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Belt’s Beer Garden: It’s the Fuzz!!

New England Brewing Co’s Fuzzy Baby Ducks & Double Fuzzy

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Today it’s my honor to share with you a couple of coveted beers from the North East...notably Connecticut.

New England Brewing Company is nestled in Woodbridge, Connecticut just four miles from Yale University. They opened their doors in June of 2003 and were one of the pioneers in canning craft beer…which, until just a few years ago, they had to by hand (Ugh!).

They can be found in just two states right now – Connecticut and New York – but, over the past 15 years, rumors of their amazing brews such a Sea Hag, Imperial Stout Trooper, and G-Bot (formerly known as Gandhi Bot) spread and they became a very hot commodity across the country, especially after Beer Advocate listed them as a top-20 brewery in both 2009 and 2010.

However, there is one particular beer from NEBCo. that people seek out and will do just about anything for – Fuzzy Baby Ducks.

And, today, I wanted to share that beer with you…along with their imperial version, Double Fuzzy.

Fuzzy Baby Ducks is a single hop IPA made exclusively with Citra hops and has a solid 6.2% ABV and roughly 60 IBU. When available, it’s sold in six-packs that cost $12.

Their Double Fuzzy is just like FBD…but on steroids. It too is made entirely with Citra hops but the 12-ounce cans are bursting with an 8.2% ABV and 82 IBU. If you’re lucky enough to find it, a four-pack of Double Fuzzy costs $12.

Let’s start with their most sought-after brew – FBD.

Fuzzy Baby Ducks poured a light copper color with orange hues with just a thin line of head covering everything. The bright white foam quickly disappeared into a small accumulation around the edge of my glass with a dusting of small bubbles scattered across the top.

This IPA was bursting with tropical fruit aromas. Mango, papaya, melon, and grapefruit led the charge while subtle hints of malt and resinous hops lingered in the background. From the smell alone, I could see why people clamor over this brew…so I had to dive right in.

The sip begins with a mild rush of carbonation that fizzled across my tongue for a moment before the flavors really began to shine through.

Huge bursts of tropical fruit then began to swell up; mango being the front runner with grapefruit, lemon, and orange following close behind.

The malts sliced out any hop bitterness nicely and added just the slightest caramel flavor that seemed to amplify the sweetness from the tropical fruit flavors without stepping on the hops’ toes.

As the beer ends, it does so incredibly cleanly. No lingering bitterness. No dryness. Just a slow orangey send off that made me want more…immediately.

Fuzzy was all citrus, all the way. It was so freaking smooth and so freaking delicious. It’s easy to see why droves of thirsty beer lovers line up to get this beer. There’s no way to not enjoy this beer. It's simply amazing!!!

This is just the sixth beer to earn this rating on BBG…and it’s well deserved.

A+

It’s going to be hard to follow that up but, luckily, my next beer is just a beefed-up version of the last one so I have high hopes for it.

Double Fuzzy poured a very similar color to regular Fuzzy – a lighter copper color with some orangish hues, however, it was just the slightest bit darker.

The main difference in initial appearance was the head; DFBD had about two fingers of sticky off-white head build up before slowly fading away, lacing the glass nicely before I had even had a sip.

Again, the aroma tropical fruits flowed upwards out of the glass. Again, it was mango, melon, papaya, and grapefruit leading the way. There was a slight resinous pine undertone and a dash of bready malt that lingered beneath the fruit though.

The flavors in Double Fuzzy attacked right out of the gate.

The first wave was that of mango and melon, like biting into a fruit salad, while the carbonation fizzled softly in the background. Grapefruit, apricot, and orange struck next with a slightly bitter sting hitting the back of my tongue.

Midway though a slightly resinous grassy note crept up out of the otherwise citrusy flavors and coated my taste buds with a somewhat earthy, somewhat fruity glaze.

Caramel malt and some zesty orange rind add more sticky sweetness to the beer as everything starts to wind down. Double Fuzzy ends a little bit harsher than its lighter counterpart, as there is a dash of bitterness and a very dry feeling that requires a swig of water after every few sips.

All that said, it’s a very enjoyable DIPA. Even if you’re not a fan of hops or double IPAs…I have a feeling you’ll like this beer. Very solid, very tasty…but it is quite dry. However, it was still worth the drive to Connecticut.

***On a personal note, before I reveal my rating, I would like to thank Owner/Founder Rob Leonard for making my best friend’s dream of trying these beers happen. NEBCo. makes some damn fine beer and the people that work there are simply amazing. Thank you to Rob and the whole crew!***

A-