Lazy Boy Brewing and Michael Wilton release Whip Ale
Last night we were fortunate enough to get a pre-release sample of Whip Ale – a new offering from Lazy Boy Brewing, produced on behalf of Michael Wilton of Queensryche. Tonight (December 11th) in Kirkland, Whip Ale will make its official debut – details below. The Pub at Pipers Creek hosted the Heavy Metal Beer Bash last night, with metal-themed beers from Ninkasi Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewing, and Left Hand Brewing. In addition to the those beers, which were publicized as being part of the event, they were also serving Whip Ale. (Sorry. We were sworn to secrecy to protect the integrity of the official release party scheduled for tonight.) Michael Wilton was there early in the evening but left the building before the silly wigs came out.
The beer: Whip Ale is advertised as being “Bold, rich, and aromatic – smooth and well flavored.” Okay. That’s pretty much accurate. It’s a pale ale with a bit of a twist. The nose is floral, but not overwhelming. It tastes more aromatic than it smells, if that makes sense. When it hits your tongue, you will immediately notice the bitter, spicy bite from the hops, and a slightly zesty, citrus quality. It pops in your mouth. The hops dissipate and you recognize the balance. It is fairly light in terms of its maltiness and mouthfeel. The Whip finishes very clean and very quick. The hops’ bitterness does not linger–just pops you in the nose and then goes down easy. The Whip Ale is hoppier than most pales ales out there today, but it does not overwhelm your palate with bitterness the way an IPA might. We were told that it is estimated to be around 45 IBUs, but it presents itself as being hoppier than that.
My opinion: I like it. It is approachable and also interesting. The hop profile (mostly Simcoe and Cascade hops, with a touch of Mt. Hood hops) is awesome, maybe brilliant. It’s pretty ballsy fronting a pale ale with a smack of Simcoes like that. I can imagine this beer appealing to a lot of different palates, ranging from the entry-level craft beer drinker to the advanced craft beer drinker. It has enough of a sumpin’-sumpin’ going on that it appealed to me, a person who usually reaches for IPAs and Imperial IPAs.
True to its rock-n-roll roots, this is one that I can imagine tipping back all night long. Without making any silly references to tour buses and backstage passes, I’ll just say it goes down easy. In that respect, it’s a naughty little beer that you just want to bend over your knee and spank. It’s like that girl you knew in high school who got straight A’s at school but also managed to get backstage at the Van Halen concert. Dang it! Said I wasn’t going to go there. Oh well.
Whip Ale is produced by Lazy Boy Brewing on behalf of, and under the direction of, Michael Wilton of Queensryche. Our conversation with Shawn Loring of Lazy Boy Brewing suggested that Michael played a larger part in shaping the beer than many people might imagine. “He came in with good information and a pretty good idea of how he wanted the beer to taste,” Shawn told us. “We threw some ideas around. I told him what was and was not possible and we came up with this. He did his research, that’s for sure.”
The plan is for Whip Ale to be distributed nationally in 2010. How Lazy Boy Brewing will be involved in that plan remains to be seen. For now, I hope to see Whip Ale show up around town. It’s a worthy beer with a cool story behind it.
Here is the information about tonight’s release party:
Event: Official Launch Party of “Whip Ale”
Address: 8544 122nd Ave NE
Date: Friday, December 11, 2009
Time: 7:30 pm PST
Show: 21 +
Cover: Free Admission
Kevin Hoffman (Outshined, Rattlesnake Suitcase)
Dirty Hollywood (Motley Crue Tribute)
Guns of Nevada