This week one of Georgia’s brightest new breweries - Wild Leap - gets their very own showcase. I have been trying to scrounge up some of their beers for about a year now and was finally able to procure two of their newer releases.
Wild Leap, out of LaGrange, Georgia, was opened in 2017 and named after the leap of faith the two owners took when deciding to open a brewery. Currently they offer a dozen canned beers (mostly IPAs) that can be found across Georgia and one draft only release that can only be found at the brewery. In addition to beer, they also have their own vodka that’s distilled EIGHT times and checks in at 80 proof.
The brewery has made quite the name for themselves over the past two years, including just being named by USA Today at its voters as the Best New Brewery of 2019. The well-deserved hype stems mostly from their Alpha Abstraction, a double IPA series that features a different hop variety with each new brewing.
Today I was able to get my hands on two of their cans - a special release double IPA, Rockweave, and Alpha Abstraction Volume 8. Both were priced at $5 per can but could probably be found for less in Georgia.
Up first, the beer that put them on the map.
This most recent variation of Alpha Abstraction was brewed, and double dry-hopped, with Enigma hops. Each 12-ounce can is packed with an 8% ABV and has 46 IBU.
It poured a bright orange color with minimal head building up. No more than a finger of white bubbles ever appeared and I was soon left with no more than a thin dusting across the top.
A tropical fruit aroma filled the room. Pineapple, mango, melon lead the way with a dash of dank hops sitting just behind. The malt profile had some flaked wheat and an oat-like sweetness backing up the Enigma hops.
The first sip began with a creamy, pillowy soft mouthfeel and just a zip of carbonation before the hop flavors began to emerge. And, as the smell had indicated, juicy tropical fruits dominated the taste.
Mango and pineapple hit the hardest, with a slight acidic burn tingling across my tongue. After that came a wave of honeydew and cantaloupe that blended in with the initial tropical fruits to create a nice medley.
The malts were mostly hidden behind the hops but were able to add a hint of sweetness from the oats, which were able to sneak through the Enigma hops on a couple occasions.
As the beer progress, there was a slight tartness from the pineapple and a swelling of super, super juicy mango that builds up halfway through it all, easily overpowering every other flavor.
From there, the beer’s flavors begin to disappear quickly and Alpha Abstraction ends incredibly cleanly. There is no bitterness, no lingering hop bite, nothing. It just fades away, leaving me instantaneously ready for my next sip.
The 8% ABV was hidden incredibly well. The alcohol was only noticeable in just one or two sips, popping up with a boozy bite midway through that the second surge of mango juice was able to quickly quell.
Alpha Abstraction is worth every cent. The $5 I paid for the can was easily one of the best decisions I’ve possibly ever made. Volume 8 was incredibly easy to drink, ended super cleanly, and featured big juicy tropical fruit flavors. I couldn’t believe this brew had an 8% ABV and I need to find a way to get my hands on their next release of Alpha!
Up next, I have their Rockweave double IPA which was brewed to commemorate the Rockweave Music & Arts Festival that takes place in Wild Leap’s hometown of LaGrange next weekend (October 4th and 5th).
Rockweave checks in with an 8.1% ABV and 48 IBU and was brewed with Centennial hops.
It poured a murky golden straw color with less than a finger of head topping it off. The eggshell white foam quickly dissipates into a few splotches around the edge of the glass and a thin dusting across the top.
The aroma was rather subdued and seemed a bit thin but featured a blend of tropical fruits. Tangerine, mango, grapefruit, and lemon were most prominent and made for a very inviting aroma that I was excited to dive into.
My first sip featured a rush of carbonation that continued to buzz on my tongue for a few moments. However, the flavors in this brew were not nearly as thin as they were in the smell.
The hops packed a punch of bitterness up front that quickly gave way to the tropical fruit flavors. Tangerine and pineapple started everything off with some light acidity before notes of grapefruit rind and lemon peel start to creep forward.
A solid malt profile showcased some bready and biscuity flavors with notes of flaked wheat that backed up the hops nicely.
Midway through the beer swells, both in flavor and mouthfeel. The grapefruit peel takes control of the taste and the beer develops a thickness that then sits a little heavier in my stomach.
Rockweave begins its decent from there, as all the tropical flavors begin to fade away slowly. It ends surprisingly clean, with just a dash of dryness and a light sticky resin left clinging to my tongue.
How did this beer have an 8.1% ABV? As far as double IPAs go, it was insanely easy to drink and had almost no bitterness, save for the light twinge up front.
This was another insanely good double IPA from Wild Leap. It might not be as smooth as Alpha but it’s certainly a great beer and worth your time.
Even though these two beers are my first experience with Wild Leap, I can most assuredly say that I will now snag each and every beer from them that I can find…and you probably should too.