I have been anticipating the release of this beer for nearly a year, and finally here it is!!!
Imperial Pale Ale
2011 Fresh Hop Edition
Once a year Beer Valley Brewing Company releases 2 Fresh Hopped versions of their beer; Black Flag Imperial Stout and Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale. They use local hops fresh off the vine, right here in the treasure valley, from Hop farms near the Snake River. Other brewing companies here in the Northwest release Fresh Hop beers, mostly a month earlier than this one. But because Leafer Madness is an Imperial Ale, it takes a bit longer to age and condition. And we are all well rewarded for our patience.
Another fun fact; Idaho is the 3rd largest Hop producing state behind Washington and Oregon. Idaho also houses the largest Hop Farm in The World!!!(unfortunately owned by A-B_ig Bad Beer company to use in their flavorless beer) -Whoa! easy on the negative vibes brah ;]
Anyways, this beer is so great, local brewery, local ingredients, big and heady!! Madness!!!
This beer being freshly hopped, has a different taste than your regularly hopped beers. I'd say the flavor is a bit more bright, clean and fresh, like a cool bowl of salad hiding subtly in your glass of brew!!
This beer has smooth hop flavor; flowery, herbal, and grassy. The aroma is flowery and piney; like sitting in a sunny meadow in late spring, that shines in the dark depths of a pine forest. Yes magical, and you feel this magical as you drink the Leafer Madness.
After the pour, a huge white beautiful creamy-soft head develops, just like whip cream on a caramel latte. But instead of a long day ahead, I suggest you take the afternoon off and drift away on a puffy cloud, of Leafer Madness!!
The malt is big in this beer, to make a 9% ABV, but balanced by loads of fresh hops from right here in Idaho. There is a forward sweetness, bready and grainy, with a soft deep hazy-orange color. Though the pleasant malt paves the way for a hop-dank explosion, and the hops are what this beer is all about. The mouth-feel is medium, initial sweetness with a mild dry finish. Initial tastes picks up a citrus rind bitterness in the back and sides of tongue, that disappears with more drinks, and the other malt and hop flavors come forth. Some sweet and spicy/minty, flowery and lightly herbal/grassy. Flavor has it all!!
One shop has sold out for the year, I hope to have a couple more before they are gone....and then I will have to wait for next years late summer and fall, for another round of fresh hopped beers from the great Northwest.