|Ain't that a kick in the head.|
Gigantic Brewing Company has become one of my most favorite Portland Brewers. They put out some mighty solid beers. And not that it's majorly important, but their label art is pretty solid, too. I look forward to the artwork featured on their new releases almost as much as the beer inside the bottle.
Gigantic recently released their version of the Northwest IIPA. Whole in the Head comes with an ABV of 8.5% and some nifty label graphics. Hey, you can't go wrong with a spooky-looking skull motif.
The beer poured into my imperial pint glass a bright, orange/amber color. The white head came up at just over a finger thick and dissipated slowly. A good amount of lacing remained and left spiderweb remnants all over the glass.
Aroma was citrus hops and more citrus hops, along with a touch of resinous pine. Grapefruit and orange, with hints of tropical fruit. Pineapple and guava. Reminded me of POG in the background. Sweet caramel malt is also present and accounted for.
Taste followed the nose. The label proclaims this brew to be a hop bomb. My hops tolerance level is very highly elevated, so to me, a "hop bomb" means there should be some major stinging to the salivary glands involved. A big pucker that makes you shake your head and go "Bluhhhhhhhh!" This IIPA doesn't do that for me, however, it is definitely a tangy treat. A bit spicy and peppery in the finish. There's also a really nice malt flavor that hangs around in the aftertaste.
Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. This is the quintessential NW IIPA. I'm guessing Cascade or Citra hops in the mix? Whatever. I really like it and I'm not finding a flaw. The Wonder Beagle loved the smell of the stuff, too. I suppose every NW brewery has to have an IIPA in it's beer stable and this one is a f**king thoroughbred.
I'm giving Whole in the Head a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. A perfect score.