer is OK.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light gold body w/ frothy well-carb'd head that dies quick and leaves a minor lace ring. Earthy, grassy almost-pils like aroma with sharp, lemony citric notes and hints of both spicy pepper and a bready malt substance. Thin-bodied and wet hops abound but I found this beer to be slightly offbalanced and some of the citric hop flavoring felt sour and rather pungently sharp. Not much of a malt presence at all and the backbite is too sharp for me to want to keep drinking this. Not a bad beer but this collaboration needs tweaking.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria.

Poured a light orange copper with a white head. Nose brings a bit of citrus zest along with some mild grainy notes. Taste offers some hops, but.not what I would expect from the IPL "style." Some citrus and a bit of an herbal taste. Mouhfeel is light and slightly bitter. Drinks fairly well but is not what it could be given the hoppy portfolios of the breweries individually.

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Midnight Project #3 Oxymoron from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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